Why Work with Undergraduates

Why Work with Undergraduates

In some disciplines, it may not be commonplace to work with undergraduates on academic research, scholarly writing, or creative projects. But in all disciplines, engagement in undergraduate research (UR) is an important and growing trend .

How does it benefit me and my research?

With the myriad pressures placed on faculty members’ time and the increasing standards for scholarship and research at John Jay, you are right to ask, “What’s in it for me?” when it comes to involving undergraduates in your research. Faculty already face a high teaching load and contribute countless hours of service to the College. If getting students involved in research would reduce efficiency or productivity, those aiming for timely tenure and promotion would be foolish to do so. So why should you be interested in bringing undergraduates into your research or creative efforts?

Simply put, undergraduates can boost your research productivity!

That’s right, a student research assistant, when properly trained and mentored, can shoulder some of the workload of your research efforts. It is true that the model of the student apprentice is more obviously applicable to some disciplines than others. However, faculty all over the country, from the social sciences to the arts, are discovering that undergraduates can be productive, even essential components of their research practice.

The OUR can help. Contact us and we can share some resources with you from your discipline. We also would be happy to meet with you and link you with faculty members in your discipline, either at John Jay or from another institution, who have engaged undergraduates in their research and found great success in doing so.

There are also numerous funding mechanisms that are specifically tailored to support undergraduate research with faculty members. See additional resources below for specific examples.

Faculty Development

We have a faculty development event on February 18, 2011. Please reserve your spot at this important event. On this day, we will have experts from the humanities and the social sciences that are trained in how to teach us effective and creative methods of engaging undergraduates in our own unique scholarly process. Send us an email to reserve your spot and take advantage of this exciting opportunity.


Please visit the links below to explore sources of grant funding to support your research efforts with undergraduates.