About OURS

Undergraduate research and scholarship 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. The mission of OURS is to establish comprehensive services and programs which support students in their pursuit of inquiry, creativity, scholarship, and research.

"We sometimes talk as if 'original research' were a peculiar prerogative of scientists or at least of advanced students. But all thinking is research, and all research is native, original, with him who carries it on, even if everybody else in the world already is sure of what he is still looking for. It also follows that all thinking involves a risk. Certainty cannot be guaranteed in advance.”
John Dewey, Democracy and Education, 1916; MW 9:155

OURS Mission

The mission of OURS is to establish comprehensive services and programs which support students in their pursuit of inquiry, creativity, scholarship, and research.

Undergraduate research is often defined as a student pursing the creation of an original piece of scholarship through scientific method, creative exploration, or deep study.  At Grand Valley, undergraduate research is approached through the lens of liberal education.  The act of inquiry, or asking a question, sets students on the path of research and creative work.

This pursuit is guided by a faculty member who mentors the student in the tradition and methodology of the discipline.  Students are also informed by ethical standards and are engaged members of the community of scholars at GVSU.

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship is located in 230 Mary Idema Pew Library, atop the stairs on the second floor. Contact us or come see us today to inquire about undergraduate research and scholarship, schedule a meeting, or give us an update about your success. 

OURS History

The pursuit of student research and scholarship at Grand Valley has deep roots in the history of the university.  Original student research began in a number of the original Colleges at GVSU, namely Thomas Jefferson College, William James College, and the College of Arts and Science. This tradition continued through  decades as the university grew.  

Student Scholars Day and Student Summer Scholars, originally established in the Division of Math and Science, have served as the anchors for undergraduate research for over fifteen years.  These programs have served thousands of students by encouraging original research and scholarship.

SSD and S3 moved to the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and became part of the Office of Integrative Learning in 2006.  During this time both programs were expanded to support student research from all disciplines and majors.

In 2010, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship was established as part of the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence.  The mission and intent of the office is to establish comprehensive services and programs which support students in their pursuit of inquiry, creativity, scholarship, and research.

OURS Committees

OURS is fortunate to have many campus partners who serve on a number of committees to help guide our work:

Undergraduate Research Council (URC)
URC is an elected University committee which advises and directs undergraduate research at the University, and reviews and approves S3 and MS3 proposals.

Student Scholars Day Committee
The SSD Committee is full of faculty and staff volunteers who work year-round to organize, promote, and facilitate every Student Scholars Day.

McNair Program Faculty Advisory Group
The McNair Faculty Advisory Group is a volunteer committee which advises the McNair Scholars Program.

GVSU Beckman Scholars Advisory Committee (BSAC)
BSAC reviews proposals and advises the BSP at GVSU program.

Alayont Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Mathematics Application Review Committee
The review committee will comprise of the director of OURS, the chair of the Undergraduate Research Council (or designee), and the chair of the Math Department (or designee).

Kindschi Undergraduate Research Fellowship in the Sciences Application Review Committee
Designated faculty review Kindschi Fellowship proposals.

Supplementary Research Support for Faculty Application Review Committee
Proposals are reviewed by a faculty committee consisting of a few URC members.

Undergraduate Research Assistant Application Review Committee
Proposals are reviewed by a faculty committee consisting of a few URC members.

Goldwater Scholarship Application Review Committee
Applications are reviewed by the Goldwater Campus Representative and a faculty committee.