Why Should Students Do Research?

What is research and scholarship?
Research and scholarship is how the academic community communicates with the world. Taking multiple forms, research includes scholarly and creative activities that can lead to new knowledge, improve our ability to solve problems, result in new theory, and/ or in the creation of new art or an artistic performance. Research is a process of careful inquiry leading to the discovery of new information.

What is undergraduate research and scholarship?
Undergraduate research and scholarship is a unique opportunity for students to work with faculty on their scholarship and produce a presentation, paper, or creative work that contributes to the knowledge or activity of a particular academic discipline.

Some students will work on part of a faculty member’s current research project. Other students may develop an independent project of their own that is guided by a faculty member. Either way, students have opportunities in a variety of disciplines from art history to zoology to engage in original hands-on research and scholarship.

Why should a student do research?
The literature demonstrates that students who participate in undergraduate research benefit in the following ways:

  • Greater problem solving skills
  • Better understanding of research methods
  • Deeper understanding of the discipline
  • Greater confidence and independence
  • Better understanding of career and education path

In addition, the literature also indicates that student who participate in research and scholarship:

  • Are more satisfied with their college experience
  • Are retained and persist at a higher rate, both at university and within their major
  • Are more likely to be accepted to graduate and professional school and graduate.
  • Are more competitive when searching for jobs

How can students explore research options at GVSU?
Many students begin looking for opportunities to engage with research or scholarship by talking with a faculty member, current research student, or an advisor in OURS. Encourage your students to explore the OURS website, attend the Undergraduate Research Fair held the first Tuesday in October, or attend Student Scholars Day held the second Wednesday of April. Former undergraduate research students are available on both days to speak with students and introduce them to active research faculty.

If I have a student who is interested in research, how do I make a referral to OURS?
We would love to work with your students. Please email ours@gvsu.edu to refer the student. This referral should include their name, G Number, majors, and possible research interests. We ask that you copy the student, so we can connect directly with them and set up an appointment.



Page last modified August 19, 2016