Learning Beyond the Classroom

Why should you engage in research or scholarly work with a faculty member?


A research mentor can connect a student to a huge range of people within their field of study. From other undergraduate students and graduate students to top research professionals, the student has the opportunity to start building interpersonal connections. These can be extremely valuable in finding future opportunities, and can also help the student build a network of support. Fellow researchers can help offer advice, constructive criticism on work, and mentorship. Additionally, most students involved in research have the opportunity to present their work with a poster and/or slideshow at a conference at OSU, in Oregon, or even across the country! These conferences and symposiums are great opportunities for further networking and skill building - to see what other research is currently ongoing, meet professionals in the field, and to practice presenting and communicating your work.



"I never realized how important networking was until my undergraduate research experience led me to a great paid internship in Portland."

             - Hawii Boriyo (Third Year, Mechanical Engineering)



"My research in renewable energy lead to a paid internship working with and learning about electric vehicles"

          -Hawii Boriyo (Third Year, Mechanical Engineering)

Future Opportunities

Research experiences can add a valuable component to a resume or CV. It can help make a student competitive when applying for graduate school and job positions. Additionally, the student's mentor and other connections made through networking opportunities can help connect the student to future opportunities and can provide references or even letters of recommendation. The skills and experience gained through research can help a student pursue and excel in challenging professional positions in their future career.

Fun and unique experiences!

From nanoparticles to zebrafish, fossils to cancer cells, tide pools to forests to deserts, centrifuging to scuba diving - the possible study species, systems, and techniques that can go along with a research project are virtually limitless! That means that there's something interesting, engaging, and exciting for just about everyone in the research world. Research isn't just about results - it's also about the methods, and that can often be an invaluable and enjoyable experience, and can add immensely to a student's personal, unique story. become an expert



The URSA engage program helped clarify my career goals, gave me the opportunity to make a difference in an environmental topic that I care about and paved the way fro my current research position and potentially my honors thesis. “

                 - Matthew B. 

Other Benefits

  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills

  • Writing skills (especially in styles specific to peer reviewed publishing) 

  • Presentation skills

  • Communication skills

  • Professionalism

  • Get valuable experience in a field of interest

  • Accountability and responsibility

  • Confidence

  • Curiosity

  • Technical skills in the lab and/or field

  • Become an expert in your field

  • Learn what you like and do not like

  • Make money, earn credit, and/or get Transcript Notation