Claim your curiosity.

Nikki Perry

Assistant Director for Faculty Initiatives
Primary office:
Strong Hall, room 151


1. What is your professional background?

I worked as the Program Coordinator for the Center for Undergraduate Research before accepting the Assistant Director position in 2013.  Prior to working for the Center, I taught several different Sociology courses and served as a writing consultant with KU’s Writing Center. My undergraduate degrees are in English and Humanities, and I completed my Ph.D. in Sociology in 2015. 


2. What is your background in research?

While my advanced graduate training is in the social sciences, the research methods that I used were more in line with the humanities. Historical sociologists study the big issues in Sociology (race, class, gender, etc.) in different historical contexts, so we spend a lot of time in the archives.  My dissertation research examined the role of gender, class, race, and sexuality underlying different groups of women’s involvement with a women’s prison in Kansas in the 1920s and 1930s.


3. What do you do at the Center for Undergraduate Research?

My job in the Center is to support faculty and staff in their roles as research mentors and instructors. I handle most of our communications with research mentors related to our Center’s programs, as well as our efforts to recognize the work of mentoring, such as our mentor awards and mentor spotlights. I work with instructors interested in incorporating research into their undergraduate courses. To this end, I meet with faculty to share models for undergraduate research in the classroom, consult with departments about developing an overall plan for research in the undergraduate curriculum, and administer the Research-Intensive Course Grants.   

I also am in charge of all communications efforts through our Center, including the website, social media, and newsletters, and coordinate the Undergraduate Research Awards.

Connect With Us
Research teaches critical thinking and problem solving — top skills sought by employers
KU is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research
More than 1,200 students have received Undergraduate Research Awards since 1986
KU's first valedictorian, Flora Richardson, conducted research as an undergraduate before graduating in 1873
Use research to apply what you learned in the classroom to a real problem
Students who perform research develop strong relationships with KU faculty
Research is a hands-on way to explore career options
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times