You do more than learn more about a topic you’re interested in when you conduct research in college.
Conducting original research while you’re in college is a great way to stand out when you apply to graduate school or pursue a career right after you graduate. Employers want to know that you can communicate effectively, solve problems, and work alone and as part of a team. When you conduct research, you sharpen these skills and more.
Do you want to go to graduate school? Conducting undergraduate research prepares you for the type of research you can expect when you work on an advanced degree. Your research experience enhances your resume and graduate school application.
As a PC student, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to conduct research on topics you’re interested in. You may join faculty members as research assistants on their ongoing research projects. Whatever research you choose, your faculty mentor will guide you through the process and will be with you when you have questions to ask.
PC Summer Fellows
As a PC Summer Fellow, you conduct research on a topic of your choice (with your faculty mentor’s approval, of course) for eight weeks of the summer. You’ll work for at least 25 hours a week as you earn a stipend and live in a residence hall provided for you on campus.
You’ll present your findings during the Summer Research Symposium at the end of the summer and during Honors Day the following year. You could also present your research at conferences in the state, region, or across the nation. You may even be able to submit your findings to research publications, like Shelby Baker did in November 2020.
You could be one of eight to 10 PC students chosen each year to participate in the South Carolina IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC-INBRE) program.
As an INBRE researcher, you conduct biomedical research with a faculty mentor. Typically, you research for eight weeks during the summer, although you can continue your research into the academic year. Many students continue their INBRE research as Honors research.
You’ll receive a stipend for your INBRE biomedical research. You present your research during the Summer Research Symposium at the end of the summer and during Honors Day the following year. You can also present at the INBRE Symposium for South Carolina in January and during regional and national INBRE-sponsored meetings throughout the year. Similar to PC Summer Fellows, you may even be able to submit your findings to research publications.
This research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health National Institute of General Medical Sciences. PC is one of only 13 SC-INBRE member institutions in South Carolina.
Directed or Independent Study
If you come across a topic you want to learn more about, you may be able to research it in a directed or independent study. Your professor will let you know about certain requirements that must be met before you can take on this research. You may need to meet a certain GPA requirement. There’s a maximum number of hours you can earn with a directed or independent study too. You’ll probably complete the project by writing a research paper.
Students who meet a GPA minimum are eligible to conduct Honors Research. These students typically conduct their research during their senior year, although some majors allow juniors to conduct research too. Students often continue their PC Summer Fellows or SCINBRE research as Honors Research. They then present this research on Honors Day in the spring semester.