To support and enhance the College’s emphasis on the value of mentored student research, the Undergraduate Research Council (URC) founded Research Day in spring 2018. A day when all classes are canceled, this forum for those engaging in independent research allows students to present their work to their peers and to the faculty in a conference setting. Joining them, UVA Wise faculty also present their most recent research, modeling scholarly behavior and giving students the opportunity to see what types of inquiry their instructors are carrying out.
Explaining their research and the results before an engaged audience is an exciting event for undergraduates, and one which encourages them to continue their work. The members of the URC believe that Research Day not only provides students with an experience that will be valuable to them when applying to and attending graduate or professional schools, but it will also be a stimulus to other students to involve themselves in research.
In the years since its inception, this event has been remarkably successful. On the first Research Day in 2018 there were 20 papers and 17 posters presented in the humanities, social sciences and the natural sciences. Thirteen faculty also presented. The following year, 2019, the number of participants increased with 37 papers and 20 posters. In this second year creative activities were included. Research Day culminates each year with a reception celebrating the work that student researchers have done.