What is undergraduate research and creative scholarship?

 

We don’t believe it is fair or beneficial to provide a strict definition of undergraduate research.  We think that it is best to rely on the definitions of research and creative scholarship in each academic discipline, so that undergraduate research can be an inclusive concept, open to students from all corners of the UO campus.

 

Despite the need for an encompassing definition, UROP does believe there are fundamental characteristics of undergraduate research and creative scholarship that should be shared by all disciplines:

  • The research and creative scholarship reflects the ways in which faculty in each respective discipline conducts research and creative scholarship;
  • The research and creative scholarship project can be communicated and disseminated in the same way a faculty member can in their respective disciplines;
  • The research and creative scholarship project actively brings undergraduate students into the world of university research;
  • The research and creative scholarship project includes a faculty mentor to help guide student project.

Beyond that, UROP leaves it to the faculty and students in their respective disciplines to define research and creative scholarship.

How Undergraduate Research Projects Begin

Undergraduate research and creative scholarship typically has two origins:

Student Initiated: The research and creative scholarship begins with a student generated idea. In this form, the student is the primary researcher and requires guidance from a faculty mentor. Common examples: honors thesis project, independent study course, course requirement

Faculty Initiated: The research and creative scholarship is part of a faculty member’s ongoing research.  A student joins the faculty member, or research team, to assist in the research project. Common examples: paid research internship or assistantship, student volunteers to assist with project; student is part of a research team

Of course, research and creative scholarship can take many forms outside of the two listed above.  However, this does provide a nice frame of reference and gives you a general idea of how students may participate in research and creative scholarship.

Next we explore the types of research and creative scholarship that take place in the UO’s colleges/schools.

Next – Research and Creative Scholarship in the Disciplines