Background Image for Hero: student and research adviser going over neuroscience research
What is Undergraduate Research?
UR is defined by the Council on Undergraduate Research as an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.
Why do Undergraduate Research?
UR allows you to creatively use your discipline-specific knowledge in novel ways to answer outstanding questions in your field, explore ideas in a real world setting, and train under the supervision of an expert faculty member.
Decide Research is Right for You
Regardless of your major, any student can conduct research under the supervision of a faculty mentor. There are numerous benefits to getting involved with research or creative inquiry.
Benefits of Undergraduate Research
Define your Research Interests
Take some time to reflect on your background, academic major/minor, interests, and professional goals. This information will be used to help you decide which faculty research mentor will be compatible with your personality and research or creative endeavors.
Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research
Once you identify your research interests, schedule an appointment with our office. We advise students in applying to research programs, participating in research-related opportunities, and finding faculty mentors.
Schedule an Appointment
Find the Right Mentor
Once you determine which faculty members might be appropriate research mentors and whose research corresponds with your academic or career goals, create a shortlist of 3-5 research mentor preferences. These are established research professionals you may begin to contact.
Learn More about Choosing Research Mentor
Meet with Potential Mentors
At this stage, it's time to meet mentors face-to-face or speak with them over the phone. Ask them about their work. Use this time to visit the space in which they conduct research or creative/scholarly work. Speak with current research assistants at the graduate and undergraduate level. Spend a day shadowing under the supervision of the faculty mentor or volunteer for a longer period of time
Get to Work
Students have several mechanisms to consider for engaging in research or creative endeavors. You may volunteer or shadow in the research space as your schedule permits. You may apply to a research program. You may speak with your academic adviser about course credit (e.g., 497-level courses, capstone experiences, internships, or professional field experiences). From time-to-time, you may find a faculty supported opportunity, in which the faculty member has grant funding to support to undergraduate students with demonstrated research skills.
Present, Travel, & Publish
Once you have familiarized yourself with your research, creative, or scholarly topics and begin to take ownership of your personal inquiries and insights, it's time to share your contributions through presenting and publishing. You can do this internally at WVU or externally at conferences and other institutions.
Present and Publish Resources