About Us

OUR Vision

UNLV’s Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) seeks to elevate the status of undergraduate research at UNLV. OUR strives to increase direct undergraduate student participation in research and to enhance research education and learning experiences. We create rich and diverse research and funding opportunities and engage students with local, regional, national, and global challenges.

OUR Mission

We inspire, support, and nurture undergraduates in their efforts to discover, innovate, create, and experience research at UNLV. We help undergraduate students get research ready and connect them with faculty for successful and transformative research experiences. The research skills that students develop are transferable, ensuring continued success during the long journey of career development and professional life.


We provide students from diverse backgrounds with ample opportunities to develop as scholars. All of these experiences serve as a real-world proxy to prepare students for graduate school, professional workforce, and life beyond college.

The specific programs and services we offer include:

  • Individualized research advising
  • Research funding opportunities
  • Research Skills Academy (RSA) with professional development and career training opportunities
  • Triannual research symposia: fall, spring, and summer
  • Monthly newsletter and research communications to highlight latest UNLV research news and opportunities for undergraduate researchers
  • Research-oriented instructional support for faculty through classroom presentations
  • A unique opportunity for undergraduate students to publish their research in SURJ: Spectra Undergraduate Research Journal

What is Research?

Research is a systematic process to discover, create, or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Definitions and categorization of research vary by professional field, academic discipline, method of inquiry, and objective.

What is Undergraduate Research?

The Council on Undergraduate Research defines undergraduate research as an “inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.”

Undergraduate research is faculty-driven, student-centered, and institutionally supported and provides the combination of factors necessary for pedagogical effectiveness, enhanced learning outcomes, research productivity, and research program sustainability.

What are the Benefits of Undergraduate Research?

According to the Council on Undergraduate Research, active undergraduate student participation in research:

  • Enhances student learning through mentoring relationships with faculty
  • Increases retention and graduation in academic programs
  • Increases enrollment in graduate education and provides effective career preparation
  • Develops critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, and intellectual independence
  • Develops an understanding of research methodology
  • Promotes an innovation-oriented culture

What are Accceptable Stages of Research for the Tri-Annual Undergraduate Research Symposia and Spectra Undergraduate Research Journal?

We define undergraduate research in the broadest and most inclusive way. The following are considered acceptable forms and stages of research that can be presented at OUR's symposia and can be submitted for publication in the Spectra Undergraduate Research Journal:

  • Literature-based research (e.g. review of climate change research)
  • Reviews of publicly available facts rather than subjective opinions
  • Evlauation of previously published data from open access databases or previously published research
  • Preliminary analysis, results, or findings from ongoing research
  • Proposed methodologies, plans, questions, and goals