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About Student Research


Defining Research

As a nurturing, tier-one research institution with a world-class medical center and a strong research program, the University of Rochester is an ideal place for undergraduate research. But what, exactly, is "research"? To broadly define the term, consider this definition offered by the University of Oklahoma:

Undergraduate research is mentored intellectual engagement using established scholarly processes to make a meaningful contribution to a project, question, or problem, where the outcomes are presented or performed with review, critique or judgment, and both the process and product are based upon disciplinary standards. 

Notice that research is not limited to the sciences! Research happens in all intellectual disciplines of the University. At Rochester, research can be aesthetic, socio-political, scientific, technical, philosophical, mathematical, and more. Check out our student spotlights to explore some specific examples of research Rochester undergraduates are doing.

Why Research?

Conducting research as an undergraduate student is an effective way to cultivate intellectual maturity while gaining academic and professional experience. Undergraduate research develops problem-solving skills and integrates classroom learning with real-world competencies. Some reasons to consider getting involved in undergraduate research are to

  • Explore a passion
  • Help define your goals, interests, and potential career direction
  • Gain in-depth experience in a discipline or field
  • Contribute new knowledge about a topic that interests you
  • Develop problem-solving skills
  • Make professional connections
  • Gain real-world experience that helps your resume stand out
Explore our general guide to getting started.

Other Areas to Explore

There are many ways you can gain valuable extracurricular experience, research or otherwise. We encourage you to further explore our website and those of our colleagues below to learn more about what opportunities and supports are available on campus and what might be best suited for your interests and goals.