Undergraduate Research

Understanding Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline (Council of Undergraduate Research).
The Western Undergraduate Research Symposium provides Western students with an appropriate
venue to present their research and scholarship. The Symposium consists of oral presentations and a poster session. The 2023 Symposium takes place on May 2. 
Students planning to present at the Symposium must have a Western Wyoming Community College faculty mentor. Western
students find faculty research mentors in a variety of ways:
  • Students who have demonstrated an aptitude for research may be invited to participate in an ongoing project by a member of the faculty currently conducting research. If you know of a faculty member conducting research with students, ask if they have any openings. The instructor may ask interested students to fill out an application and may or may not select applicants for participation.
  • Some faculty members offer research as a 'for credit course'; check the course schedule for courses entitled "Introduction to Research" or "Research Methods" under the headings Communication, Education, History, Anthropology, Geology, Psychology or Biology to enroll. Enrollment in such courses may require instructor permission. Research courses are not always offered.
  • Some faculty teaching non-research based courses may encourage students to develop a class assignment into a research project and offer to mentor any interested students in that endeavor. If you are interested in developing a class assignment into an original research project try approaching your instructor about mentoring your research.

Symposium Project Standards

In order for your Symposium Application to be accepted, your project must include:

  • IRB Approval-If your project proposal involves research of human subjects, the project must be reviewed by Western Wyoming Community College's IRB.
  • Literature Review- A review of literature relevant to your research
  • Evidence or Data Gathering- A gathering of textual evidence, qualitative or quantitative data
  • Analysis- An analysis of your textual evidence, qualitative or quantitative data
  • A report on your findings- A presentation, written or oral, to a wider audience (symposium)
If your project proposal involves research of human subjects as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR part 46), the project must be reviewed by Western Wyoming Community College's IRB. The Western Wyoming Community College Office of Planning and Improvement, in conciliation with you and your faculty mentor, will help you determine whether your project/proposal fits the definitions of "research" and "human subjects" and will help you complete the forms for submission to the IRB.
Your Symposium Application will be approved or denied based on adherence to these standards. Your faculty mentor will guide your understanding of these standards as they apply to the discipline
in which your research is focused. If you or your faculty mentor need clarification on these requirements, please contact Jonathan Harwood (see below).

Undergraduate Symposium Timeline

March 10, 2023 - Students submit a Symposium Application Form. This form enables you to tell the Faculty Research Group about the content of your research project. You'll submit your research abstract in this form and the research faculty will subsequently make a decision about whether or not your project meets the minimum standards required of every project presented at the Symposium. You'll be notified via email if your application has been accepted no later than March 31.

May 2, 2023- Western Wyoming Community College Undergraduate Research Symposium. This is the day where students will be able to present their research to our campus and community.

More Information

If you have any questions or comments about participating in undergraduate research at Western, please contact us at 307-382-1700, or email haylibrary@westernwyoming.edu

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