Gain hands-on experience
Conduct research working closely with your faculty
Getting involved in a research project with a faculty member can be a highlight of your Saint Michael’s education. Joining forces with a professor means you’ll work closely with a mentor. Plus, you’ll gain essential experience that will strengthen your resume and graduate school applications.
Undergraduate research will allow you to develop new skills as you engage in inquiry, design, investigation, research, scholarship, discovery, application and/or performance. It’s highly valuable, promoting student engagement and academic success through active collaborative learning, intellectual challenge and intense student-faculty interaction. You’ll develop discipline-specific research skills such as critical thinking, research design, data collection and interpretation, information literacy and communication, as well as experience with problem-solving and teamwork. Student researchers also report significant increases in self-confidence and the ability to persevere under difficult circumstances.
You might present your work at our annual Research Symposium or at a local, regional or national conference (the college financially supports such presentations). And you may even be awarded a stipend to fund your research project.
Recent student-faculty research projects have included:
- A Study of Ant Diversity in Burned versus Unburned Sandplain Forest in Vermont (Entomological Society of America)
- Cracks in Coverage: The Precarious Position of the Uninsured and the Underinsured in Vermont (New England Political Science Association)
- Dose-Dependent Relationship between Nicotine Administration and PR Schedule Performance in Rats (Eastern Psychological Association)
- Relative Quantification of Metabolites Using Five Isotopic Variants of Cholamine (American Chemical Society)
- In each case, the student ultimately presented the research project’s results at a professional meeting (indicated in parentheses), funded through a college travel grant.
By spring of their senior year, 31% of Saint Michael's students are doing research with a faculty member (compared to 20% at all NSSE Schools).
Types of student research at Saint Michael's
As part of your education at Saint Michael’s, you will become a strong researcher and independent worker. You may participate in some or all of the following:
Many of our courses, even in the first-year curriculum, involve short- or long-term research projects, often involving group research and a public presentation. Most senior capstone experiences, which are required in every major, have an expectation of an independent research project, a field practicum, or a public presentation or performance.
Academic Year Independent Research with faculty.
Students may work with a faculty member during the academic year, either for credit or as a paid research assistant.
Full-time, paid Summer Research
Each year approximately 50 students receive stipends for full-time summer research with faculty. Students may apply for a stipend funded through the Trustee Scholar Program or other endowed college funds. Alternatively, they may be asked to work with a faculty member on a research project that is funded through an external grant, for example, from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, or other private foundations or government agencies. All summer research students are eligible to live on campus, and they meet regularly to discuss their research experiences with other student researchers and faculty. Grants are awarded in all disciplines.