At Unity College, our students get involved in research on a wide variety of subjects – even as an incoming freshman. Because of our low student to faculty ratio and strong commitment to applied learning, Unity students have easier access to engage in research compared to students at other, larger institutions.
Research is definitely rewarding, and there are other benefits as well. Unity College students have opportunities to present the results of their research at at regional, national and professional society meetings, on-campus twice a year at the Student Conference.
What is Undergraduate Research?
Undergraduate research is "an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline" www.cur.org. This novel work may be accomplished in any discipline either within or outside the classroom. Unity College is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and as a result has access to the latest information on trends in undergraduate research, funding, conferences, and more.
Why is Undergraduate Research important?
Together with their faculty mentors, students work on transdisciplinary projects and in doing so, form strong connections with faculty and other outside organizations. Students engaged in undergraduate research experience personal growth, develop confidence in their work, and advance their critical thinking skills. Statistics show that students who conduct research as part of their undergraduate education are more likely to continue with professional education; enter into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields; and are twice as likely to consider continuing on to pursue graduate school.
How to get involved?
Unity College has numerous outlets for students to participate in undergraduate research including credit-bearing research classes, work study opportunities, thesis classes, and classroom-based research projects. Our research program also sponsors a grants program, The Student Academic Engagement Fund Award, to help students cover the costs associated with their research. We can also help connect students with external funding agencies. Information sessions are offered regularly throughout the year to keep students up-to-date and informed with all research-related activities going on.
SAEF Award – Student Academic Engagement Fund Award
The SAEF will award up to $500.00 to any student in a given semester to be used to complete a research project, present at a professional society meeting, or fulfill some other academic pursuit deemed eligible by the committee. Proposals are reviewed on a competitive basis at the beginning of each semester.
Project Assistant/Project Leader
Unity College has two courses designed to give students an outlet to work closely with faculty members on research projects, outreach opportunities, or program initiatives outside of traditional classes. The Project Leader designation is reserved for students who take the initiative to develop these opportunities.
Creative Thesis, Senior Thesis I and II and Applied Thesis Options
Unity College students in any discipline can pursue a thesis, where students work closely with faculty advisors to develop a research topic, implement a rigorous lab, field or studio based project and present this original thesis work in a public forum.
The Director of Undergraduate Research is Dr. Kevin M. Spigel (firstname.lastname@example.org) supported by Dr. Pieter deHart (email@example.com). The Undergraduate Research Program is housed within the School of Biodiversity Conservation led by Dr. Pamela MacRae, Dean.