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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Undergraduate Research Center
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Frequently Asked Questions

Page address:

Getting Started:

How do I get started?
Visit our Getting Involved page to learn more about the steps in conducting and presentign research, scholarly, and creative activities with the URC.

Where is the Undergraduate Research Center located?
The URC is located in Morris Hall 265 and shares an office with the Honors Department.

What hours is the Undergraduate Research Center open?
The student lounge in the URC has computers, tables, couches, and free printing for URC students. It is open from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm Monday through Thursday and 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Friday.

Research and Creative Activity:

Why should I do research as an undergraduate?
Undergraduate research is an opportunity to perform in-depth study, gain transferable skills, develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, define academic and professional interests, and form relationships with mentors, professors, and other students.

Who can do research as an undergraduate and what kind of projects have been done?
Any undergraduate can conduct research. Topics of past research have ranged from creative projects (short films, painting, photography, sculpture) to more traditional areas of experimental research (Biology, Chemistry, Geology, etc.). To browse past projects, check out past Undergraduate Research Symposium Proceedings.

Can I pursue a research project outside of my major department?
Many students choose to do research under a faculty mentor in their department, however, if you would like to expand your horizons and can find a faculty mentor in another department, feel free to explore options outside your major.

I want to do undergraduate research but do not have a specific project in mind. What should I do?
You can browse past creative works or research on the URC website, talk to your faculty mentor (some mentors have projects of their own that students can work on as well), ask other student researchers about their projects, or look online at journals within your field to learn about current research directions.

What if I want to conduct research on live participants?
The IRB and IACUC approve research with human participants and animal subjects, respectively. Information on the approval process for the IRB and IACUC can be found on their websites.

Grants and Funding:

How can I get funding?
The URC processes grant applications in the fall and spring. Your college or department may also have funding opportunities available. Talk with your advisor or faculty mentor about these options.

How can I spend my grant money?
Instructions on managing your grant can be found on the URC website.

Does the URC pay for printing posters?
If you receive a grant, that supply money is meant to fund posters, handouts, or other printing needs associated with your research proposal. The URC will give provide you with a cost center number that can be used to complete your on-campus purchases. To make purchases off-campus, talk with your faculty mentor to go through your department. Departments typically prefer that students make purchases off-campus up front, then reimburse them from the department or using your cost center number from the URC.

I received a grant, but it wasn't enough. What can I do?
Your college or department may be able to provide the necessary funds to complete your project. Work with your faculty mentor to allocate funding for needs not covered by your URC grant. Projects that have received funding through the URC are ineligible to re-apply for URC grants.



What is a faculty mentor and why do I need one?
Faculty Mentors oversee and direct undergraduate research. Some mentors have dedicated research teams of graduate and undergraduate which pursue existing projects, some prefer to work with undergraduate students one-on-one. Having a faculty mentor is essential for many aspects of undergraduate research. Submitting a grant proposal, applying for IRB or IACUC approval, and use of certain facilities all require the undergraduate researcher to have a faculty mentor

How do I find a faculty mentor?
There are a few different ways to find a faculty mentor. The URC posts listings of available undergraduate research positions on the website. Talking with your advisor or other undergraduate researchers about mentoring can be a useful tool as well. Getting involved with student organizations may also lead to research opportunities.


Conferences and Presenting Research:

Where can I present my research?
There are various local, regional, and national conferences at which students can apply to present their research. There may also be opportunities to present at conferences associated with your field. Talk to your faculty mentor to learn about these conferences.
MSU Mankato’s Undergraduate Research Symposium
MN Undergraduate Scholars
Posters at St. Paul
Posters on the Hill
National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Can I present more than one project?
Undergraduates can present more than one project. Separate applications must be submitted for multiple projects.

How can I present my project at the Creative Works Gallery? Do I have to present a poster to be eligible?
Creative works that have been shared in either a URS presentation or a poster session may be considered for display in the URS Creative Works Exhibition following the Symposium. The purpose of the exhibit is to give a space for the viewing of the finished works after the students have been able to present and discuss their works with Symposium attendees.

What do I have to do to present at the URS? Do I have to be a grant recipient to participate?
Undergraduates who receive a grant from the URC are required to present their research at the URS. If you are not awarded a grant, you can apply to present at the URS by March 7th, 2013. 

Can I invite my family and friends to the URS and the URS Celebration Dinner?

Yes! The URC encourages family and friends of URS presenters to support their student in their research, scholarly, and creative activities. Both presenters and attendees are welcome to stay for the URS Celebration Dinner.

What is the JUR and how do I submit my research for publication?
The Journal of Undergraduate Research is dedicated to the publication of Minnesota State Mankato undergraduate research in all academic disciplines. It is an online peer-reviewed journal published annually. The deadline for submission to the 2014 edition of the JUR is May 15, 2013