Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research

Penn State Worthington Scranton is strongly committed to promoting opportunities for students to work with faculty engaged in research and scholarly activities.  We are interested in engaging students not only in the laboratory sciences but also in scholarship and creative activity in all disciplines.

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Working one-on-one with a member of the Penn State faculty will give you a special academic advantage. As a researcher, you have a unique opportunity to work with faculty and join in their pursuit of new knowledge. Penn State, a comprehensive public research university, offers an undergraduate education that is available at only a few select institutions of higher learning. Laboratories, special library collections, museums, studios, and academic computing facilities enhance the instructional environment and complement traditional classroom teaching and learning experiences. By participating in an undergraduate research project, you will be introduced to the basic principles used to make new discoveries and develop theories. This new knowledge will build your confidence in independent inquiry, show you the value of critical thinking, and prepare you for the challenges of tomorrow's world. All Penn State Worthington Scranton students conducting research or scholarly work with faculty are encouraged to present their work as a poster presentation at the annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Fair which is held in the spring semester. 

Three Important Steps to Becoming a Student Researcher

Read. Information about research opportunities is available for undergraduates displayed at the below link, where you can search by campus or by faculty member. You'll find a listing of academic department research sites along with faculty projects that have opportunities for undergrads. Take the time to browse these listings and you just might find a research project that interests you. http://www.undergradresearch.psu.edu

Think. Are you interested in the sciences, engineering, arts, or business? Do you want to work in a laboratory, library, or out in the field? Do your interests include computer technology, numerically intensive studies, or qualitative analysis? Do you have the experience, skills, intellect; and most importantly, the motivation and desire to be a contributing student researcher?

Contact. Once you have identified an undergraduate research project that is of special interest to you, your next step is to contact the department or faculty member in charge of the project. When talking with a faculty member about a specific research opportunity, remember to ask questions about wage payroll or work study support, and/or credit for independent study or thesis research. Most arrangements will be strictly voluntary, but some may offer remuneration. Not all students requesting a particular research involvement can be accommodated; judgments will be made on an individual basis by the department or faculty member in charge of the project. Note also that in some instances research projects can be initiated and/or changed to accommodate your special interests.

Why Should You Get Involved?

Through research you can:

  • Work with internationally known scholars.
  • Learn more about the newest technologies.
  • Develop a better understanding of current intellectual debates.
  • Build experience that is valuable in business, education, and government-related careers.
  • Get an early introduction to graduate-level study.
  • Share in the excitement of discovering something new.
  • Build a lasting relationship with a faculty member or research team.     
  • Possibly conduct field research locally, nationally, or internationally.
  • Have the opportunity to present your research regionally or nationally.

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates at Penn State is sponsored by participating faculty and coordinated by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and International Programs, The Pennsylvania State University, 417 Old Main, University Park, PA 16802.

2017 Undergraduate Research Fair

Registration for Participation

Conference day:  Thursday, April 6, 2017, from 6pm - 8pm in the View Café.

Project registration deadline: March 17, 2017.

Posters must be submitted to the Academic Affairs Office, Dawson Room 6, by Monday, April 3, 2017.

Ready to register? Find instructions here: Project Registration Instructions

Registration for Judging

Posters will be judged by volunteers from the faculty and staff of the Worthington Scranton campus.

Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) Training

All undergraduate researchers who plan to present their research at meetings or publish their research in any form are now required to complete on-line SARI training. This is a University requirement. For instructions on how to access the on-line training, and for guidance for what to complete, please see "SARI instructions" below. All students who wish to present at the Penn State Worthington Scranton Research and Scholarship Fair must complete this training and provide proof of successful completion when registering. Please talk to your faculty adviser with questions or contact Dr. Yili Lian via email at yxl50@psu.edu.

Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) Training

Instructions for Poster Presentations

Students should be dressed professionally and be present beside their posters during the time indicated to address questions and speak with judges.

There will not be a formal workshop on poster presentations but students are strongly advised to discuss the format with their project advisers.

Posters may be printed in 3' by 4' sheets on the plotter printers in the Dawson main computer lab (room 115) or in Dawson 119.  For space reasons, posters MUST BE in a portrait format (36 inches width, 48 inches length).

Instructions for creating and printing a poster in PowerPoint

While the Research Committee feels that standardization of posters is preferable, they recognize that a formal poster format may not lend itself to projects from all academic disciplines. For this reason, the Research Committee has decided to allow for variation on the general format, as needed. For example, students submitting creative works, such as poems, should submit them on an 8 ½" x 11" paper using 14 or 16 sized font.

Students who need special equipment (such as computer) will be accommodated to the best of our ability; but it is up to the student to make us aware of this need as soon as possible. It should be noted that a computer will NOT be allowed in the poster presentation unless it is actually necessary (such as projects that involve development of a computer program). Students are required to generate a poster for their presentation but may use additional equipment (such as laptop computer) to actively demonstrate software programs as part of the presentation. Students may not use a computer simply to enhance the presentation of material that can be adequately displayed on the poster. Students who wish to keep their projects should take them down at the end of the fair and take them away.

Project Registration Instructions

Guidelines for project registration