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.”
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.
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.
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. I know that UIC is a research university. What does that mean?
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.
- Patient safety.
- 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 Office of Undergraduate Research help me and where is the office located?
The programs and resources of OUR can help to empower you to take the next step that you need to engage in undergraduate research. We hope that all students will use these resources to begin participating in undergraduate research. We look forward to helping you to pursue undergraduate research opportunities. The Office of Undergraduate Research is located in 2516 University Hall. Please stop by the office or contact us with any questions or comments!