Student Research FAQs
Q: What do we mean by “student research”?
A: In science, “research” generally refers to working in a laboratory or field setting to conduct experiments or observations in order to answer a research question. At Bellevue University, we strongly emphasize providing research opportunities to undergraduate students. As an undergraduate science student, you will work closely with a faculty mentor to develop research questions, design experiments, learn new techniques, collect data, and analyze your data. You will also have the opportunity to present your research findings to the scientific community through conference presentations and publications.
Q: What is the time commitment for participating in undergraduate research?
A: The amount of time you spend working on a research project is up to cooperation between you and your faculty mentor. You shouldn’t let a busy schedule prevent you from pursuing research opportunities. However, in most cases, dedicating at least a few hours per week to a particular project will help you get the most out of your experience.
Q: What funding is available for undergraduate research?
A: Bellevue University is lucky to have internal funds generally provided through the Wilson Foundation. This means student research projects are not limited by lack of resources. Internal funding through the Wilson Foundation is also supplemented by external grant funding for certain projects. As a result, our students are able to use state-of-the-art techniques to address their scientific questions.
Q: Can I get paid to do undergraduate research?
A: There are several options available for students who wish to conduct undergraduate research. Some students conduct research for course credit as an independent study (IS) or credits toward their thesis (BI499). Others are provided stipends through internal or external funding sources. Work Study eligible students can get paid for up to 20 hours per week working in the laboratories.
Q: When can I get started with undergraduate research?
A: If you are interested in research, you should contact one of the Bellevue University Faculty and express your interest (Faculty/Staff). Certain courses, such as BI105: Biological Investigation, and CH115: General Chemistry I, are highly recommended before pursing independent research projects. However, passion is the most important so you should not let your inexperience stop you from contacting faculty to express your interest.
Q: How do I decide what to research?
A: It is hard to develop research questions without a strong background in the subject matter. For this reason, we recommend looking through the ongoing projects to see if something is particularly appealing. Ongoing projects have the benefit of well-established protocols and procedures, which make sure you can make an early impact with your research. Ongoing projects also leverage the work of multiple students are are more likely to culminate in a publication in a peer-reviewed journal. When you find a project that interests you, the next step is to contact the faculty member and express your interest in the project and willingness to participate.
Q: What if I already have a topic I want to explore?
A: If you are interested in a research topic that is not related to an ongoing project, you can certainly conduct your research in the Bellevue University science labs. We recommend contacting a faculty member whose expertise most closely relates to your research topic to propose your idea (Faculty/Staff).