Claim your curiosity.

COVID-19 Information

See below for links, tips, and resources that are relevant to undergraduate research at KU amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our office will update this page as new topics and resources arise.  If you have a question that you would like to see addressed on this page, email us at cur@ku.edu to let us know!

For the most current information about KU's response to the coronavirus outbreak, see the official KU Coronavirus Information page.>>

Last updated: August 11, 2020

 

Student Questions


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can students do undergraduate research remotely, or do you have to be on campus to do research?
A: This answer depends on what type of research you are doing. Some undergraduate research projects can be done remotely, such as students working on large data sets or examining archival sources that can be accessed online. Other students’ research relies more on a physical presence on campus, such as students working in research labs or those who need access to art studios to do their projects. Students in these disciplines have adjusted their projects to focus on other parts of the research process or analyze data that has already been collected.

There are still lots of research opportunities out there, some of them just might look a little different in an online or hybrid environment. Visit our getting started page to take the first steps!

Q: Is your office open right now?
A: Our staff are currently working remotely. Just send us an email, and we can respond to your questions or set up a time to talk via phone or Zoom.
Q: How are your student programs affected by COVID-19?
A: Many of our programs are continuing as normal or in an adapted format:
  • Undergraduate Research Awards: Continuing. We will be taking applications for Spring 2021 UGRAs in the fall. 
  • Presentation opportunities: We will be hosting an online Fall Undergraduate Research Showcase that will go live on November 30, 2020.  The registration deadline for students wanting to present will be November 20, 2020.
  • Travel Awards: TBD.  Many professional conferences have switched to online formats, and some have waived student registration fees.  Undergraduate students should talk with their research mentors about possible conferences they could present at, as the online format may actually make presenting at a professional conference more affordable and accessible for undergraduate students this year compared to other years.
  • Emerging Scholars Program: Continuing, though students may be doing remote work instead of in-person.

Resources:

  • Computer/Internet access: If you need assistance to access a computer or reliable internet at home so you can carry out your research project remotely, check out this website for resources available to students to borrow laptops or hotspots>>
  • KU Virtual Lab: Virtual Lab provides remote access to software commonly available in campus labs. Now you can also use Virtual Lab to directly access computers within specific department and campus public computer labs. For example, engineering students can remotely access computers within the Engineering school computer lab, including the specialized software installed on those machines. Log in at virtuallab.ku.edu and see our section at howto.ku.edu/virtuallab to learn more.

Tips:

  • Proactively communicate: maintaining good communication with your research mentor is always an important part of having a good undergraduate research experience, but it is especially important right now.  Be proactive about setting up regular phone calls or Zoom meetings with your mentor to give updates about your research progress and get feedback. Filling out an Undergraduate Research Contract can help to establish clear expectations.

 

 

Mentor Questions


Links:

Tips:

  • Take extra time to set expectations about how to communicate, goals for research, and any additional safety protocols or behavioral expectations that may be necessary for students who are doing research on-campus.  Using or adapting the Undergraduate Research Contract through our office is one way to clearly set expectations.

 

 

Research in Classes


Links/resources:

Tips for course-based research experiences this fall: 

  • Don’t take on too much: clearly identify the research-related learning outcomes you would like to focus on and backwards-design from there.  You can use this visual of the Research Cycle and the corresponding learning outcomes (.doc) to generate ideas. 
  • Students new to research often need more explicit scaffolding of research skills than many faculty realize.  Use this fall as an opportunity to create videos, modules, or online activities to build up students’ research skills.  You can use them this fall, and continue to use them in future semesters for your classes and with undergraduate and graduate students you are mentoring in research. 
  • Think about what primary data sets you might be able to use to give students hands-on research experiences online.  You can design assignments around interview transcripts, archival materials, large data sets, and raw data from experiments in order to give students exposure to the “messy” parts of the research process that facilitate deep learning. 

Connect With Us
Research teaches critical thinking and problem solving — top skills sought by employers
The Research Experience Program has certified more than 2,000 students since 2005
KU is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research
More than 1,200 students have received Undergraduate Research Awards since 1986
More than 150 mentors sponsored undergraduate projects through the Center for Undergraduate Research each year
KU's first valedictorian, Flora Richardson, conducted research as an undergraduate before graduating in 1873
Highlight your research on your transcript: Get certified through the Research Experience Program
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