Student-Faculty Research Collaborative


Students in the Roth Planetarium
Students explore the universe in the Roth Planetarium during their Concepts in Earth and Space Science (SCED 342) class.  (Matt Bates/University Photographer/Chico State)


I have never conducted research before. Can I participate?
  • Yes! Find our “getting started” tab to start your research journey.

What if I am a freshman or transfer student?

  • Great! All students are welcome to conduct research.

What counts as research? I am not interested in the STEM fields. 

  • In addition to the many research opportunities in the STEM fields, research can be conducted on virtually every other subject imaginable. Politics? Art? Music? Criminal Justice? Poetry? Agriculture? If you can think of it, it can be researched. We currently have students who research the historical context of costume design in theater, who study indigenous languages, who work in the Turner Museum doing archival work, and who work alongside biologists, psychologists, nutritionists, and faculty from a full range of disciplines. Ask your faculty about their research projects, visit the department Chair for your department, or look for opportunities on your department website.

Are there any grants or scholarships I could win with my research?

How could undergraduate research help with applying to grad school?

  • Graduate programs often invite students to talk about their research experiences or submit a writing sample as part of the application. Engaging in undergraduate research gives you the opportunity to talk from authentic experiences in your graduate program applications, but more importantly, gives you research experience that can serve you well in graduate school.
How can undergraduate research help me start a career?
  •  Similar to graduate school applications, research experience is a great entrance into professional work. Not only will you research interesting ideas, but you’ll have a chance at the kinds of professionalization that employers value such as working with a research team and a number of organizational skills.

Do I need a formal “research advisor”?

  • A faculty or staff member is a valuable resource for your research efforts. They can also provide connections to other students and faculty who are interested in similar ideas or who have job opportunities. Faculty in most departments are available to mentor independent study projects as well. Visit office hours and talk with your faculty about ideas and curiosities you would like to pursue.

What rules are there for conducting research on campus?

I heard about a research opportunity, but it is not listed on this website. Can the SFRC help me with it?

  • Yes! No matter your interests or institutional affiliations, we can help guide your journey. You might start by emailing the Undergraduate Research Coordinator who can work to connect you with faculty. Link to their contact information is on the homepage of our site.

How can I present my research?

Can I get units or pay for conducting research?

Additional Resources for Faculty

Professor Deserea Langley teaching American Indian Storytelling

Multicultural & Gender Studies Department (MCGS) Assistant Professor Deserea Langley teaching American Indian Storytelling/Oral Narrative (AIST 365). (Jason Halley/University Photographer/Chico State)

Here are questions to consider as faculty design courses to support undergraduate research

  • What does it mean to be a political scientist? An engineer? An artist? A health administrator? A rhetorician? 
    • How do you move through the world and see the world in your discipline? What questions guide your field?
    • What are the tools of your discipline? Do students have access to those same tools?
    • What spaces do you inhabit, including digital spaces? Computer scientists occupy spaces in GitHub. For other faculty, the answer would not be a digital space at all; it might be “in a creek” or “on a mountain” or “surrounded by cows.” Are students in those spaces with you?
    • Why should students take your course or take on the identities offered in your field of study? Who do they get to become in your course?

Offered below are a range of assignments from various disciplines that embed undergraduate research opportunities into course content. 

Example freshman project: Wildcat Artifact Collection & Fieldnotes: Link here (Google Doc)

Professor Sangmin Lee’s Development of Children’s Art Research Project: Link here(opens in new window)

Professor Ashlyn Weaver’s Archival Research Project: Link here (Google Doc)

Professor Deserea Langley’s Oral History Project: Link here (Google Slide)

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) website(opens in new window) has a broad range of support for faculty, including grant opportunities, program design resources, publishing opportunities, and community and networks. 

Faculty Development Learning Communities (FLC): check the FDEV site(opens in new window) and their Tuesday Tip emails for rotating opportunities to support teaching and research. Each fall, Undergraduate Research, in partnership with FDEV, will offer an FLC specifically focused on supporting course-based undergraduate research design. 

Additional Resources for Students

Scholarly Journals for Undergraduate Research(opens in new window). This site offers a robust list of places for students to publish their research.

Try This: Research Methods for Writers(opens in new window). Great resource for getting started with data collection and analysis aimed at undergraduates and newcomers to research projects. 

Chico State’s Librarians are a phenomenal resource for getting started on research.You can email or schedule an appointment with a librarian who specializes in your major. You can contact them via this link.(opens in new window)