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Student Research

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What is Student Research?

Student research is a deliberate process where a student:

  • Sets a problem or research question and conducts an inquiry, which fosters critical thinking,
  • Identifies, evaluates, and uses sources and considers evidence, which fosters information literacy,
  • Expresses results that make an intellectual or creative contribution, which fosters oral and written communication proficiency

Student Research in the Disciplines

Students and faculty can undertake research in a range of disciplines, including:

  • Natural sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics as well as the fields of mathematics and computer science, where research may involve experimentation using the scientific method, often within a laboratory setting
  • Humanities fields such as communication studies, English and modern languages, philosophy and religion, where research may be text-based using primary and secondary sources
  • Social sciences such as anthropology, history, psychology and sociology, which may seek to understand a problem by analyzing data
  • Creative fields including art, dance, music and theatre, which may involve practice-based research that results in creative output
  • Professional fields including business, social work and education, which may involve evidence-based practice
  • Interdisciplinary fields that combine elements of multiple disciplines that go beyond offered courses

For more information on the Office of Student Research please go to the Inquiry / Student Research Blog at the following link:



Opportunities for Research

Ways that students can participate in research include:

  • Research-based assignments in courses
  • Research courses that emphasize theory or methods within majors
  • Senior capstone courses and Senior Honors Research
  • Research assistant experience on faculty projects
  • Student-initiated projects mentored by a faculty mentor
  • Public presentations, posters and creative exhibits and performances at Longwood as well as professional conferences


Student research benefits all who participate in it.

  • Students gain confidence to work independently, leadership skills through working collaboratively, refined information literacy abilities and communication skills, all of which are desirable to potential employers and graduate school programs. Students can participate in research from day one, and continue to build on their experiences throughout their university careers.
  • Faculty enjoy more positive perceptions of their jobs through increased contact with students, pursue topics that go beyond their courses and enhance their own research through collaborations with students.