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Strategic Plan for Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship

Context For Planning

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship was established in 2010. Prior to 2010, the Office of Integrative Learning in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies housed OURS signature programs such as Student Summer Scholars (S3) and Student Scholars Day (SSD). 

Currently, OURS administers seventeen programs that support either students or faculty who are engaged in undergraduate research and scholarship. These programs include: Academic and Professional Enrichment Fund

  • Academic Conference Fund
  • Academic Professional and Enrichment Fund
  • Alayont Undergraduate Research Fellowship in the Mathematics
  • Brooks Supplementary Start-up Funds for New Faculty
  • CLAS Supplementary Start-up Funds for New Faculty
  • GVSU McNair Scholars Program
  • GVSU Undergraduate Research Scholar Designation
  • Michigan Space Grant Consortium
  • Modified Student Summer Scholars
  • OURS Project Supplies Grant
  • Student Scholars Day
  • Student Summer Scholars
    • Koeze Fellows
    • Ott-Stiner Scholars
    • Rowe Fellows
    • Schroeder Fellows
    • Underwood Fellows
  • Sustainable Agriculture Place-Based Project Grants
  • Undergraduate Research Ambassador Program
  • Undergraduate Research Assistants in the Humanities
  • Undergraduate Research Fair


To facilitate a university climate and culture that embraces and supports faculty mentored student research, scholarship, and creative work.


Undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative work provide opportunities for students to apply their disciplinary learning and develop critical thinking through engaging in authentic inquiry. The process of developing an argument, proposing a hypothesis, exploring an idea, or developing a creative work transforms and empowers students’ perceptions of their skills and abilities propelling them towards unrealized dreams and aspirations. OURS creates space for students to engage in these opportunities at GVSU by removing barriers to participation, supporting faculty who mentor undergraduate researchers, scholars, and artists. OURS also invites the campus community to recognize and celebrate the scholarly products of our students.

Value Statement

OURS values: 

  • Excellence: OURS values excellence in all aspects of our work. This includes: the high quality of our students' research, scholarly, and creative work; the balance of support and challenge provided by our faculty mentors; and the assessment and refinement of OURS programs.
  • Integrity: OURS is dedicated to transparency and fidelity in the administration of our programs and service delivery. OURS values integrity as both a component of the research, scholarly, and creative process and the ethics of decision making. We work to ensure that all of our students and mentors have training in ethics, as it relates to their disciplines and methodology.
  • Inquiry: OURS is committed to providing students with the opportunity to engage in the potential and power of inquiry, or creativity. We recognize that inquiry and creativity come in many forms depending on the discipline and the methodology. We recognize and strive to meet the needs of all disciplines, pure or applied.
  • Inclusiveness: OURS is committed to inclusivity. We believe that our mission is realized only when all community members have the ability to openly engage in active research, scholarly inquiry, and creative expression. We also believe part of that path is recognizing and advocating for the removal of barriers that prohibit all from engaging fully with the GVSU community.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

Increase level of support for faculty who express interest and/or are currently working with undergraduate students in research/scholarly capacities. Sub-objective 2.1: Increase the number of research assistants (URAs) by 20%, diversifying disciplines.


Baseline will be established in 2016 report year.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

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