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Any student interested in enhancing their academic and overall MSU experience should take advantage of undergraduate research.

Undergraduate research at MSU provides academic enhancement for students and faculty

Morehead State University has a long history of support for undergraduate research and embraces faculty mentorship as a means of enhancing student engagement, retention and critical thinking skills.  

Undergraduate research promotes the academic and intellectual culture of our campus through the support of student and faculty scholarship, where research is broadly defined to include the scholarly and creative activities of all disciplines.   

“Research outside of the traditional classroom improves a student’s understanding of their academic discipline; enhances life-long learning skills; is viewed favorably by potential employers, graduate and professional schools; and increases self-confidence and academic recognition,” said Dr. Michael Henson, associate provost for research and dean of the Graduate School. 

One of the programs that allow students to benefit from undergraduate research is MSU’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship program. This highly competitive program provides an opportunity where students are encouraged and financially supported to work as junior colleagues with faculty mentors engaged in all types of disciplinary scholarship. Applications for this competitive fellowship program are accepted from full-time undergraduate students who meet one or more of the following criteria:  

  • ACT composite score of 24 or higher;  
  • Overall cumulative and within major GPA of 3.0 or higher; and/or   
  • Other evidence of research/scholarship potential.  

To apply to be a Fellow, faculty mentors must agree to mentor the applicant in their active (e.g., publications, grants, exhibitions, performances, etc.) research/creative productions program. Students who apply and are accepted may work up to 15 hours per week during the academic year with starting pay at $7.50/hour. The limited number of fellowships available are renewable for up to four years with satisfactory progress.  

Students may be supported in multiple paths to success in research and creative activity. These include:  

  • The annual MSU Celebration of Student Scholarship and the statewide Posters-at-the-Capitol event, which showcase faculty-mentored student projects in all disciplines.   
  • MSU’s enhanced institutional memberships in the Council for Undergraduate Research and the Kentucky Academy of Science provide free individual memberships in these organizations to all interested faculty, staff and students.  
  • MSU Research and Sponsored Programs offers a matching travel fund, which provides support for students presenting their scholarly works at professional meetings.  
  • MSU provides a free large-format poster printing service for all students presenting their scholarly work at meetings of the Kentucky Academy of Science, Posters-at-the-Capitol and the annual MSU Celebration of Student Scholarship.   

Henson said he highly encourages any student interested in enhancing their academic and overall MSU experience to take advantage of undergraduate research – even first-year students.  

“Students who have a firm grip on their classroom studies may request to begin their research work with a faculty mentor as a first-year student; starting slowly at first and increasing their involvement in a specific area over four years until graduation from MSU,” he said. “This can result in completing a series of related projects that could collectively constitute a very significant achievement.”  

For more information on undergraduate research at MSU, students should first contact their professors, advisor, department chair and/or college dean for advice on obtaining a faculty mentor in their discipline or visit www.moreheadstate.edu/undergraduateresearch. To learn more about MSU’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, email Evan Prellberg, coordinator for undergraduate research, at eprellberg@moreheadstate.edu or call 606-783-2010. 

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