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Research Abroad

Opportunities for involvement in research and creative activities abound at Michigan State University.

Research is how the academic community communicates with the world. Taking multiple forms, research includes scholarly and creative activities that can lead to new knowledge, improve our ability to solve problems, and result in new theory or in the creation of new art or an artistic performance.

Research is offered as a component of numerous education abroad programs (primarily for undergraduates). Projects encompass a wide variety of fields including biodiversity, environmental science and policy, mechanical engineering, molecular biology, information and communication technology, public health and more.

Research abroad can be done in conjunction with faculty or conducted independently, and can encompass a wide variety of fields.


MSU's Definition of Undergraduate Research

Broadly defined, undergraduate research includes scholarly, creative, and artistic activities that lead to new knowledge, improve problem solving capabilities, offer original or historical theory and interpretation, and/or produce art or creative performances. A collaborative effort between students and their research mentors, undergraduate research and creative activities are interactive, discovery-based experiences that teach and engage students about the numerous components involved in the research and creative process. Research and creative opportunities occur in and outside of the formal curriculum.

Students' individual abilities, time commitment, and length of involvement will affect their productivity as undergraduate researchers. Undergraduate students may not engage in a research or creative opportunity long enough to make an original contribution to a discipline. However, if students learn and work on essential components of the research or creative process (e.g., review literature and identify knowledge gaps, design hypotheses and experiments, collect and analyze data), we posit that they begin to more deeply engage in an academic discipline by learning about research or creative methods, practicing advanced critical thinking, and participating in key steps of the research and/or creative continuum.

Undergraduate Research Scholarship

The Undergraduate Research Study Abroad Program Scholarship, co-sponsored by Undergraduate Education and the Office for Education Abroad, provides financial support for undergraduate MSU students to participate in approved education abroad programs that have an undergraduate research component. Financial need is not a factor in awarding this scholarship. Scholarships of $500 will be awarded twice a year with the application cycle taking place in October for spring semester programs and in February for programs taking place in summer, fall or academic year.

Programs that qualify for UG Research EA Scholarship

Research and Arts Forum

The Office for Education Abroad encourages students to consider presenting at the annual University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF). This event provides undergraduates with an opportunity to share their work with faculty, peers, and external audiences while gaining experience in presenting their research, answering questions about their work from audience members and guests, and receiving constructive feedback from judges. 

Award for Academic Achievement

The Award for Academic Achievement is a national competition sponsored by the Forum on Education Abroad.  The award is an honor that showcases rigorous and significant undergraduate academics that occur as part of education abroad programs.  Award projects encompass a wide variety of academic fields, demonstrating that international learning informs many academic and professional fields.