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Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry


Kansas State University offers undergraduate opportunities for research and creative inquiry as we strive to attain the status of a top 50 public research university by 2025. Click on the links below to learn more about the opportunities to get involved.

University-Wide Programs

Developing Scholars Program

The Developing Scholars Program offers underrepresented students research projects with faculty mentors. Students receive academic, social and financial support while participating in the discovery and creation of new knowledge at Kansas State University. The Developing Scholars Program is an Excelencia In Education Honorable Mention. Learn more.

McNair Scholars Program

Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D. (1950-1986)

The McNair Scholars Program is federally funded and prepares low-income and first-generation college students, as well as students from groups under-represented in graduate education for doctoral study. A paid eight-week undergraduate research experience with faculty mentors is a major part of this preparation. Learn more

Kansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (KS-LSAMP)

The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation is a National Science Foundation program that assists colleges and universities in diversifying the workforce entering science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, in part, by supporting institutions' efforts to increase the numbers of students that successfully complete baccalaureate degrees in these fields. Learn more.

College of Agriculture

There are a variety of opportunities to get involved with undergraduate research within the College of Agriculture. Learn more about the college-wide experiences or explore individual department opportunities by following the links provided below.

Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

The academic program of the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education is engaged in research projects in local, national, and international settings. Faculty members work with graduate and undergraduate student research projects. Learn more.

Department of Plant Pathology

Plant pathology is the study of plant diseases, their causes, effects, and control. Keeping plants healthy requires an understanding of the organisms and agents that cause disease as well as an understanding of how plants grow and are affected by disease. Our faculty have a wide range of expertise and frequently take undergraduate research students for research training opportunities in their labs. Many of our faculty also participate in the Interdepartmental Genetics Program. Our faculty research interests include: Plant Disease, Plant Health, Genetics (Plant genetics of models and crops, fungal genetics, population genetics, host plant resistance genetics), Microbiology (Fungi, Bacteria, Viruses), Pathogens (Fungi, Bacteria, Viruses, Nematodes), Plant-Microbe Interactions, Molecular biology, Genomics, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Epidemiology, Applied Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Disease diagnosis and management. Learn more.

Gamma Sigma Delta Undergraduate Research Showcase

The College of Agriculture and Gamma Sigma Delta host an annual Undergraduate Research Showcase for students who are engaged in research projects within the college. Learn more.

College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate students enrolled in any major in the College of Arts and Sciences are invited to apply for research awards to conduct projects with faculty members in the college. Learn more. In addition, please visit individual department websites to explore research options that fit your academic interests.

Department of Biology

The Department of Biology offers numerous opportunities for undergraduates looking to get involved with research. Follow the links provided below to learn more.

Bioinformatics Center: Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary research area that relies on computational and statistical methods to solve biological problems. Undergraduate and graduate students in the Bioinformatics Group enter either in the K-State Division of Biology or the K-State Department of Computing and Information Sciences. Learn more.

Ecological Genomics Institute: supports integrative research that seeks to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying adaptive responses of organisms to their environment. Join the lab of one of the 13 KSU Ecological Genomics Institute's faculty mentors and discover the world of research. Learn more.

Department of Chemistry

Students who participate in undergraduate research work closely with K-State chemistry professors and internationally known scientists and are given opportunities to present their work at meetings and conferences which provide additional opportunities for networking and interacting with other scientists. Learn more.

Department of Communication Studies

The Communication Studies program is dedicated to research that advances the fields of communication and rhetoric. Students and faculty are involved in a number of scholarly activities. Learn more.

Department of Geology

The Department of Geology is deepening its research focus in three critical areas including energy and mineral resources, earth surface processes and the environment, and evolution and solid earth. Learn more.

Department of History

The Chapman Center for Rural Studies offers internships to undergraduates. Internships in the Chapman Center are allocated $1000.00 per semester and are not based on financial need. Under the direction of the Research Director, interns are expected to work a set number of hours per week on a thematic project leading to a larger goal (ie, publication of a book, database, website, museum installation) and keep a log of their activities each week that should be turned into the Research Director. Learn more about the application process.

Department of Mathematics

The Center for the Integration of Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postdoctoral Research (I-Center) within the Department of Mathematics fosters groups of undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and faculty jointly working on cutting edge problems in applied mathematics, pure mathematics and interdisciplinary areas. Learn more.

Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychological Sciences encourages Psychology majors to become involved in research activities as part of their undergraduate experience. Learn more about how to get involved.

Johnson Cancer Research Center

In addition to performing cutting-edge research, our faculty are training today’s students to be some of tomorrow’s top cancer researchers and medical professionals. The center offers numerous opportunities to help students work towards careers in research and medicine through student award programs. Learn more.

Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE)

The purpose of the Kansas INBRE (K-INBRE) is to strengthen the ability of Kansas researchers to compete effectively for NIH funds by building a "critical mass" of junior and senior investigators, as well as undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows supported with cutting edge technology within a scientific research theme. The scientific research theme chosen for the K-INBRE is Cell and Developmental Biology. Learn more.

Student Research Travel Awards

Undergraduate students enrolled in any major in the College of Arts and Sciences are invited to apply for travel funding. The program supports students who want to attend conferences or other professional venues to present their research activities conducted with faculty members in the college. Students also may apply for funding to travel to conduct their research or to learn research techniques. Learn more about the application process.

College of Engineering

Learn more about the Office of Research and Graduate Programs in the College of Engineering.

College of Human Ecology

Faculty and students within the College of Human Ecology work in all five areas of research and scholarly activity including discovery research, translational research, practice, policy, and creative activity. Learn more.

Trauma Research, Education and Consultation at K-State Team (TRECK)

The TRECK Team, which is registered as a university student organization, focuses on developing research programs, providing education, and clinical consultation about issues related to trauma and traumatic stress. TRECK team members include graduate and undergraduate students in the School of Family Studies and Human Services and related programs at Kansas State University. Learn more.

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Explore scholarship opportunities at Kansas State University.

Student Spotlight

Jakob Hanschu (Hillsboro, Kansas)
Jakob Hanschu

Jakob Hanschu, senior from Hillsboro, KS, majoring in Anthropology and Geography with a minor in Statistics, has accomplished much through his undergraduate research experience.  Hanschu describes his research interest as “entanglements of humans and their 'built’ and ‘natural’ environments.” He recently completed a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) during which he traced the environmental history of drainage in Iowa and showed how these infrastructural developments playa role in creating the landscape of intensive agriculture seen in Iowa today.  He has also worked with and received funding from the College of Arts and Sciences to model the locations of undiscovered burial mounds in Kansas. As a result of this research, he received the Society for American Archeology and Institute for Field Research Student Poster Award.

Hanschu is also a member of the Mark Chapman Scholars program, which has allowed him to travel to Peru to conduct bio-archaeological research.  Hanschu has three published peer-reviewed articles among other publications, including several that are currently under review.  He has given over a dozen podium and poster presentations at conferences and meetings around the country including Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol where he presented to members of the state legislature. Hanschu has also served as an Undergraduate Research Ambassador for K-State’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry. Although he has worked with many different professors across disciples at K-State, Hanschu’s primary advisor has been Dr. Lauren Ritterbush, Professor of Archaeology.

As for future plans, Hanschu hopes to pursue a master’s degree in an interdisciplinary field, then pursue a Ph.D. or attend law school.  He is particularity interested in the study of contemporary environmental challenges.  “I hope that I can continue my education in programs that allow me to combine rigorous theoretical concepts with practical, real-world issues,” he said.

When asked about the value of research, Hanschu explains, “Through my varied research experiences, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with students and faculty from multiple universities and across disciplines. I now have anthropology, archaeology, geography, economics, environmental science, English, and biology mentors, colleagues, and friends at universities in Kansas, Iowa, Canada, Maine, Belgium, and Peru. Research has also led me to academic conferences where I was encouraged to publish my work. These experiences have greatly prepared me for graduate school and the work force.”