Over the past few years, there’s been a noticeable change in student expectations of doing research. Many students now come from high school planning to get involved in undergraduate research. To facilitate undergraduate engagement with the Carolina research community, selected incoming students are invited to join the Carolina Research Scholar (CRS) Program each year. Under the umbrella of the Office for Undergraduate Research (OUR), the CRS Program aims to build an undergraduate community based on research, scholarship and inquiry-driven learning. To this end, participants who successfully meet the Program’s requirements will be recognized for their contributions to UNC’s intellectual and cultural climate with a designation on their transcript appropriately termed “Carolina Research Scholar.”
Frequently Asked Questions
I accepted my Excel@Carolina invitation to join the Carolina Research Scholar Program. What should I do now?
Please visit the CRS Program page, which provides detailed information about requirements. Then please register for the program. Registering for the program is important as it adds you to the listserv which we use to communicate important information about deadlines and opportunities for PRogramparticipants. You’ll need your onyen and PID to complete this form.
The OUR Ambassadors are undergraduate researchers from many different academic disciplines. They’ve served as hosts for our Celebration of Undergraduate Research, organized information sessions, and worked with individual students to provide advice about undergraduate research. The Ambassadors are eager to get to know you as you embark on your college career and to provide information and perspectives about undergraduate research. Once we’ve matched you up with an Ambassador, you’ll be able to talk with her/him via email over the summer and you’ll meet the Ambassadors in person at a special fall meet and greet for invited CRS Program participants.
Enroll in IDST 194: Modes of Inquiry of IDST 184: Research Beyond Academia:
We encourage you to consider enrolling in IDST 194: Modes of Inquiry. In this 1-credit course, offered on a pass/fail basis, you’ll hear renowned Carolina faculty describe their path to research and discuss what they find compelling about their topics and processes. This is a very interactive course which provides an opportunity for you to engage in dialogue and conversation with faculty who are passionate about their research journey. Some seats are reserved for incoming Excel@Carolina students in the fall and spring semesters of your first year.
In 2014-15, we began offering IDST 184: Research Beyond Academia, a special version of Modes of Inquiry for which enrollment is limited to Excel@Carolina CRS Program participants. This 1-credit pass/fail course introduces you to researchers from around the Triangle, including those in the state and federal government (e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency) as well as researchers in for-profit and nonprofit organizations (e.g., the Research Triangle Institute or the North Carolina Museum of Art).
Either of these courses can be used to fulfill a CRS Program requirement.
Connect to OUR Social Media:
You can stay informed about undergraduate research activities at OUR in several ways. You can sign up for the OUR biweekly e-newsletter and read the OUR Blog to learn about different undergraduate research projects, read advice from faculty and get a sense of the range of experiences that are available to you. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
I am not an invited Excel@Carolina student. Can I still participate?
Any undergraduate may participate in the general Carolina Research Scholar Program.
What are the advantages of being an invited Carolina Research Scholar Program participant?
Excel@Carolina CRS Program participants are provided early access to OUR staff and student Ambassadors. OUR will host a few events specifically for you during your first year. These events are designed to help students start on their research paths. At these events, we will help first-years connect with current students conducting research, narrow their own research interests, and understand the requirements to fulfill CRS Program. Also, as noted above, some seats are reserved for you in IDST 184 and IDST 194.
Will I be placed in a research opportunity?
We are here to give you the strategies needed to enter into research, but we do not place you into a research opportunity. You will need to be proactive to decide on an area of research, to prepare yourself for that research, and to find a faculty mentor. These activities help you develop important professional skills that will be useful to you in your undergraduate career and beyond; OUR staff and Ambassadors are available to assist and guide you.