The Research Badge Program

Undergraduate research, scholarly and creative activities have been shown to help students succeed in college and in their careers.  According to Astin (1993) “the two most important factors in student cognitive and effective development, satisfaction, and learning are the nature of students’ peer groups and the quality and quantity of their interactions with faculty outside of the classroom” (italics added). The Undergraduate Research Certificate (URC) program at UIS is specifically designed to prepare students for a faculty-mentored original project outside of the classroom.  It is based on introducing students to basic research skills, as identified in the Research Skills Development rubric.

The Research Badge program won’t show up on your academic transcript. But it will demonstrate to faculty mentors that you are motivated to take your academic career to the next level through an #ExperienceEngaged project.

Program Requirements

Research ComponentTraining OpportunityRequired (R) or Elective (E)
Introduction to researchWorkshop in UNI 103 or “Research, Wings & Other Things” or “Learning Beyond Walls”R
Employ primary and secondary sourcesLearning Hub workshop in UNI 103E
Analyze texts and/or dataE
Find scholarly sourcesLibrary workshop in UNI 103R
Critically evaluate sourcesJohn LaubersheimerE
Write with professional styleLearning Hub workshop in UNI 103 or Stephanie Hedge – abstractsR
Present with professional styleWorkshop in UNI 103 or “View It and Do It” workshopR
Consider ethics of scholarly practiceAIC workshop in UNI 103R
Complete IRB/Animal Care etc. proposalsCITI trainingE
Write project proposalsIRB workshopE
Research opportunities“Meet Your Mentor” workshopR

To earn a UIS Undergraduate Student Research Badge, students need to compete the six required workshops and at least one of the elective workshops. Workshops are delivered throughout the year, as part of a course or a stand-alone event.  Participation will be tracked and students will complete a form on the URSP website to apply for the certificate. Students who earn the certificate will be added to a database available to faculty and encouraged to find a mentor so that they may complete an original project.

The URC was developed in collaboration with the Students Transitioning for Academic Retention and Success program and implemented in the UNI 103 Academic Success course, but is now available to all undergraduate students, on campus and online.


Astin, Alexander W. (1993) What matters in college? :four critical years revisited San Francisco : Jossey-Bass.