Undergraduate research involves a non-classroom, in-depth research project, conducted by an undergraduate student, done with the supervision of a faculty mentor.
There are numerous opportunities within the department of political science to conduct undergraduate research. This provides an opportunity to work on an issue, question, country, or case in a great deal of detail. In addition, conducting undergraduate research allows a student to work more closely in a collaborative and mentoring context with a professor. It is an opportunity that provides skills that a student can use regardless of their future career or educational path.
On top of the academic and collaborative benefits that come from undergraduate research there are tangible benefits, as well. The university can provide grants that support the research, stipends to support students over the summer, and numerous opportunities to present the results of the research. The department provides willing mentors who can ably guide students in their undergraduate research experience. In addition, the department is working on developing a scholarship geared toward participants in undergraduate research.
Lots! Here's a short list of some of the topics that have been covered:
Start at UW-Whitewater's Undergraduate Research program homepage. Here, you will find a great deal of information on deadlines, grants, and other opportunities related to undergraduate research.
In addition, you also might have a look at the homepage of the National Conferences of Undergraduate Research (NCUR). NCUR holds an annual undergraduate research conference at which UWW students are well represented.
Finally, have a look at a list of the faculty on the political science website. Perhaps one of them shares a research interest with you. Or you might simply talk to a professor with whom you share a research interest. You might learn something, develop skills that you can use in the future, or decide that you, too, would like to be a political scientist!
There are many opportunities to present undergraduate research. Here's a picture of political science student Stephanie Abbott with provost Beverly Kopper at Posters in the Rotunda on April 6, 2011.