Undergraduate research is an important component in the education of today's college students, particularly those in the fields of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, forensic science, and physics. Oklahoma Christian excels in offering students the opportunity to do original research under the direction of professors at OC or at other institutions such as the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
Research Opportunities for OC Students
There are a variety of ways for undergraduate students to find research opportunities; OC facilitates this process through formal academic offerings. Courses can be taken to introduce a student to the research environment. Our faculty meets with students initially to find their research interests, then we match the student with the mentor that is best suited for them. These mentors may be departmental faculty or faculty at other area institutions. Students spend time in their assigned laboratory learning about the project, reading primary journal articles, and getting hands-on experience with the tools and techniques of that particular laboratory.
These courses can be taken during the fall or spring semester, but many students do research over an 8-10 week period in the summer when they can work full-time on the project. Most mentors provide a salary for summer students.
There are other opportunities for students to conduct summer undergraduate research as well, such as competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) at OUHSC, as well as other laboratories throughout the country.
Most of the students who conduct undergraduate research present their findings at the annual fall technical meeting of the Oklahoma Academy of Sciences (OAS) or at other similar meetings. OAS is a meeting that brings together undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the state and provides a forum for student research presentations.
One of most important objectives in research is the publication of research data. Many of our students have made significant contributions in their laboratories to warrant co-authorship on publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. A co-authorship on a peer-reviewed scientific journal is a major accomplishment for an undergraduate student!