Undergraduate Research

Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity

The National Survey of Student Engagement reports that UNK students participate in out-of-class research in higher numbers than at many of our nation’s more elite institutions. Undergraduate research is a particular strength of UNK's learning environment. Students in all disciplines are encouraged to participate in independent research and creative activity. This enables you to apply your new knowledge and skills to unique challenges of your choosing. Working closely with faculty mentors, you will engage in an academic endeavor that further develops critical thinking, project management, and presentation skills that will be valuable in a lifetime of learning.  Students present their completed projects on campus twice yearly through the Fall Student Research Symposium and Student Research Day held in the latter half of the fall and spring semesters, respectively. Through poster sessions, oral presentations, musical performances, and art exhibitions, these venues showcase students' original scholarly works. Many students also present their projects at conferences sponsored by other institutions. For example, UNK has a reputation for sponsoring a high number of our students' presentations at the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).

Funding Opportunities

Multiple programs offer funding to assist students in conducting research or creative projects. Check out these possibilities:

  • Undergraduate Research Council’s Student Research Support -- Qualifying student researchers can receive up to $400 to cover the cost of supplies and operating expenses to work with a mentor.
  • Undergraduate Research Fellows (URF) -- Supports student research and creative activity projects with a $1,000 stipend.
  • Summer Student Research Program (SSRP) --  This program is unique in that each summer's participants meet regularly to challenge and support each other while learning about research in other disciplines. The SSRP pays out a $3,250 stipend over the summer while the student researcher works with a faculty mentor to design, conduct, and present original scholarship work.
  • Individual disciplines and departments have other, more specific and less formal opportunities, so talk with your advisor to learn more about those possibilities.
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports summer student research programs at colleges and universities across the country. These programs, called Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) typically focus on an individual academic discipline. UNK students can apply to these programs and spend their summer doing research while earning a stipend. Visit the NSF REU Site to read about these opportunities.
  • The Council on Undergraduate Research is a national non-profit organization that supports and promotes high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.  Publications, conferences, and workshops are all designed to support institutions and faculty in the improvement of student research opportunities.
  • Nebraska EPSCoR offers $5000 grants to science faculty for research that involves undergraduate students. 

Student Presentation Opportunities 

  • NCUR is the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, where students from across the country present their scholarly work in an academic forum.  UNK typically sends a large delegation of students each year. 
  • The Undergraduate Research Journal is an annual UNK publication of student academic papers of all disciplines.

Faculty mentors can submit citations from student publications and presentations.  These will be posted on the UGR webpage. 

Poster Printing Information 

For more information on these programs, contact the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity, Conrad Hall #115, 308-865-8702.