Undergraduate Research (UGR) at Centre
Centre students often reach a point where they are ready for challenges beyond traditional classroom discussion and testing. When they are ready for a new level of discovery, Centre provides students the opportunity to become partners in learning with Centre faculty.
Undergraduate research at Centre College is mentored scholarship. Mentored scholarship is an advanced activity conducted by an undergraduate with the guidance of a faculty (or otherwise qualified) mentor that furthers the knowledge of the student and aims to make an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.
During the undergraduate research experience, which may occur as part of an advanced class specifically centered on inquiry or in an independent, out-of-class setting, students will expect to:
1. “Do the discipline,” or engage in the kinds of creative or intellectual inquiry common to the discipline in which the research is conducted, in direct and continued contact with a mentor. This includes identifying and applying the tools, methods, and concepts appropriate to the discipline.
2. Collaborate with the mentor on sustained inquiry into a particular subject, which might be generated by the student, aligned with the mentor’s research program, or a combination of these. Collaboration includes taking initiative in advancing the line of inquiry and demonstrating autonomy in the application of research methods and skills.
3. Demonstrate deeper understanding of the process of research and the ways in which their intellectual or creative work aims to contribute to the broader frameworks, expressions, and discussions in the discipline. In some cases, this understanding may be demonstrated through the creation of a scholarly product that contributes to the discipline. In others, it may be demonstrated through sustained dialogue with the faculty mentor.
The nature of the partnership may vary according to the student’s field. A drama student might ask his professor to guide him in writing and producing a play, while a chemistry major might want to join her professor for a summer of intense laboratory research. Whatever the field, this collaborative work becomes an important bridge to significant work or graduate study beyond the Centre years.
In 2013, Centre College received a four-year grant from the Mellon Foundation to broaden undergraduate research opportunities. Read detailed information about this grant.
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