Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  1. What is the Center for Undergraduate Research?
    CUR was established about nine years ago to foster undergraduate research at Xavier University. The Center was originally funded by a grant from the Andrew F. Mellon Foundation, and it is though that original grant that the Center was established.

  2. How does the Center work?
    All of CUR funding comes from outside sources. All grants were written to fund Xavier faculty members and their work with Xavier students. That is, all funds are distributed to faculty, who then recruit Xavier’s undergraduate students to work on their projects. Consequently, there are no funds available that go directly to students.

  3. How are students paid for their work?
    Students are paid by the faculty members from their grants awarded to them by CUR. The paperwork for the student wages goes through the CUR office. Each student must be paid at least $10 per hour and no more than $12 per hour. The amount to be paid is determined by the faculty member. Students working under other grants may be paid differently.

  4. How can I get involved?
    Perhaps the best way to get involved in undergraduate research is to contact a faculty member who has received a CUR grant and needs student researchers. If that is not apparent, see a department chair. Each chair is aware of which faculty members in their departments have been awarded grants.
    Xavier is focused on undergraduate research. There are courses offered in nearly every major designed to teach particular methodologies and provide opportunities for original investigations. Through your major (if through no other way) you will almost certainly be introduced to undergraduate research at Xavier.

  5. Can any student do undergraduate research?
    Yes. In fact, students in every major and at every level have engaged in undergraduate research.

  6. Do I need to do research in my major?
    No. Many students work in CUR-sponsored projects outside their major field. In fact, Xavier University encourages this interdisciplinary approach to undergraduate research. College is designed to produce well-rounded individuals. Working in a field outside your major will go a long way toward reaching that ideal.

  7. What is a faculty advisor and why do I need one?
    All programs sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research require Xavier students to have a faculty advisor. This person will sever as your mentor, guide your work, and give you the research experience you need to enhance your educational experience at Xavier University. The research experience is one that is a collaborative relationship between Xavier’s faculty and students.

  8. How is CUR funded?
    CUR receives grants from the Andrew F. Mellon Foundations and from the Title III, Part B program.
    The Mellon foundation traditionally funds work only in the Humanities. That includes projects in: English, History, Theology, Music, the Languages, the Find Arts, and Philosophy. The Center has, however, funded projects from other departments (particularly projects in the Social Sciences) that have maintained a Humanities focus.
    The Title III, Part B program is a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. These funds are awarded to faculty members campus wide.

  9. How often are grants awarded?
    The CUR office awards grants to Xavier faculty at the beginning of each semester and at the beginning of each summer. Last year, the CUR office awarded 21 Title III grants to Xavier faculty and (over the last 3 years) 26 Mellon grants to Humanities faculty and various Humanities projects.
    The amounts of individual grants administered by CUR have ranged from about $2,500 to over $10,000.

  10. Where is the Center located? How do I make contact?
    The Center for Undergraduate Research is housed in Suite 308 in the St. Joseph’s Academic and Student Health Sciences Resource Center. Office hours there are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30. The number 504-520-5066.

  11. What else does the CUR office do?
    CUR also sponsors XULAneXUS, Xavier’s online student research journal that publishes the scholarship of Xavier students. The journal was established in 2002. It supports a wide range of submissions, including traditional research manuscripts, scholarly essays, visual and audio representations of creative scholarship, and multi-media components embedded within manuscripts. The journal is published twice per year.
    CUR also sponsors the Festival of Scholars at the end of the spring semester. The Festival is designed for students to exhibit their various research projects. These projects are most often in the form of poster presentations, and classroom presentations. But the Festival also encourages artistic exhibitions, music recitals, and various types of performances.
    The Center also has some limited funds to send students (and students with sponsoring faculty) to conferences to exhibit their research.

  12. How do I publish in XULAneXUS?
    Twice each year, the XULAneXUS editorial staff sends out a call for research projects. Dr. Ross Louis in the Communications Department is the managing editor for XULAneXUS. He can be contacted at 520-5087.

  13. How do I exhibit my work at the Festival of Scholars?
    At the beginning of the spring semester, you will be notified that the Festival of Scholars registration form will be up on the CUR web site. Once you have identified a faculty member who has agreed to be your mentor, you may register to participate.
    Also, speak to faculty members whose students participate in the Festival. Last year, nearly 160 faculty members at Xavier acted as faculty mentors to Xavier research students.
    If you have a poster that you would like to present, the CUR office can print your poster at no cost to you. Call the office (x5066) to make arrangements.
    There is a FAQ link on the Festival of Scholars web page.

  14. How does undergraduate research help me?
    Undergraduate research has become nearly a rite of passage for students headed to graduate school. Not only does undergraduate research give students the proper background they need to hit the ground running when they begin their graduate school experience, but university recruits are now, more than ever, looking for research experience as a prerequisite for acceptance into graduate school.

    Also, by engaging in undergraduate research you will develop new skills, meet students and faculty with similar interests, gain confidence in your abilities, and use your research experiences to help choose a future career path.
Undergraduate research has become an increasing part of the undergraduate experience—at Xavier and most other universities. This research experience can be an invaluable process, giving under graduates a valuable and exciting experience.
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