Undergraduate Research: A Strategic Priority

The George Washington University is committed to increasing the level and visibility of undergraduates in faculty-mentored research. 

Indeed, the university’s strategic plan, “Vision 2021: A Strategic Plan for the Third Century of The George Washington University" identifies the promotion of faculty-mentored research as a key way in which undergraduates can engage themselves more fully in the scientific, scholarly, and artistic activity so central to the life of a premier research university.  Through engaging in research, students are invited to deepen their learning, to practice specific methodologies, and to appropriate the perspectives and skills at the core of disciplined forms of inquiry.

The Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning, Stephen C. Ehrmann appointed Robert Donaldson, Professor of Biology and Margaret Gonglewski, Associate Professor of German as faculty co-directors of undergraduate research.

Professors Donaldson and Gonglewski, with Paul Hoyt-O’Connor, Director of the Center of Undergraduate Fellowships and Research, are taking the lead in advancing this strategic priority.

Their efforts include:

Gathering information from individual departments, programs, and colleges and schools in order to understand more accurately the full range of undergraduate research activity at the university as well as identify best practices of engaging undergraduates in research;

Consulting with Office of Institutional Research and Assessment in collecting and analyzing data regarding undergraduate research activity, including student responses to questions recently added to the graduating senior survey;

Collaborating with the staff of the Office of Vice President for Research in spearheading GW’s annual Research Day, which showcases undergraduate research;

Administrating $100,000 matching funds to support colleges’ and schools’ initiatives to promote undergraduate research;

Coordinating the applications processes for university-wide undergraduate research fellowship programs.