According to the dictionary, research is the diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, applications, etc. The Office of Undergraduate Research will tell you more.
The best place to start is with the faculty in your own department. Look at their biography pages to see what they are are working on, and look for a question that excites you. Then go talk to them! Most ACES faculty are very happy to have undergraduates participating in their research programs. The Office of Undergraduate Research has steps to follow for those new to research.
The benefits are numerous: work closely with a faculty member, learn about experimental design, investigate a topic that excites you, take part in discoveries, ask new questions, experience research settings, earn a faculty reference, gain critical thinking skills, build your resume, find out if research is right for you, share your research with others.
Research from the College of ACES encompasses initiatives in bioenergy, biotechnology, integrated landscapes, environmental sustainability, food and agricultural systems, global climate change, family resiliency, public policy, and more.
Yes, research experience can be gained by working as an undergraduate hourly, but most students earn credit hours for taking part in research through their department. See your advising coordinator for details about research credit in your program.
Yes, undergraduate research is a component of the Honors Completion Plan. See the ACES Honors Handbook for more information.
Yes, ACES students can publish their research in the College's i-ACES journal. In addition, Illinois has an annual Undergraduate Research Week which is highlighted by a symposium where undergraduate students present their research.
No! Academia is an option, but many companies have entire divisions of product research and development, and government also administers numerous research offices and agencies.