Why Do Research?

How can undergraduate students get involved in research/creative activity?
Research is part of the learning process, no matter what the discipline. It’s not a scary, unreachable, ivory tower process. Students just have to be willing to ask. Students should talk to academic department chairs or contact the CUGR team to learn about different opportunities available to them.

What do students gain through the research or creative achievement experience?
Through research and creative opportunities, undergraduates learn to problem-solve using a variety of methods to find answers. They can hone their abilities to communicate and put ideas together, to organize and write, and to investigate and ask questions. Research provides an opportunity for a mentor-mentee relationship different from a teacher-student relationship. In that context, the learning is invaluable.

Why is undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative achievement important?
More and more institutions of higher education and employers recognize that the skills developed through research and endeavors of scholarship and creative achievement make an individual more competitive in a global society. Students with early research and scholarship experience develop better critical thinking and problem-solving skills and stronger content knowledge.

What’s in it for faculty researchers?
Undergraduates often have a broader perspective, enthusiasm, and energy that are ripe for explorations and learning. One of the most rewarding processes for faculty mentors is witnessing the evolution of student learning when involved in research or the creative experience. For faculty, mentoring student explorations is an investment in tomorrow’s scholars.

How does CUGR help grow undergraduate research and creative achievement at UMaine?
In the University of Maine Strategic Plan, advancing undergraduate research with CUGR’s leadership is one of 12 objectives for the institution. We build on UMaine’s strengths as the state’s leading research university, taking advantage of the hundreds of faculty and graduate students involved in research and creative projects who can teach and mentor undergraduate researchers. CUGR also works on curriculum reform, exploring how to include research-based activities in coursework, and promotes campus-wide events to highlight undergraduate research, scholarship and creative achievement.

 

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