Undergraduates, Faculty Collaborate in Summer Research Experiences

This summer, dozens of College of Liberal Arts & Sciences undergraduate students from varied majors and disciplines will gain experience in research through UNC Charlotte initiatives that emphasize learn-by-doing models. They also will benefit from professional development opportunities, mentoring and interactions with each other.

Over 30 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences undergraduate students who are part of the Charlotte Research Scholars Program will conduct research projects on diverse topics, including cystic fibrosis characteristics, attitudes toward immigration, body self-image, air quality, pancreatic cancer, the future of conservation through a Victorian lens, and other subjects.

As student scholars, they will join with students from across the university in this in-depth research experience. Along with the students, a similar number of CLAS faculty are serving as one-to-one mentors for students in the program.

The summer program started in 2012 for high-achieving undergraduate students to gain experience in research and professional development in their field of interest. These opportunities are not always available in the undergraduate classroom. This learn-by-doing model places an emphasis on graduate education and allows the scholars to put their experiential learning into practice, preparing them to excel in their future studies and research.

Faculty with student doing presentationIn addition to mentored research activities, scholars participate in weekly professional development training to build skills critical to professional success.  Topics include responsible conduct of research, developing a competitive research fellowship application, preparing an academic resume, professional communication tools, and a session on preparing for graduate school.

Other summer research activities also are going on in 2018 that will involve college students and faculty, including several Research Experience for Undergraduates Programs and the Charlotte Community Scholars Program, which began in 2015 as a sister program to the Charlotte Research Scholars Program. Students work directly with a faculty mentor and a community partner on an engaged scholarship project, participate in weekly professional development meetings with other undergraduate research students, and present their research findings at the annual Charlotte Research Symposium, the capstone event for all of the undergraduate research programs.

Images show students presenting at a previous Charlotte Research Symposium.

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