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

Quality undergraduate research and creative activity result in a product that has potential for peer-reviewed dissemination in the form of presentations, publications, exhibitions or performances. This definition underlies the decisions made with regard to grants, scholarships and fellowships. It is not expected that all undergraduate research result in peer-reviewed dissemination, rather that the endeavor has that potential.

At Elon, undergraduate research takes place in the classroom in course-embedded research classes and outside of the classroom in faculty-mentored one-on-one or in small lab models. Faculty are supported in their mentoring through mentor development grants, workshops, through the online journal Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring, and through institutional membership in the Council of Undergraduate Research.