What is Undergraduate Research?
The Council on Undergraduate Research defines undergraduate research as: An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.
For West Georgia students, undergraduate research is often an evolving experience that they participate throughout their time on campus. While students are not required to begin the pursuit of research projects at any specific point, they are encouraged to begin exploring the possibilities as soon as possible.
Collaborative research projects allow students to further explore their areas of interest through hands-on work with faculty members. This type of learning is quite different from classroom learning in several ways, including:
- Students get to help formulate the questions that their research will help answer
- Students get to help design the methods that are used to answer the questions
- Students interpret the results of their discoveries and obtain new knowledge
- Students learn how to share their new results and contributions to others in their academic field
Undergraduate research is not limited to laboratory and scientific settings, although there are many opportunities for research in these areas. New discoveries and contributions can also be made in literature, social sciences, education, business, and creative arts, which also all provide exciting avenues for experiential learning. There are also interdisciplinary opportunities and students may also explore research endeavors in areas outside of their major and/or minor.
The important first step is to find a faculty mentor whose interests match yours. Please contact our office if you have any questions or need help finding a faculty mentor.