UC Davis is a major research university which means our faculty are extensively involved in the campus mission of “Learning, Discovery and Engagement". Research is at the heart of their contributions and of your education.
- What are the advantages of becoming involved in undergraduate research?
- What does undergraduate research look like?
- When's the right time to get involved?
- What are my next steps?
What are the advantages of becoming involved in undergraduate research?
- You will acquire practical tools for your education and future career
- critical thinking and analytical skills
- global perspective
- preparation for lifelong learning
- You will increase self-confidence in your abilities as a scholar and a researcher
- You will better see the connections between various disciplines
- You will learn to create knowledge by engaging in active learning
- You will take research methods from the classroom and apply them to real-life situations
- You will set yourself apart from other applicants whether you will be applying to graduate or professional school or going directly into the job market.
What does undergraduate research look like?
Research takes many forms, and what it looks like varies depending upon your major. There are different approaches to research. Some of these include:
- Library searches and archive work
- Surveys and interviews
- Laboratory benchwork
- Modeling and computations
- Creative arts compositions (e.g., art studio, music, dance and movement, creative writing and poetry, design, film production, and more)
See below for a sampling of recent projects conducted by students
- who have been funded by the Presidents Undergraduate Fellowship to carry out their projects
- who have participated in the annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship & Creative Activities Conference
When's the right time to get involved?
Think about your involvement in undergraduate research as a progression through your college career at UC Davis, with numerous opportunities that allow you to engage in as little or as much as you like. For example, Freshman Seminars and Davis Honors Challenge courses provide small class size venues taught by faculty who choose topics to encourage your development of critical and creative thinking skills. These skills serve as a foundation to your ability to conduct future undergraduate research.
There's no better place to preview the breadth of undergraduate research taking place on campus than to attend the annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Conference. You can read abstracts that were presented at the Conference, and click on the "abstract book" link on the left column. This will hopefully entice you to take the first steps to explore formal and informal research opportunities. Essentially, the right time to get involved is when you have an idea or topic you would like to explore more fully and the commitment to match.
What are my next steps?
The Undergraduate Research Center provides advising, educational programs, and workshops to help you identify a plan of when to become involved and guide you through various options of how you might go about pursuing a research project. Stop by the Center, located in the Student Community Center building, second floor, Suite 2300, to meet with an advisor or call (530) 752-3390 to set up an appointment.