Although participation in research is optional, it is enthusiastically recommended! Students who participate greatly benefit by learning to do the work of a scientist. Collaborative research is an important social interaction among scientists that is difficult to create within a formal classroom. Students who participate in research interact with fellow undergraduates, graduate students, and of course with faculty and other professional scientists. Students learn the importance of formulating non-trivial research hypotheses and designing non-confounding experiments with which to test their hypotheses.
In addition, students gain valuable experience conducting experiments where data are collected, statistically analyzed, presented in tabular and graphic formats, and discussed with fellow scientists for evaluation and critique. Students can receive course credits for research and some projects also provide support with a modest stipend or hourly wage. The University of Florida and the Biology Major have created many venues through which students may participate in research.
Please visit the University of Florida’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUR) for a more extensive review of undergraduate research at the University of Florida.