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Involvement in undergraduate research allows you to take what you have learned in-class and apply it to a new, novel situation or problem for which you do not have the answer and cannot readily look up the answer. Undergraduate research allows you to creatively use your discipline-specific knowledge in new ways to answer outstanding questions in your field or to explore ideas in-depth meanwhile extending your knowledge of the field. You'll see how research links together your major and career aspirations in a very concrete way. You'll uncover connections to what you study and how it affects the world around you.
The payoffs are many and may include:
- one-on-one training and mentoring by an expert faculty member;
- introduction to the research enterprise from start (hypothesis development and funding) to finish (presentation at discipline-specific conference and/or publication in peer reviewed journal);
- access to advanced instrumentation;
- training in discipline-specific research methodology (e.g., experimental, qualitative, or quantitative methods);
- experience in data analysis;
- integration into the research community;
- training in communication and collaboration;
- the opportunity to communicate research results; and
- the potential for co-authorship on a peer-reviewed publication.
Undergraduate research benefits WVU by:
- increasing student recruitment;
- increasing student retention;
- improving student learning through the formation of student-faculty mentoring relationships;
- increasing student enrollment and admittance to graduate and professional schools;
- providing students with career mentoring;
- promoting the research enterprise and developing students' understanding of research;
- developing students' problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills;
- promoting students' intellectual independence and curiosity; and
- highlighting the importance of student and faculty innovation.