Why Research?

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SIU students in lab looking at sample

For undergraduate students, one advantage of attending a comprehensive research university, such as SIUC, is the opportunity to participate in research, scholarly and creative activities, and work one-on-one with talented members of our faculty on campus or in the field. 

What is research?

  • It's finding answers to tough questions and solutions to nagging problems.
  • It's discovering new knowledge and interpretations in your field of special interest.
  • It's the ultimate exciting, challenging, hands-on learning experience. It's happening all over this campus, every day and in every department and college.

Why should an undergraduate pursue research projects?

  • Because you're motivated and genuinely excited by your studies.
  • Because you're curious ... about nature, about society, about artistic expression.
  • Because it's more fun to learn by doing.
  • Because it allows you to know your professors better and work with experts in your field.
  • Because you'll learn about the newest methods and technologies.
  • Because you're contributing new knowledge about our world.
  • Because it looks great on your resume.
  • Because it helps you make decisions about your future education and career.
  • Because it helps you learn more about your field and its opportunities.
  • Because it teaches you critical thinking skills valuable in any job.
  • Because it prepares you for graduate-level study.

  How can I become a student researcher?

  • Find a topic: think about what you are interested in, what you want to learn more about, and what your existing skills are.
  • Find a mentor: talk to your undergraduate advisor, a professor, or a graduate student about your interests, departmental opportunities, and faculty/student projects and supervisors.
  • Professors and graduate students often welcome the assistance of undergraduate volunteers on projects. Volunteering is a great way to learn skills that might get you a paid research assistant position later.
  • Talk to a professor about taking an independent research course with him or her on a subject of interest.
  • Take advantage of internships advertised in your department or college.
  • Take advantage of opportunities offered by research centers on campus.
  • Participate in the University Honors Program and/or departmental honors courses.

Student Research Highlights

Dr. Roberto Barrios (Professor, Anthropology) and Honors student Amanda Leppert Gomes are interviewed on their recent trip and field work/research as it relates to climate change.  Here’s a link to the show.  

Other Research Highlights.