Why Undergraduate Research?

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Fan Gongxiu Honors College is a place where scholarly activity and innovation are valued and encouraged. Allowing our students to participate in a themed research/design environment engages their intellectual curiosity, satisfies their thirst for discovery, and gives them an outlet for their creativity.

The following reasons answer some of your questions or doubts regarding why we design a three-phase research plan (Cornerstone-Keystone-Capstone) for you in the curriculum.

  1. Learning in Action. A lot of learning occurs when undergraduate students do research–learning that does not happen during traditional coursework. Textbook knowledge is reinforced and more completely assimilated when you are given the opportunities to apply that knowledge.
  2. Preliminary to Research. Research invariably leads to a better understanding of and a deeper appreciation for the discipline under investigation. It thus enhances your understanding and knowledge of your academic field as well as clarifies your academic, career, and personal interests. Your career goals are usually getting focused after you participate in research. How do you know you will enjoy being a materials engineer, for example, without getting a chance to do some of the thinking, researching and writing that a materials engineer does?
  3. Growth through Challenge. Research is also a significant confidence booster. The more you are mentally stretched (wrestling with surprising results or unanswered questions or pertinence to previous studies), the greater your sense of accomplishment upon completion of the project. This is especially true when you are in a team with a caring and encouraging faculty member.
  4. Management with Multi-task. Research also helps hone quite a lot learning skills in communication (written and oral), critical thinking, problem-solving, intellectual independence, budgeting, teamwork, and time management. The hands-on research techniques that build up along with your progress will be a life-long personal asset.
  5. Journey with Inspiration. Establishing a one-on-one relationship with a faculty mentor is another big advantage of undergraduate participation in research. Students benefit from the wisdom, knowledge, and experience of a mentor, while faculty members benefit from the questions students ask, the discoveries they make and the energy they bring to the project.
  6. Case-study for Real. Working in a lab gives you a glimpse of the true life of scientists who work in an academic setting. Oftentimes, you are surprised at the time which scientists must invest in planning experiments, writing grants, and reporting their findings.
  7. Résumé as Elite. Of course, scholarly activity also helps earn academic credits, competitive national/international scholarships, and/or awards of different types. But, more importantly, it helps gain academic credentials that make your résumés more attractive to graduate schools and prospective employers, and gives faculty mentors the ability to write more detailed letters of recommendation. Successful completion of a research project involves many add-ons on your résumés, such as presenting at the BJUT Sci-Tech Showcase or other conferences, publishing, patenting, and working with a world-class research team.

With a self-initiated/faculty-guided research project, you take advantage to make the most of your college experience, and leave BJUT with a product that represents the distillation of your interests and studies, and possibly, a real contribution to knowledge. We believe you will also become one of the alumni who have reported more satisfaction and higher gains after participating in undergraduate research. Get ready and hit the road now!