Each academic discipline has its own definition of research. Research can be a process of discovery, a process of interpretation, or the development of solutions to a problem. Academic research generally entails in-depth analysis and systematic inquiry that leads to new results, meanings, or products.
At the Office of Student Research, research is an inclusive term that includes many forms of inquiry, scholarly creativity, and innovation. Student research is systematic inquiry or investigation conducted by a student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.
The best way to learn about research is to talk to your instructors, advisors, a librarian or your peers who are engaged in research close to your interests. You can also email us for more information at StudentResearch@IllinoisState.edu if you are unsure where to start.
Collaborate with Faculty
Student research encompasses diverse activities that occur in the context of specific courses or as independent scholarship. Illinois State University provides opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to develop research and scholarly inquiry skills.
The Office of Student Research fosters all kinds of student research, creative scholarship, and innovation that is:
Conducted according to standards in their discipline.
Disseminated in the ways appropriate to their discipline.
Developed in conjunction with a faculty mentor.
Student research projects may be:
Faculty-initiated: These projects are usually part of a faculty member's research program. Students assist with research or become part of the faculty member's research team.
Student-initiated: These are projects in which the student is the primary investigator, but receives guidance from a faculty mentor.
However, faculty mentorship and disciplinary standards are the key to student research at Illinois State.