What is Undergraduate Research?

You can participate in research in various ways during your time at NIU. Each discipline and department also has different expectations of how undergraduate students will get involved in research and artistry. Below, you can find just a few of the typical ways that you can get involved:

Assist on a Faculty-Initiated Project

This experience allows you to join a research or artistry project that is already established. In some disciplines, this might mean you would work individually with a faculty member by transcribing interviews, finding relevant literature or helping to write a publication. In other disciplines, this might mean you would join a research lab, either as a volunteer or as an employee.

This experience can be helpful if you are interested in learning about the research process, but you aren’t ready to launch your own project quite yet. If this is the right opportunity for you, visit our Research Rookies and our Summer Research Opportunities Program page.

Student-Initiated Research Project

This experience allows you to work individually or with a group to develop and complete your own faculty-mentored research or creative project. Working with a research mentor on campus, you would be able to pursue your own interests and ideas.

Depending on your academic department, there are often opportunities to receive course credit for independent research projects, but you can also conduct research without receiving credit. Individual projects often result in a senior thesis, publication or poster or oral presentation to share your research results with others. If this is the right opportunity for you, visit our Student Engagement Fund and Undergraduate Special Opportunities in Artistry and Research program page.

Contact Us

Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning
Altgeld Hall 100

Business Hours

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.