What is Undergraduate Research? 

The term “undergraduate research” can encompass a wide variety of activities on a university campus. For our program, undergraduate research refers to those activities in which a student works on a creative or research project under the mentor-ship of a faculty member. These projects explore a specific topic within a field and that topic may be developed independently by the student or in collaboration with the mentor. Participation in undergraduate research can occur in one of many different modes including: paid positions, for course credit, scholarship opportunities, honors theses, or as volunteers.

Why participate in Undergraduate Research?

Here’s why LSU undergraduates participate in research:

  • Enhance your application to graduate school
  • Explore career directions
  • Participate in real-word, hands-on experiences
  • Develop your personal and professional skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and perseverance
  • Reinforce knowledge learned in the classroom
  • Develop a strong personal connection with a faculty mentor

Types of Undergraduate Research experiences and how to find them

For course credit

Many departments offer courses, such as Independent Study or Special Problem courses, in which you can conduct research.
Talk to your academic advisor or a faculty member about how to take one of these courses.

For pay

Students can earn an hourly wage working on their research.
Search our Mentor Database for faculty looking for student researchers, look for on-campus jobs in Handshake, or apply for an LSU Discover Research Project Grant.

Visit the Mentor Database
Visit Handshake
Visit the Research Project Grant page

University scholarships and work study

Students with Work Study, President’s Student Aid, or a President’s Future Leaders in Research scholarship can opt to work with a faculty mentor for an hourly wage.
Students who are eligible for these funding sources are contacted directly by the Financial Aid and Scholarships office. Make sure to reply to their emails to indicate your acceptance of the funds. Looking for a faculty member to work with? Search for available faculty in our Mentor Database. Or schedule an appointment with an LSU Discover advisor.

Other funding opportunities

There are several scholarship and grant opportunities available to LSU undergraduates through various departments and programs. You can apply directly for these.
View funding opportunities with links.


Students may also want to consider getting involved in research as a volunteer opportunity.
The best way to find these opportunities is to reach out directly to a faculty member. Search for available faculty in our Mentor Database.

Who to talk to about Undergraduate Research?

Other research students

The LSU Discover Research Ambassadors are available to answer your questions, chat about their experiences, and give advice. View a list of the ambassadors and their contact info.


The LSU Discover Mentor Database is where faculty list their names, research topics, and contact info. Students interested in research should email them directly.  View the Mentor Database.

LSU Discover

Contact us! We’re happy to answer your questions or provide guidance on how to approach faculty or search for opportunities. Email us at lsudiscover@lsu.edu or stop by our open office hours which are held on the following days and times:

Tuesday from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. in Hatcher 333

Wednesdays from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. in Hatcher 331

Thursdays from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. in Hatcher 330