Importance of Undergraduate Research
Click HERE to download a one page Student Guide to Undergraduate Research at USC Upstate.
Why should I get involved in research?
You are probably already overwhelmed with degree program requirements and other obligations, so why should you participate in undergraduate research?
It can improve your chances for graduate school or jobs. Undergraduate research is a commitment, and, especially when you choose to participate, it shows initiative, dedication, and responsibility; qualities any future employer would be interested in having in a prospective employee. Undergraduate research is also the perfect precursor to graduate school, since you have already demonstrated practical research experience for the research that may be part of the graduate school program. Listing a publication or research project is very powerful on a resume. Also, you will develop a close professional relationship with your faculty project advisor who will then be able to write a more effective letter of recommendation which could really benefit you when applying for a job opportunity or graduate school.
It can improve written and oral communication skills. Communication with fellow students and faculty members on a regular basis will serve to enhance communication skills, as well as the possibilities of writing proposals, grants, reports, and manuscripts. Public speaking skills can be attained by sharing research exploits at a local, state or national undergraduate research event.
It can provide valuable information concerning the research topic. The information gained from undergraduate research projects is REAL, VALUABLE, SCIENTIFIC knowledge and has the same merit as that produced from professional researchers.
It can be fun. Working, hands-on, with your own ideas and interests can be a welcome alternative to regular lectures and labs.
How do I get involved in research?
To get involved in an undergraduate research project, you need to find a faculty member who is doing research in an area that interests you and who is willing to include a student in their project. Simply approach your department faculty members and ask them what kind of research they are doing. The Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURS) at USC Upstate also maintains a campus-wide list of faculty members who are eager to include students in their research. Please visit the CURS website to view this listing http://www.uscupstate.edu/curs which includes the faculty members’ name, contact information and research area. If you would like any additional help in becoming involved in undergraduate research, please contact the Director of CURS – see contact information below.
How can the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship help me?
The Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURS) at USC Upstate provides several grant opportunities for students who are working with faculty members on research projects. You could receive funding for: paying yourself a part-time salary to be a Research Assistant, purchasing materials/supplies needed to complete your project, or offsetting travel costs to present your work at a professional meeting. Visit the CURS website http://www.uscupstate.edu/curs for information, applications, and deadlines regarding all CURS grant opportunities.