Research universities offer special advantages for their undergraduate students:
- All students benefit by having instructors who are teacher/scholars vitally interested in their areas of expertise. These instructors often are at the top of their fields, enabling them to inform students of the latest discoveries as soon as, or even before they are published.
- Not all colleges and universities can offer a full array of the latest topics for undergraduates to study. Usually, the really hot areas of research and the instructional programs that accompany them are found only at research universities where the faculty can attract extra mural funding to conduct the often expensive research.
- A self selected group of students benefits from being able to do hands-on research from an early stage in their careers. Those students who become committed to scientific research early in their programs of study often are able to perform independent research and pursue their own research projects.
- Some research students are able to travel to national, and even international, scientific meetings to present papers or posters. Undergraduate students in our department recently have traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia; Portland, Oregon; Athens, Georgia; and St. Louis, Missouri.
- Research-savvy students often are the most successful competitors for positions in highly ranked graduate and professional schools.
- If the love of research and the excitement of discovery were not enough pay back for long hours in the lab, some students obtain course credit or salary for their efforts. A number of special grants written by faculty members provide funding for summer research students. In addition most faculty members with research funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation can obtain supplemental funding for support of undergraduate students.