Most undergraduate research involves faculty mentorship. Faculty generally view their mentoring of undergraduates as a deeply satisfying form of teaching, although one that can require a major commitment of time and resources. Some are energized by the enthusiasm and fresh perspective that undergraduate can bring. Others feel the responsibility to “give back”, and honor the faculty who mentored them by helping the next generation.
- Faculty gain personal satisfaction for working closely with students and passing on their knowledge and skills.
- Faculty gain by learning from students and making joint discoveries (this does happen!)
- Faculty can benefit by distributed workload on larger research projects.
- Faculty increase opportunities for a number of external grants that require participation of undergraduates
SUNY Cortland faculty can apply for an Undergraduate Research Assistant (URAP). The Undergraduate Research Council in partnership with the Financial Aid Office is pleased to support the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP) through which faculty members from across the College may request a Work Study eligible student as a research assistant to advance their research/scholarly activities. Students selected for this opportunity would be paid to assist faculty in their research and can gain valuable research skills and experience. Responsibilities will vary depending on the position. In general, the work may be more task-oriented (e.g., literature searches, grant proposal support, data entry, or routine lab work) than research undertaken through independent study or summer fellowship. Several faculty within a department or across disciplines can and are encouraged to jointly apply for a single student research assistant position. Click here to go to the URC funding/grants page for more information and application forms.
The following links provide additional information about undergraduate research.
- The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)
- The Journal of Undergraduate Research
- National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates
- National Institutes of Health Student Programs for Research and Training
- The Boyer's Commission Report on Reinventing Undergraduate Research
An abbreviated bibliography on undergraduate research for faculty and administrators
Arnold, G.H. 1993. Strengthening student teachers' reflective/critical thinking skills through collaborative research. Teacher Education Quarterly, 20(4), 97-103.
Boyer Commission on Education. 1998. Reinventing Undergraduate Education. Washington DC. [available online at: http://notes.cc.sunysb.edu/pres/boyer.nsf]
Burke, L.A., & Cummins, M.K. 2002. Using undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research projects to personalize teaching. College Teaching, 50(4), p. 129-133.
Colebeck, C.L. 1998. Merging in a seamless blend: How faculty integrate teaching and research. Journal of Higher Education, 69(6), 647-671.
Crowe, M. and Brakke, D. 2008. Assessing the Impact of undergraduate-research experiences on students: An Overview of Current Literature. CUR Quarterly, 28(4) 43-50
Doyle, M. 2002. Faculty time: Academic excellence: A study of the role of research in the natural sciences at undergraduate institutions. Research Corp, Special Report, 2002, 1-4.
Ferrari, J. and Jason, L. 1996. Integrating research and community service: Incorporating research skills into service learning experiences. College Student Journal, 30(4), 444-451.
Gafney, L. 2005. The role of the research mentor/teacher: Student and faculty views. Journal of College Science Teaching, 34 (4): 52-57.
Gregerman, S.R. 1999. Improving the success of diverse students through undergraduate research. CUR Quarterly, 19, 54-59.
Guterman, L. 2007. What good is undergraduate research, anyway? Many students benefit, but studies show weaknesses in current practices. Chronicle of Higher Education, August 17, 2007.
Hathaway, R.S., B.A. Nagda, and S.R. Gregerman, The relationship of undergraduate research participation to graduate and professional education pursuit: An empirical study. Journal of College Student Development, Vol. 43, 2002, pp. 614-631.
Ishiyama, J. 2001. Undergraduate research and the success of first generation, low income college students. CUR Quarterly, 22, 36-42.
Ishiyama, J. 2002. Does early participation in undergraduate research benefit social science and humanities students? College Student Journal, 36(3), 380-386.
Kardash, C.M. 2000. Evaluation of an undergraduate research experience: Perceptions of undergraduate interns and their faculty mentors. Journal of Educational Psychology. 92, 191-201.