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.