Undergraduate Research

At Willamette, undergraduate research means much more than writing an assigned paper for class.

Our students engage in meaningful, hands-on research that often leads to published results in journals, national fellowships or public presentations — opportunities many other students don't have until graduate school.

We award students grants — as early as their freshman year — to create and implement their own research projects in any field they desire, and our professors often invite their students to collaborate on scholarly projects. Along the way, they learn critical thinking, writing and analytical skills that are valuable in any field.

Here are just a few of our undergrad research opportunities:

  • Science Collaborative Research Program (SCRP): Students spend nine weeks during the summer researching collaboratively with a natural sciences professor. At the end, the students communicate their findings through a written paper and oral presentations.
  • Carson Undergraduate Research Grants: Open to any discipline, Carson Grants give awards of up to $3,000 for undergraduates to undertake a scholarly, creative or professional research project during the summer.
  • College Colloquium Student Research Grants: These grants are open to first-year students who want to research a topic related to their College Colloquium program, a first-semester course that immerses you in the liberal arts environment.
  • Liberal Arts Research Collaborative (LARC): Students and faculty in the arts, humanities and social sciences work together on research teams during the summer.   
  • Presidential Scholarship: Two undergraduates each year from any discipline receive this scholarship for one full semester's tuition for their senior year or a $5,000 graduate fellowship, and $2,500 for research expenses the summer preceding their senior year. 

Learn more at Student Academic Grants and Awards.

"I am highly appreciative of the opportunity to begin scientific research early on in my college career. My strong scientific education allowed me to be competitive for national scholarships and fellowships."
 Tyler Starr, biology and biochemistry major, National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow

"The Carson Grant was a unique opportunity to explore a topic that I am passionate about and couldn't have experienced in a classroom."
Matt Faunt, environmental and earth science major