What is undergraduate research?

According to the Council on Undergraduate Research: “Undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry is fundamentally a pedagogical approach to teaching and learning. With an emphasis on process, CUR defines undergraduate research as: A mentored investigation or creative inquiry conducted by undergraduates that seeks to make a scholarly or artistic contribution to knowledge.”

At Elon, Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors include activities undertaken by an undergraduate student with significant faculty mentoring that:

  1. Lead to new scholarly insights and/or creation of new works;
  2. Add to the discipline;
  3. And involve critical analysis of the process and/or outcome of the activities

Why should students participate in undergraduate research?

Undergraduate research helps students apply classroom learning to new areas. It offers a unique opportunity for students to engage in inquiries in their chosen fields of study and experience first-hand what professionals do in that field. It also allows students to develop an understanding of how a chosen field can extend beyond disciplinary boundaries and overlap with other disciplines. Working with faculty mentors on their research allows the student to benefit from the faculty member’s expertise and experience. Click here to watch videos on student perspectives on undergraduate research from Elon’s Center for Engaged Learning.

How can students get involved?

  1. First you need to declare a major. Most students undertake research in their majors.
  2. Talk to faculty in your department about their research interests. The department chair of your major and your academic advisor are also good resources for learning about research opportunities within the department.
  3. Read this resource with information that faculty want students to know before they start with research (click here).
  4. Check out this page that lists faculty who are currently accepting undergraduate researchers (click here). Click here to see questions you might want to ask a potential mentor.
  5. Join the Undergraduate Research Student Association. They can help students get involved in research opportunities on campus.
  6. Explore the student tabs on the left side of your screen to learn about opportunities in the Undergraduate Research department.

“Undergraduate Research has been the most rewarding experience of my Elon career. My mentors have taught me to value the process of discovery more than the outcome, and they continuously push me intellectually further than I ever could have imagined.”
Meara Waxman ’19, English Literature major