Getting Started

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Getting Started 

What is undergraduate research?

The Council on Undergraduate Research (2011) defines undergraduate research as "an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline."

NIU's undergraduate research programs strive to "involve students with actively contested questions, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement that comes from working to answer important questions" (Kuh, 2008, p. 10).  In addition, undergraduate research is a high-impact practice "that educational research suggests increases rates of student retention and student engagement" (p. 9).  

What are the benefits of doing Undergraduate Research? Why research?

According to the Council on Undergraduate Research, undergraduate research helps to:

  • Enhance student learning through mentoring relationships with faculty
  • Increase student retention
  • Increase enrollment in graduate education and provide effective career preparation
  • Develop critical thinking, creativity, problem solving and intellectual independence
  • Develop an understanding of research methodology  
  • Promote an innovation-oriented culture

How do I pick a program?

To find a program that is right for you, visit our program map!