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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.