Undergraduate Research: Why is it important?

Program Philosophy:

The faculty of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Central Arkansas believe that capable and motivated students should have opportunities to see and experience the frontiers of science and mathematics. Working with a faculty mentor provides one of those opportunities.  Students share in a professional researcher’s work, learning how to formulate significant questions, developing investigative procedures, gathering and examining evidence, evaluating results, and sharing conclusions with the scientific community.  Research with a faculty mentor offers a powerful learning opportunity that goes beyond the traditional classroom experience.

Program Participants:

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Student Research Program is sponsored by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the Office of Sponsored Programs. It is open to all undergraduate and graduate students interested in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, and related fields. Undergraduate researchers are typically sophomores, juniors and seniors, although freshmen are also encouraged to consider research opportunities.


  • The program supports and encourages increased student research activities.
  • Students apply knowledge learned from course work and develop new skills.
  • Students learn more about the newest technologies and build experiences that are valuable to future employers.
  • Students gain firsthand experience of real world research.
  • Students and faculty interact closely outside the classroom, providing exceptional opportunities for students to learn and building a lasting relationship between the student and faculty mentor.
  • Students and faculty share the excitement of discovering something new.
  • Faculty are assisted by capable, motivated students.

The program provides:

  • General information to students thinking about participating in a research experience.
  • Listings of faculty who often work with student researchers and the faculty members current research interests, information on research programs, and undergraduate and graduate scholarships.
  • Advice to individual students about how to identify and approach a faculty researcher with whom they might like to work.
  • Supply-and-expense grants to defray research expenses.
  • Academic year stipend grants for undergraduates.
  • Summer stipend grants for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Periodic meetings of research students and their mentors, where students informally discuss their research progress.
  • The Annual Spring Student Research Symposium where students formally share their research findings with other students and faculty of the College.
  • Opportunities for students to present their work at professional meetings and publish their research in professional journals.
  • Travel fund grants for students to present their research at professional meetings.
  • Assistance to students writing theses for Departmental Honors and the Honors College.
  • Advice concerning graduate school applications.

How do you get started?

What recognition can you expect?

University Research Council

Student Research Forms: