Center for Undergraduate Research

Getting started

If you are considering conducting undergraduate research, the first step is to think of topics that interest you. Once you have narrowed your options, begin exploring the research, scholarship, and creative activities that already exist on that topic so that you can consider what contribution or updates you can make.

Next, begin to look for a faculty supervisor who can mentor you through the process. Use the Center for Undergraduate Research as a resource in your research endeavors.

Research Ethics

For research, scholarship, and creative activities to be useful and serve as the foundation on which additional efforts can be based, each researcher should understand and adhere to generally accepted practices within their field.

While each discipline has a slightly different set of accepted practices, there are a number of common issues related to generation, storage and use of data, and publication and presentation of findings and interpretations. As an undergraduate researcher, you will have the opportunity to learn and practice responsible research.  An excellent overview of research ethics is provided in an article titled, "What is Ethics in Research and Why Is It Important?" by David D. Resnick J.D., Ph. D.

If you plan to use human subjects:

You will need to seek approval from the Cal U Institutional Review Board (IRB) for any projects or activities that involve human subjects.

If you plan to use animal subjects:

You will need to seek approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for any projects or activities that involve animal subjects.


The Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS Statistics) is a quantitative statistical analysis program that is widely used in many disciplines to manage data and calculate a wide variety of statistical results.  

Why use SPSS?

  • Manage, analyze, manipulate and display data.
  • Quickly and accurately perform an enormous number of statistical functions.
  • Present results in a range of formats including graphically.
  • Reduce errors and devote more time to interpreting results.

Your faculty mentor is the best source of information as to whether your discipline typically uses SPSS.

Undergraduate research in boat.

Grants and Funding


The Center for Undergraduate Research supports various aspects of student efforts in undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities.

Learn more

A professor helps with a chemistry experiment.

Frequenty Asked Questions


Have questions about conducting undergraduate research at Cal U? Stat here.

Learn more