Research Experience Program
KU's Research Experience Program (REP) is an undergraduate certificate program in which students learn content and skills via classes, apply and integrate what they've learned via a research/creative project, present the project, and then reflect on the progress they've made. Completion of the REP certificate appears on a student's official transcript, communicating to others the student's educational experiences unique to an international research university like KU.
Benefits to you:
- KU Core: Completion of the REP certificate counts towards KU Core Goal 6.
- Integration: Tie together your coursework and out-of-class experiences through a faculty-mentored project.
- Discovery: Expand on your coursework to investigate the topics and issues that matter to you.
- Recognition: Have your efforts recognized by an official REP certificate designation on your KU transcript.
Steps to Complete the Research Experience Program Certificate
Register online by logging into your myKU Portal and clicking on the "Academics" tab. Select REP Certificate, and track your progress by submitting each step as you go.
Note: Students must complete all of the requirements and apply for graduation from the certificate program before they complete their undergraduate degree at KU.
Selecting Your Classes
The classes you select for your Research Experience Program certificate should prepare you to complete your project. If you haven't gotten started in research yet, talk to your major advisor about what classes would help you prepare for doing a research/creative project in your field. If you've already found a research mentor for your project, talk to your mentor about what courses will be most helpful as you complete the project. We recommend considering these questions as you select your courses:
- Are there courses available to teach me the methods and techniques I need to learn for this project or research in this field?
- Which courses teach the content knowledge that provides the foundation for this project or research in this field?
For example, a student who plans to produce a documentary about sustainable farming practices might select courses titled "EVRN 123: Sustainability and agricultural practice" and "FMS 456: Documentary filmmaking." For this hypothetical example, the student will learn some content knowledge from the sustainability course and the techniques of documentary practice from the FMS course. Each course helps the student acquire competency as a researcher in the field.
AP credit: If you received a 3+ on both the Research and the Seminar AP courses you can have 3 hours of the REP coursework waived. In order to claim this waiver, submit "AP Research" as course #1 in the myKU portal. You will still need to select a second course toward completion of the coursework requirement.
If you have any questions, you can contact the REP coordinator at email@example.com
Frequently Asked Questions
What is REP?
REP is short for the Research Experience Program. REP is one of 6 certificate programs offered at KU that recognize a combination of your coursework and academic experiences and appear on your transcript. The Center for Undergraduate Research runs the Research Experience Program. We're located in 151 Strong Hall.
Do I have to pay any fees to complete REP?
No, there are no extra fees required to complete the REP certificate.
How can I register for REP?
Go to your myKU Portal, click on the "Academics" tab, and then select the REP certificate to begin the process.
How do I complete REP?
Take a look at the "Steps" tab. In a nut shell, you should take two classes related to your project, do a mentored research/creative project, present it publicly, reflect, and then apply for graduation from REP.
What if I’ve already taken the classes or started doing research. Is it too late to register for the REP certificate?
If you've already completed the requirements for the REP certificate, but haven't registered you have options. You should still register for the certificate through your myKU Portal. If you've already started your research, you will still need to fill out a research contract, you'll just be filling it out as a reflection on what you've done rather than as a plan for what you'll accomplish.
When is the deadline to apply for REP?
At the very latest, you need to apply for graduation during the semester that you graduate. You don't need to have finished all requirements before letting us know that you intend to graduate from the program this semester.
I'll be finishing up my last required course right as I graduate. Can I still apply even though I don't know my class grade?
You should still apply once you know you'll be completing the requirements. Don't wait until after you graduate to apply.
Can any class count for the REP certificate?
Yes, any KU class can count for the certificate, as long as it teaches you content knowledge, methods, or techniques that you might need to complete your project. Talk with your major advisor or research mentor to decide which classes would prepare you for a project in your major.
I've taken the coursework, how do I get involved in a research project?
You might start by reading the Center for Undergraduate Research's webpage about Getting Started. If you have more questions, you can stop in at our drop-in office hours on Fridays from 10am-12pm (no appointment needed). If you are not available during office hours, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to set up a meeting to talk about getting started in research for your REP certificate.
When will my REP certificate show up on my transcript?
REP certificates are posted onto your transcripts by the Registrar's office at the same time that degrees are conferred. This usually happens about a month and a half after the end of the semester. If you need more immediate proof that you've received this certificate, we are happy to send a letter on your behalf.
I've completed coursework and research in two (or more) different departments. Can I get more than one REP certificate?
No, the REP certificate can only appear once on your transcript.
Career Resources for REP Recipients
Once you've completed the Research Experience Program, the next step is for you to market your certification to help you stand out as an applicant to jobs and graduate schools. Click below for some tips on how to do this.
Promote your certificate on your resumes and applications
By completing this certificate program, you have demonstrated an interest and competency in the research/ creative methods that are valued in your field. Use your REP certificate to advertise these competencies. The following questions might help you get started:
- What does scholarship look like in your major? How did you exemplify this in your independent project, and how can this approach transfer to the workplace?
- What specific skills did you use to develop and carry out your research/creative project? How might these skills translate into the job for which you are applying?
- Did your research/creative experience involve collaboration with other people? What kinds of teamwork skills did you learn through this experience?
Use REP to create a professional online identity
As you are thinking about entering the job market or graduate school, you should think about how to establish a professional online identity. If an employer looks you up on Google, what do they see? Besides removing potentially embarrassing information from social media outlets like Facebook, you can use your REP certificate to highlight your accomplishments online. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Create an account on LinkedIn and add REP to your profile under the "Certificates" area.
- Join the KU Undergraduate Researchers & Alumni LinkedIn group as a way to network. As an added perk, this group membership will appear on your LinkedIn profile page, contributing to your online image.
- If you have a professional blog or website, create a page that highlights your independent project and how it might connect with your future career goals.
Make it count in the interview
Though you’ll want to tailor what strengths you emphasize in an interview based on the particular job you are applying for, here are a few possibilities for how to articulate your strengths based on your experiences in REP:
- Hands-on experience: By earning a certificate, you have demonstrated that you can apply what you have learned in class in a real-world setting. This sets you apart from other recent college graduates who might not have experience applying the research and creative methods taught in a college classroom.
- Initiative: You went above and beyond the basic requirements for a degree at KU. This shows that you seek out opportunities and pursue them.
- Independence/Project Management: Your research project demonstrates your ability to carry out a project on your own. Reference your experience with your project in an interview to demonstrate your ability to initiate, manage, and follow-through with a project.
For more tips on marketing your certification, check out these resources:
- University Career Center: General career advice and individual career counseling.
- Center for Undergraduate Research: Can provide digital or paper certificates and letters explaining your REP certification to potential employers.
Notes for Mentors
Step 1: If your student is interested in completing the REP certificate, you can talk with your student about which courses they might select as key building blocks towards their project. These courses should provide either a foundation of content knowledge or teach relevant methods and techniques. The courses do not need to be new courses that the student would not already take to complete their major(s).
Step 2: From there, you will mentor the student as you usually do. As you begin working with the student, you will need to fill out an Undergraduate Research Contract to set up clear expectations, clarify the scope of the project, and help keep tabs on your student's progress.
Step 3: In order to complete the REP certificate, students are required to publicly present their research, so you might suggest upcoming opportunities to your student. You will then be asked to fill out an online rubric in the myKU portal asking you to evaluate their learning in three areas on a provided scale. This step takes 5 minutes or less.