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Undergraduate Research

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Resources for Faculty

Information on Mentoring:

Resources from other VU faculty-student research teams:

Resources on ethical research practice:

Potential Benefits of Student-Faculty Undergraduate Research: To Faculty

  • Invigorates intellect and increases enthusiasm
  • Enhances teaching effectiveness and job satisfaction
  • Promotes advancements in research program (research shows that students are able to make meaningful/productive contributions to the research projects to which they are assigned)
  • Increases access to grant funding
  • Enhances faculty members' ability to remain current in their field/discipline
  • Promotes greater engagement with students, colleagues, and the community
  • Provides faculty with a platform to motivate, inspire and contribute to the educational experiences and professional development of future researchers; faculty often derive personal satisfaction from "watching" the professional growth of their students
  • Allows for the mentorship of enthusiastic, highly-motivated students
  • Produces recognition by one's internal and external peers
  • Improves teaching techniques, such as in investigative laboratories
  • Augments the transfer of results from one's scholarship into the classroom
  • Promotes the concept of lifelong learning for students

Potential Benefits of Student-Faculty Undergraduate Research: To the Institution

  • Enhances intellectual vitality and reputation of the institution
  • Attracts talented faculty and builds research programs 
  • Attracts engaged students and community interest
  • Produces external funding and recognition; brings new equipment and facilities 
  • Encourages innovative and collaborative curricula
  • Promotes engagement with national trends in higher education and new research directions
  • Breaks down barriers between students and faculty as well as teaching and research by integrating both into the teacher-scholar concept

Information Assembled by Other Institutions: there are some wonderful online resources available for faculty and administrators engaging in undergraduate research:

The following publications contain further information about the costs and benefits of faculty-student collaborative undergraduate research: 

Involving undergraduate students in scholarly activity can provide fresh insights to research questions. For many faculty members, particularly those at two- and four-year institutions, undergraduate students facilitate the pursuit of those research, scholarly, and creative endeavors that allow the faculty member to maintain his/her professional expertise, enthusiasm, and engagement. Undergraduates can indeed be considered "junior colleagues" and scholarly collaborators in the truest sense.

These faculty members value the following opportunities:

  • For intellectual invigoration
  • To remain current in the discipline and field
  • To establish collaborations, both interdisciplinary and/or disciplinary
  • To produce results and advance a research program.