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Undergraduate Research Center


Undergraduate research allows you to satisfy your curiosity by investigating a subject that fascinates you, collaborating with a mentor, and sharing your discoveries with others. Research opportunities are available across all disciplines, including the humanities and the arts, referred to as “creative activity”.

Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity (URECA) funding provide students an opportunity to work on a research or creative project and get paid for their time and commitment, while gaining valuable experience and transferable skills desired by employers and graduate schools. Awards range from $500 for beginners to $3,000 for experienced researchers.

Why should I do research?

  • Deepen Understanding: Research allows you to delve deeply into a subject, enhancing your knowledge and understanding beyond what is covered in coursework.
  • Skill Development: Develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills, which are valuable in any career!
  • Hands-On Experience: Engaging in research provides practical, hands-on experience that can be beneficial for future academic or professional pursuits.
  • Mentorship: Working with a faculty mentor offers personalized guidance and support, fostering professional growth and providing valuable networking opportunities.
  • Resume Building: Research experience is a significant addition to a resume or CV, making you more competitive for graduate school or job applications.
  • Contribution to Knowledge: You have the chance to contribute to your field by discovering new information or developing new ideas!
  • Communication Skills: Presenting research findings helps improve your written and oral communication skills, essential for any profession.
  • Personal Growth & Community: The process of conducting research can boost confidence, independence, and establish a sense of belonging within your research community.

What MTSU Students say about their URECA experience


The URECA committee is composed of accomplished and passionate faculty representatives from a variety of academic colleges at MTSU. The committee meets three times each academic year to evaluate proposals and award funding based on merit. Other responsibilities include fine-tuning the application process and refining procedures for proposal evaluation and grant awards.

2023-2024 Committee Members

Tricia Farwell, ChairJournalismCollege of Media and
Tiffany RogersPsychologyBehavioral and Health
Sean FoleyHistoryLiberal
Keely O’BrienAgriculture Basic and Applied
Kim EvertEducational
Yi (Vanessa) LiuHealth and Human PerformanceBehavioral and Health
Bridget DonnellyEnglishCollege of Liberal
Justin MillerChemistryCollege of Basic and Applied 

Thursday, September 5th, 4:30pm

Learn more about URECA

Contact us

Jamie Burriss, Ph.D., Director
(615) 494-7669

Casey Penston, Coordinator
(615) 809-4588

Learn more about the URC