What is undergraduate research?

An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student in collaboration with a mentor that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. It is an opportunity to participate in scholarly investigation and creative applications of the knowledge gained in the classroom. Through research you can apply what you learn and expand and enhance your educational experience. Any student who is working on a research project, whether funded or not or for credit or not, should use the Office for Undergraduate Research as a resource.

Why should I conduct research as an undergraduate?

Undergraduate research is one of the best ways to learn more about a subject that interests you. It allows you to apply what you've learned in class, explore a specific topic in greater depth, and interact closely with your faculty mentor. The experience may help you make decisions about attending graduate school and can enhance your career opportunities. Plus, the skills you learn conducting research — observation, investigation, analysis, reasoning, and communication — are essential in today's global and information economy.

Is research limited to the hard sciences?

A: Absolutely not! At UAB, students in all academic disciplines conduct research, scholarship, and creative activities. Researchers work in the arts and humanities, social sciences, education, and across disciplinary boundaries — there is no shortage of possibilities.

Can I do a project outside of my home department?

A: Absolutely! UAB's reputation as a world renowned research institution affords students a multitude of research opportunities. Taking time to pursue research outside of your major and department is a great chance to explore and become a well-rounded student. Often you'll learn that the techniques and principles applied in a given field relate to the one you are studying. Interdisciplinary synthesis is a powerful tool that you will develop.

Is research just for upper class students?

No, Many freshmen and sophomores engage in research. Incorporating research early in your higher education allows you to develop and hone fundamental research and communication skills that become essential for future academic and professional success. Take your schedule into consideration and allow yourself a nice transition. Get involved in undergraduate research when you're ready.

Are there any university-wide requirements from doing research as an undergraduate?

A: Yes. All researchers, from students to faculty, must read and confirm they have read and understood the UAB Code of Conduct. The Research Compliance Office provides education and training in the regulatory aspects of the research process. It strives to provide comprehensive educational support and training through the entire spectrum of the research process. Depending on the type of research — for example, if you work with humans or animals — more in-depth training will be required.

What is the College of Undergraduate Research (CUR)?

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and its affiliated colleges, universities, and individuals share a focus on providing undergraduate research opportunities for faculty and students at predominantly undergraduate institutions. CUR believes that faculty members enhance their teaching and contribution to society by remaining active in research and by involving undergraduates in research.

What is the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)?

The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study by sponsoring an annual conference for students. Unlike meetings of academic professional organizations, this gathering of young scholars welcomes presenters from all institutions of higher learning and from all corners of the academic curriculum. Through this annual conference, NCUR creates a unique environment for the celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement, provides models of exemplary research and scholarship, and helps to improve the state of undergraduate education.