Step One: What is research?

Florida State University encourages students to pursue research opportunities in their area of interest. Experiments done in a laboratory, research conducted in the archives of a library, interviews taken to explore a social or political concern, fieldwork leading to a better understanding of a social or environmental situation, artistic work created, and comparisons of best educational practices are all ways to explore research opportunities.

Undergraduate research requires collaboration between students and research mentors that engages the student in critical inquiry and exposes the student to the foundations of research or creative activity in their chosen discipline.

Research can culminate in numerous ways. Published manuscripts, oral presentations, exhibited posters, artistic expositions, musical compositions or performances, theatrical productions and some of the many ways that project results can be shared with the public and the scholarly community.

Why do research?

Doing research or a mentored creative project...

  • Leads to a deeper understanding of your chosen discipline's current practices
  • Teaches creative problem solving and communication skills
  • Allows you to apply concepts learned in course work to real world situations
  • Offers you the chance to work closely with a faculty mentor (useful when it is time to ask for letters of recommendation!)
  • Gives you the chance to present your findings at local, regional, and national conferences
  • Makes you a more competitive applicant to graduate and professional schools, or for jobs in your field
  • Helps you explore potential career paths

Video: Students speak for themselves
This short video profiles a few FSU undergraduates describing and reflecting on their research experiences.

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