Why Student Research?

Eastern Connecticut State University’s focus is “A Liberal Education Practically Applied.” As such Eastern Connecticut State is committed to supporting undergraduate research and creative activity across all majors. 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 (http://www.cur.org/about_cur/fact_sheet/).” Undergraduate research has been shown to impact student retention, facilitate learning, develop mentor relationships with faculty, and support critical thinking, creative activity and problem solving.

Long-term, scholarly activity outside of the classroom has been tied to graduate school acceptance. Eric Cerino (B.S. Psychology) will be beginning a Ph.D. program in Fall 2014 at Oregon State University in LIFE* in an Aging Society program (*Linking Individuals, Families, and Environments). Eric was also given a grant toward his graduate training of $30,000.00 from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Career preparation is also enhanced by undergraduate research and creative work. According to a study most employers surveyed noted the abilities to be innovative, critical thinking, broad liberal arts education to be highly desirable (http://www.aacu.org/leap/documents/2013_EmployerSurvey.pdf).

Eastern Connecticut State University provides funding for new projects, support for student travel for presentations/exhibitions, as well as awarding 2 summer research fellowships each year.  Details on these programs can be found on the menu under the “Resources” tab.

In the “Research Experiences” tab, students can find links to courses that result in a completed independent project or to secure research experiences as part of the Liberal Arts Work courses, departmental and university internships (Center for Community Engagement). There are also links to external research opportunities such as National Science Foundation (NSF ) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU’s) or Fulbright Research Programs.

Once your work is complete, you can find links to present/publish or exhibit your work either at one of Eastern’s research conferences or at the prestigious Posters on the Hill or National Council on Undergraduate Research conferences. Details and links to these opportunities can be found under the “Presenting Your Research” tab. Each discipline also sponsors conferences (regional and national) that allow for students poster and oral presentations.You should speak to your academic advisor about these opportunities.

You should also consider signing up with the Registry of Undergraduate Researchers from CUR to provide links to graduate programs.

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