Engaging Students

GVSU faculty play a critical role in supporting undergraduate students interested in research, scholarship, and creative work. Faculty serve as research mentors, introducing students to inquiry within the disciplines and supporting their growth as scholars and researchers. Faculty also encourage students to consider research as an avenue to better understanding career choices, developing skills of inquiry, and exploring careers in research and creative inquiry.

If you are working with a student who is interested in research or scholarship, please refer the student to the Getting Started Guide and the Undergraduate Research Fair. Or, fill out our Referral Form and we will connect directly with the student.

If you are interested in bringing students into your own scholarship, consider OURS programs and services for faculty mentors as a place to begin.

First Steps
Every GVSU student can get involved in undergraduate research and scholarship.  Whether they are a first-year student or a year from graduation, there are many opportunities available in any field or discipline.  For many students, finding an opportunity or project is the hardest part.  While many students find research opportunities immediately, finding a research project can be a long process and they may need to contact many people. Be patient and persevere with students who are just getting started. The best way to advise a student is to help them.

Find a subject that interests them
They should think about classes that they have enjoyed or ideas that interest them that do not fall within their major.  Is there something that left them wanting to know more?  What about it was enjoyable?  Think about classes that they have enjoyed. Was there a project, paper, lab, idea, or experience that really left them wanting to learning more about it? Why did they enjoy it? What do they want to learn more about? Finding a topic, problem, idea, or activity that really excites them is a great place to begin.

Participate in the Undergraduate Research Fair
The Undergraduate Research Fair acts as a forum for students to meet faculty from various disciplines and learn about different research and scholarship opportunities at GVSU. It is held annually on the first Tuesday in October.

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

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

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 in job search

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 fill out our Referral Form and we will connect directly with them and set up an appointment.

Page last modified May 23, 2024