Conducting a research project as an undergraduate is a great way to delve deeper into a specific topic in your studies that is of particular interest to you and hone skills that will be useful in your future career or graduate studies. Students can also gain course credit for their research project by enrolling in ACE 295 (Independent Study) or ACE 396 Honors Research or Thesis).
In order to start a research project, you need a faculty supervisor and an idea of what you would like to research. A good place to begin is by contacting faculty working in areas of interest to you and discussing the possibility of having them supervise a research project. This is a great chance to tell them your idea for a project or ask for input on what you should study. Students in Agricultural and Consumer Economics have a wide variety of topics to choose from. To get an idea of the breadth of research topics available, you can view previous research projects conducted by ACE students. The ACE Department Faculty Directory lists faculty and their research interests and publications.
Undergraduate Research Awards
Juniors and seniors who have conducted a research project are also eligible for the annual ACE Undergraduate Research Award. Research projects may be submitted that have met James Scholar honors requirements, been written for research classes, or developed from independent studies or from any class where you have worked on a project or paper and made an original contribution. A first and second place award is given to students who are the primary author on a research piece that generates new knowledge.
If you are looking to gain research experience outside of an independent study course, you can also look into research courses for advanced undergraduate students and master’s students.