What is Research?
Research is the process of creating new knowledge. Used by all disciplines, research can take on many different forms, from scientific theory testing to artistic endeavors. Depending on the field of interest, research may involve searching for information in libraries and archives, surveying and interviewing subjects, conducting fieldwork, creating models, performing computations, or composing creative works. Undergraduate research uses these same disciplinary traditions to produce results worthy of communication to others. The colleges and disciplines at the University of Maryland support all forms of research through many formal and informal research programs, from interdisciplinary projects to honors theses.Undergraduate students at the University of Maryland are encouraged to experience the excitement of contributing new knowledge or creative works to the world by conducting research. By researching, undergraduates can make a difference to society
Why Do Research?
Research is an exciting way to deepen your understanding of an academic field outside of the classroom. Research will not only expose you to a discipline’s current practices and trends, but also provide you with an opportunity for personal and professional growth. While learning more about the world and contributing to our knowledge of it, you may figure out what you want to do in it and gain valuable skills that will help you to accomplish your goals.
When you participate in undergraduate research, you will learn to:
- Think critically
- Integrate approaches to learning
- Analyze and solve problems
- Understand multiple approaches to problem solving
- Examine problems and formulate research questions
- Develop research problems on your own
- Apply problem solving skills to different areas
- Demonstrate research skills
- Communicate the results of your research
- Take responsibility for your own learning
Moreover, your research will allow you to:
- Discover what academic research involves
- Explore potential career paths
- Gain experience and skills you can talk about in graduate school applications, cover letters, and job interviews
- Develop a relationship with a faculty advisor who may serve as a reference