Information for Current High School Students and Potential Transfer Students

1. What is research?
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, 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. Research can culminate in a written or oral presentation as a means of making the body of academic knowledge or creative exploration accessible to other investigators in the field, as well as to the general public.

Undergraduate research is a unique opportunity for students to work with faculty on their scholarship and produce an original output 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.

2. What does research look like?
Undergraduate research can vary widely, and take place inside and outside the lab. You might be analyzing human health data, interviewing study participants about their culture, collecting samples from wetlands, observing mammals in captive environments, or even performing a critical analysis of a TV show.

3. What are the benefits?

  • Get to Know Faculty. At most universities, hands-on experiences with faculty members are reserved for graduate students, but at GVSU we have faculty mentors working with undergraduate students as soon as the first year. GVSU faculty are looking for anyone who has a passion to do research. If you have the motivation, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship will advise you on how to find a faculty member to assist you in your research. Additionally, OURS hosts the Undergraduate Research Fair to help you network and to meet faculty who work with undergraduate students. Furthermore, GVSU is a teaching-focused institution, which means faculty members want you to succeed.
  • Get Paid for Your Work. OURS has both full-time and part-time paid research opportunities available to our students.
  • Access Resources. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship will help you along the way with the resources that you need: funding opportunities, networking opportunities, research opportunities, and more.
  • Build Your Portfolio. GVSU is a prominent university that is recognized for its scholars and research. Therefore, having a research background can add real-world experiences to your future job search, schooling, and more.
  • Discover Your Passion. Participating in research early in your college career can help you decide on a major, and allow you to begin planning your future career path.
  • Make a Difference. Research can change the world, and undergraduate research is no different! You can take pride in knowing that you’ve contributed new knowledge and understanding to your discipline.
  • Have Fun. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship takes pride in helping its students. Not only is research a fun experience, your collaborations with your faculty mentor and OURS is too! In fact, OURS always welcomes students to pop in for questions, say hi, and to shake our magic eight ball that we have at our front desk.

4. What can I do to prepare?

  • Continue to Get Good Grades. Senioritis can be tempting, we get it! But placing yourself in the best position you can academically will help you continue to excel when you get to college.
  • Do Your Research. Start reading about current trends and issues in fields that interest you. Find what intrigues you! If you have a major in mind, look at faculty that could be teaching you and see what research they’re doing.
  • Talk to OURS. We’re here to help! Use the form below to set up a virtual advising appointment with one of our staff members.

5. Why GVSU?
We understand picking a college or university is tricky. You have to figure out what works best for you. So, why Grand Valley? GVSU has countless research opportunities that will not only help your resume, but also help you learn a little bit about yourself. You will learn from your faculty mentor, the research experience, and even yourself, about what you're passionate about. Additionally, GVSU is a teaching-first institution that will put you first through your research experience.

If you want to learn more, feel free to contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship. We can pair you up with any one of our ambassadors who can explain the dos, don'ts, and benefits of research at GVSU.

Page last modified August 11, 2022