College of Education

James Scholar Honors Program

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Program Details

Faculty Led Research Opportunities Available

The University of Illinois James Scholar program provides our undergraduates with the unique opportunity to engage in cutting edge research and begin the process of making meaningful contributions to your field of study. This project immerses you in "big picture" research beyond the basic question, hypothesis and answer type research typically conducted by undergraduate students.

There are opportunities available for James Scholars to complete the required research component of the program by collaborating on the faculty led (or campus provided) research opportunities listed below. 

Your involvement in this type of project may include data entry, interviewing people using metrics provided by the faculty member leading the research study, evaluation of data, website creation and/or maintenance, transcription, assisting in presenting findings at a conference, etc.

Collaboration on an Education Faculty Led Research Project

The College of Education has world-class faculty who are contributing to advancements in their field and offer College of Education James Scholars the opportunity to contribute to their research areas. Visit this link for details on the research projects faculty are conducting that are open to James Scholars.

Interested James Scholars should remember that faculty are not obliged to work with you. Be respectful and conscientious when you communicate with the faculty member. See example below:

Dear Professor X,

My name is X and I am a James Scholar in the College of Education. I found information regarding the X research project you are currently conducting on the James Scholar website. This research interests me because (…). Is this project open to James Scholars this semester? If so, I would appreciate the opportunity to meet and discuss my participation in further detail. I am available (dates) or through e-mail and/or meeting virtually. Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to further conversation regarding your research!

National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) SPIN Program

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) needs talented, creative Illinois undergraduate students to participate in hands-on research and development projects in areas including supercomputing, data analytics, visualization, and more. NCSA's SPIN (Students Pushing Innovation) program offers paid internships to Illinois students who can contribute to challenging projects with support from members of NCSA's expert staff who act as mentors.

The Office of Undergraduate Research

The University of Illinois is one of the world's leading research-intensive universities with a long and rich history of scholarship, discovery, and innovation. Research at Illinois is diverse and ranges from the humanities and arts to biology and engineering. Undergraduate research opportunities can come in the form of:

  • structured research methods or project-based research courses;
  • programs sponsored by colleges, school, or departments;
  • guided assistantship or independent study under mentorship of faculty, graduate students, or research staff.

Now is the right time to start your undergraduate research journey! We encourage students to start as soon as they are ready. Some students start their research careers as Freshman or Sophomores, while others wait until their Junior or Senior year. Think through why you want to do research, how much time you have available each semester to commit, and how you are going to make the most of this experience.

The Office of Undergraduate Research is here to support you throughout your research journey! For help starting your research journey, be sure to attend one of our Getting Started in Undergraduate Research Workshops, consider scheduling a meeting with an ambassador or member of our staff, and visit the website!

Illinois Undergraduate Research Ambassadors Program (IURAs)

IURAs help to promote undergraduate research at the U of I and help the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) develop and maintain student-focused programs that represent the U of I’s diverse array of disciplines. As representatives of OUR, IURAs will be responsible for promoting undergraduate research to peers by holding informational workshops on undergraduate research, serving as a liaison between OUR and academic departments, and being knowledgeable about the resources that the U of I offers its undergraduate students interested in research and creative inquiry.

Dedicated Research Courses
There are a few different courses offered across campus that meet a semester research project by taking the course. See Dedicated James Scholar Courses for more information.