Western Michigan University has a strong tradition of providing undergraduate and graduate students with mentored research and creative activity experiences. Students work alongside faculty on scholarly activities in the laboratory, classroom, field and studio. WMU also offers opportunities for students to apply for grants to subsidize their engagement in scholarly activities.
Opportunities for students
Undergraduate Research Commons—A listing of publications that accept submissions from undergraduate students.
The Hilltop Review—A peer-reviewed publication of the Graduate Student Association at Western Michigan University. Acceptable submissions include research articles from any discipline, book reviews, letters to the editor, artwork, short stories, and poems. In recognition of excellent work by graduate students, The Hilltop Review offers a $500 first prize, $250 second prize, and $150 third prize for best research articles; $250 to the best piece of artwork; and $250 for the best piece of creative writing. Deadline for submission is Oct. 12.
Undergraduate students may apply for research opportunities as early as their sophomore year. Funding opportunities are available through the Undergraduate Research Excellence Award, Lee Honors College and some of the other academic colleges.
Student Opportunity Center—access to over 8,000 opportunities, across the country and right here on campus, related to research and creative scholarship.
Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Excellence Award—undergraduate students at WMU have the opportunities to pursue projects with faculty members on campus.
Lee Honors College—resources available through Lee Honors College.
Graduate College—for Graduate students, several of WMU’s colleges, including the Graduate College, provide research opportunities and support for graduate students. Students should contact both the Graduate College and their primary advisor to identify specific opportunities within their field
Council on Undergraduate Research—undergraduate research has become an important pedagogy for teaching and engaging undergraduate students as well as revitalizing the curriculum. The Council on Undergraduate Research and its affiliate schools provide undergraduate research opportunities to enhance faculty members’ teaching and contribution to society as well as increase students’ academic and professional success. The council offers publications and outreach services to support student and faculty researchers.
Undergraduate honors thesis
It’s never too early to start thinking about a thesis topic, but preparation should begin no later than the start of a student’s junior year.
- Honors Thesis Project Timeline—A proposed timeline for completing an undergraduate thesis at WMU.
- Honors Thesis Protocol Approval—Guidelines on determining whether a project could qualify as human subjects research.
- Human Subjects Application—Instructions and application materials for research involving human subjects.
Webinars and handouts
- "Writing an Effective NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Proposal" workshop
Offered by CIRTL Network on Thursday, Sept. 13. Sign up for a required CIRTL account. Select "other" university and fill in Western Michigan University.
Then log in to attend the free workshop.
- Enhancing Your Fellowship Application handout—This handout includes tips for securing funds for graduate studies.
- “Funding your STEM Graduate Education” webinar—This webinar recording is a great resource for independent study or group discussion. Students can view the recording and associated professional-development handouts.
- Getting Strong Letters of Recommendation handout—Students are often nervous to approach faculty members and other mentors for letters of recommendation. This handout helps prepare undergraduate students to get strong letters for their graduate application packages.
- Preparing for Graduate School resource toolbox—This collection of handouts helps students understand the graduate school application process and provides tips and strategies for finding suitable programs and completing successful applications.
- “STEM Fellowship Applications and Personal Statements” webinar featuring guest speakers from the NSF and EPA—This webinar recording features Dr. Joerg Schlatterer, of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, and Dr. Brandon Jones, with EPA fellowship programs. This is a great resource for independent study or group discussion. Students can view the webinar recording and associated professional-development handouts.