The University of Central Florida offers numerous opportunities for undergraduates to pursue research in various disciplines under the direction of a faculty member. This intensive research opportunity enhances the academic experience and challenges students to strengthen their critical, analytical, and writing skills. You can find out more at the UCF Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR.ucf.edu) or the Office of Undergraduate Studies (undergraduatestudies.ucf.edu/research).
Research and Mentoring Program (RAMP)
Initiated in 2002, the RAMP program is designed to provide a research experience working closely with a faculty mentor for students who may be interested in pursuing graduate education. In addition, the students participate in a variety of workshops designed to increase their awareness and knowledge of graduate school education. The aim of this program is to encourage more students from those populations that are traditionally under-represented in graduate education to attend graduate school. Undergraduate students participating in this program receive financial support.
The Office of Research at UCF
The Office of Research budgets $100,000 annually to match contract and grant dollars for principle investigators who hire undergraduates to assist in sponsored research.
The Burnett Honors College Student-Mentor Academic Research Teams (SMART)
The SMART Program is designed to help students identify and work with faculty mentors in a research area of shared interest. Students do not have to be Honors students to take advantage of the SMART program; it is available to all qualified UCF students. SMART students are typically sophomores or first-semester juniors who assist faculty on lab projects. Frequently, SMART students work as lab assistants on ongoing faculty projects; however some students develop their own independent research projects under the supervision of their faculty mentor. The Burnett Honors College has an online directory of faculty and their undergraduate research program. This faculty list is updated frequently and each of the faculty listed have indicated a willingness to take a SMART student during the current academic year. The Burnett Honors College partners with UCF’s Office of Research in sponsoring up to ten SMART Awards. These are distributed on a competitive basis and each carries a $1,000 award given to the student as well as $1,000 given to the faculty mentor. The deadline for SMART Awards is mid-October of each academic year.
Honors in the Major (HIM)
Honors in the Major is UCF’s most advanced undergraduate research program. It is designed to assist juniors and seniors who are intent on developing their own independent research project. Students do not have to be Honors students to take advantage of the HIM program; it is available to all qualified UCF students. After a two semester sequence (i.e., readings and thesis hours), this project culminates in a successful oral defense and binding of the HIM thesis which is then catalogued and archived in UCF’s library. HIM students work closely with a thesis advisor and a faculty thesis committee.