Lab WorkResearch

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Lab Work

For undergraduate students, one advantage of attending a comprehensive research university, such as SIUC, is the opportunity to participate in research, scholarly and creative activities, and work one-on-one with talented members of our faculty on campus or in the field. 

What is research?

  • It's finding answers to tough questions and solutions to nagging problems.
  • It's discovering new knowledge and interpretations in your field of special interest.
  • It's the ultimate exciting, challenging, hands-on learning experience. It's happening all over this campus, every day and in every department and college.

Why should an undergraduate pursue research projects?

  • Because you're motivated and genuinely excited by your studies.
  • Because you're curious ... about nature, about society, about artistic expression.
  • Because it's more fun to learn by doing.
  • Because it allows you to know your professors better and work with experts in your field.
  • Because you'll learn about the newest methods and technologies.
  • Because you're contributing new knowledge about our world.
  • Because it looks great on your resume.
  • Because it helps you make decisions about your future education and career.
  • Because it helps you learn more about your field and its opportunities.
  • Because it teaches you critical thinking skills valuable in any job.
  • Because it prepares you for graduate-level study.

  How can I become a student researcher?

  • Find a topic: think about what you are interested in, what you want to learn more about, and what your existing skills are.
  • Find a mentor: talk to your undergraduate advisor, a professor, or a graduate student about your interests, departmental opportunities, and faculty/student projects and supervisors.
  • Professors and graduate students often welcome the assistance of undergraduate volunteers on projects. Volunteering is a great way to learn skills that might get you a paid research assistant position later.
  • Talk to a professor about taking an independent research course with him or her on a subject of interest.
  • Take advantage of internships advertised in your department or college.
  • Take advantage of opportunities offered by research centers on campus.
  • Participate in the University Honors Program and/or departmental honors courses.

Saluki Scholars Research Opportunity (SSRO)

The Saluki Scholars Research Opportunity (SSRO) seeks to provide research and creative activity assistantships to enhance the scholarship of students in Illinois Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ILSAMP), McNair Scholars Program, Saluki Research Rookies Program, or University Honors Program (UHP) by engaging in faculty-mentored undergraduate research projects throughout the academic year. This is a tremendous opportunity to engage and explore in a more concentrated area of your major area with the assistance of a faculty mentor.

Apply: Saluki Scholars Research Opportunity Application (SSRO)

Please note that this application is editable. You can complete the required Cover Sheet and the Faculty Recommendation page online and print the completed copy for submission with the rest of the application. Students are responsible for submitting all the application materials to the University Honors Program, Office of Major Scholarship Advisement, Morris Library, Room 110 C.

Faculty Sponsors will need to complete part VII, the Faculty Recommendation portion of the application, which includes the completed and signed Faculty Recommendation form, and an attached letter of support.

Please contact Pam Gwaltney at or 618-453-3471 if you have any questions.