Our students find a variety of opportunities to do many different kinds of research under the guidance of one or more faculty members. In the sciences, several faculty members work with students on long-term research projects like the urban lake study or the project on the public health issues related to duck and geese migration. In the arts and humanities, our faculty mentor students as they explore topics as divergent as depictions of the Black Water Horizon event in paintings, representations of Plato's “Allegory of the Cave” in film, the decline of moral reasoning, and how athletes respond to pressure. Whatever the subject area, our faculty are eager to bring students along and guide their participation in the ongoing work of scholarly inquiry, whether that involves a current project that the mentor has designed or a new one that the student can develop.
In 2016, students Josh Thomas and Allie Webb collaborated with faculty members Bart Durham and Lucy Porter to publish an article on their urban lake study, an ongoing research project here at LCU. Entitled “Seasonal Influence of Environmental Variables and Artificial Aeration on Escherichia coli in Small Urban Lakes,” this research essay was accepted by the international Journal of Water and Health. This remarkable project spanning many years has been a hallmark of the undergraduate research conducted at LCU – ongoing research that allows students to create their own particular studies in conjunction with the larger project goals. This effort also highlights the excellent mentoring that is possible in undergraduate research, as many student participants have gone on to graduate school or certification programs and jobs in the science field.
In an effort to promote and support new and ongoing undergraduate research projects here at LCU, the Rhodes Family Institute offers students and faculty two opportunities to submit proposals for funding. Each spring and fall, proposals may be submitted for projects that will be conducted in the following months. These small grants are intended to help in the initial phases of development and research, during the ongoing work of obtaining sources or results, or as the project nears completion and is being prepared for presentation. The funding is not to be used for conference travel expenses.
In consultation with a mentor, each student wishing to submit a grant application should submit an application (see form below) to the Director of Undergraduate Research and the Advisory Council, who will deliberate and award available funds to those projects that show great promise and that provide persuasive justification for the anticipated expenses related to the research.