Undergraduate Research

Rhodes’ Undergraduate Research Program provides students with the opportunity to engage in original research and creative activity under the mentorship of faculty scholars. These inquiry-based experiences help students develop a lifelong passion for learning, a hallmark of the Rhodes Vision, and align with Rhodes’ Strategic Plan, which aims to ensure that our students graduate intellectually ready, leadership ready, and career and graduate school ready.

What is Undergraduate Research?

“A mentored investigation or creative inquiry conducted by undergraduates that seeks to make a scholarly or artistic contribution to knowledge.” (Council on Undergraduate Research)

Students Who Participate in Undergraduate Research:

  • Collaborate on original intellectual and creative work
  • Engage in inquiry-driven research in chosen field of study
  • Gain new knowledge and skills within a discipline
  • Learn techniques and methodologies used to enhance knowledge within a discipline
  • Apply knowledge and skills learned in classroom
  • Enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Enhance oral and written communication skills
  • Participate in dissemination of original scholarship through peer-reviewed, critiqued, or juried products
  • Integrate into the culture and profession of a discipline
  • Receive mentoring from faculty scholars in field of study
  • Develop skills for graduate and professional study

Opportunities for Undergraduate Research include the following, as well as several Fellowship offerings:

Rhodes Symposium

The Rhodes Symposium is an engaging annual event showcasing student work through both oral and poster presentations. Student presentations occur across the campus and highlight work in all disciplines and departments, as well as student engagement in the Memphis community.

Student Research Assistants

This program supports new or ongoing research and creative work by Rhodes faculty, and brings talented students into contact with important research and production methods in their major fields. While fostering mentor relationships between Rhodes students and faculty is one of its goals, the program is designed primarily to fund projects in which an advanced undergraduate could assist, but not actively collaborate. Typically students hired for these positions are rising Juniors or Seniors  who  have  declared  a  major  in  the  faculty  member’s  discipline; ideally  this  work  will complement the student’s program of studies.

Research and Creative Activity Opportunities

Many of our departments and programs offer students opportunities to engage in faculty-mentored research and/or creative activity. Students can receive course credit for these experiences, and are eligible to apply for fellowship funding to support their experiences. More information and example opportunities can be found with the following departments/programs: 

Rhodes Student Travel Fund

The Rhodes Student Travel Fund provides support for students to present their research or creative activity at professional conferences/meetings and also allows students to engage with a broader professional community. This fund gives students the opportunity to communicate their results to a professional audience and to experience networking with professionals in their discipline and students with similar interests.