Frequently Asked Questions

What is Undergraduate Research?

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

1. Why should I do research as an undergraduate?
Undergraduate research is an opportunity to perform in-depth study, gain transferable skills, develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, define academic and professional interests, and form relationships with faculty mentors and other students. Undergraduate Research is a high impact practice and has a positive influence on persistence and degree completion.
2. Who can pursue research at UIC and what kinds of research projects have undergraduates developed?
Students from all majors and backgrounds are encouraged to pursue research, scholarship and creative work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Students typically begin as early as their second year. Research opportunities are available in all departments including the arts & humanities and social sciences.
3. How do I get started?
There is no one specific path for getting involved in research. However, there are several ways to begin:

  • Search the URE database for research opportunities.
  • Schedule appointments with your professors and/or TAs to discuss their research interests. If you are interested in their work, ask if there is any way to get involved in an upcoming project.
  • Review faculty biographies and faculty research profiles on the URE website or departmental websites and make an appointment to speak with professors whose work interests you.
  • Visit the “Students Start Here” link on the Undergraduate Research Experience website for additional tips on finding research opportunities.
4. How can I find funding?
If you are eligible for Federal Work Study, you may receive funding through the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Award. Liberal Arts students can learn more about financial support by contacting a representative at LASURI (Liberal Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Initiative).
5. Can I receive course credit for my research?
Students are eligible to receive course credit for both learning about research methods and doing research. You can learn more on the Register for Credit section of the URE website. Research conducted outside the classroom can be volunteer, paid, or for credit. Requirements for course credit vary by department. Check with the department for specific requirements prior to course registration. Each department has a Director of Undergraduate Studies who can either answer your questions or direct you to another person in your department for assistance you need.
6. Can I pursue a research project outside of my major department?
Yes! Students are not limited to pursuing projects within their declared major, and are encouraged to pursue interdisciplinary projects that span any and all disciplines.
7. Where can I publish my work?
There are a number of journals on and off campus where you can publish work from any discipline. Please consult closely with a faculty member on preparing your submission to be sure you meet the professional standards for IRB approval (research ethics), formatting, citation standards etc. The staff of the Office of Undergraduate Research is also available to help guide you in the submission and revision process. If you know of reputable journals not listed here, please let us know at our@uic.edu.

Publication Venues and Related Links

8. How can my research be recognized?
The UIC Student Research Forum is hosted each April in the UIC Forum. The event includes poster presentations showcasing undergraduate and graduate research conducted by UIC students. Abstracts must be submitted by mid-March. OUR also collaborates with the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and the University of Illinois Springfield at the University of Illinois Undergraduate Research Day to enable students from each campus to present their scholarly work at the state capitol. Students are invited to Springfield when the legislature is in session to present their posters. “Posters Under the Dome” was initiated by the OUR of UIC, UIS and UIUC.
9. What does it mean for me that UIC is a research university?

The University of Illinois at Chicago is a major research university in the heart of Chicago. As one of the top 200 research-funded institutions in the world, UIC faculty, discover what others teach. UIC researchers are internationally recognized leaders in:

  • Alternative, complementary and traditional medicine.
  • Biotechnology and biodefense.
  • Cancer biology and therapeutics.
  • Drug discovery, development and delivery.
  • Genomics and pharmacogenomics.
  • Infectious diseases.
  • Natural products.
  • Neuroscience.
  • Patient safety.
  • Pharmacoeconomics.
  • And more

Undergraduate and graduate students study and work alongside UIC faculty, taking part in groundbreaking research in state-of-the-art laboratories and research centers. As a result, UIC students have unique opportunities to advance knowledge in vital ways.

10. How can the OUR help me?
The programs and resources of OUR are designed to empower and guide you in taking the next step that you need to engage in and disseminate undergraduate research. We are located in 2622 University Hall. Please stop by the office or contact us by email or phone with any question or comments. We have drop-in hours Tuesday through Thursday from 10 am to 1:30 pm.