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Why Undergraduate Research?

We understand that students who graduate without research experience have not taken full advantage of all that a comprehensive research university has to offer, so OSU leads the way in supporting undergraduate research in all fields of study. Our students who engage in undergraduate research often find their experience to be invaluable in choosing a career path, improving their likelihood of success in the workforce, and in applying for graduate school.

Our Mission

OSU has long been a national leader and innovator in scholar development, and more recently, undergraduate research. Our office’s mission is to expand and enhance student-faculty research partnerships across all disciplines at OSU. Faculty mentors at OSU have the foresight to see the immense potential that engaging in undergraduate research, regardless of the discipline, have on a student’s ability to engage with the world’s challenges.


For sophomores, juniors, and seniors, our office, in partnership with the Lew Wentz Foundation, provides around forty $4,500 Wentz Research Awards to accomplished undergraduates who have written a compelling research proposal under the mentorship of an OSU faculty member. Students in the Physical Sciences (Geology, Chemistry or Physics) are eligible for the Neil Purdie Research Scholars Program, which includes a $6,500 scholarship. Further, the Niblack Research Scholars Program, coordinated through the Office of the Vice President for Research, provides $8,000 research grants to students in the laboratory sciences. Many individual colleges and departments also offer undergraduate research opportunities.


For some students, their undergraduate research experience at OSU begins with our award-winning Freshman Research Scholars Program, funded by the Robberson Trust. Approximately ninety incoming freshmen across all five undergraduate colleges extend their education beyond the classroom by engaging in cutting-edge research under the guidance of innovative faculty members. Students who complete the program not only receive a $1,000 scholarship, but are also well prepared to apply for further research funding offered through our office.
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