What to do with your research
We call this section "completing the circle." You started with an idea. Maybe you developed it into a proposal that led to a research project. Maybe you took part in a larger, faculty-led project. Maybe you simply completed a great project for a class. In any event, you have discovered something: an insight, a new way to do something or approach a problem, an unexpected discovery, something. Now, it is time to share that knowledge with the broader public - what good is new knowledge if it is kept to yourself?
This section explains options for what you can do after completing a research project – how you can complete the circle (and hopefully start a new one in the process).
The first option should be taken advantage of by every single Northwestern student – presenting at the Undergraduate Research and Arts Exposition. This yearly event celebrates the amazing accomplishments and discoveries of Northwestern undergraduates. Projects can include everything from a lab write-up to a creative performance – anything that you helped to create and/or discover qualifies. The event is always well attended by prominent faculty and administrators, such as the President and Provost, and awards are given to top presenters. The Exposition (formerly the Undergraduate Research Symposium) happens every May, and it is a great way to cap off a successful year.
Based in Dublin, The Undergraduate Awards is a pan-discipline academic awards program that identifies the world's leading creative thinkers and problem solvers through their undergraduate coursework. Cited as the ultimate champion for high potential undergraduates, UA provides top performing students with the support, network and opportunities they require to raise their profiles and further their career paths. Up to three pieces of work can be submitted in the Spring by undergraduate students in their final and penultimate year.
Another option is to try and present your findings at an academic conference or meeting. To learn more, see our Conference Info page, where you will find links to undergraduate conference groups, information about finding conferences within your field, and a link to the Provost Office’s Conference Travel Grant program that offers funding to present your work.
A related option is to try and get your work published. Here at Northwestern we have NURJ, the Northwestern Undergraduate Research Journal among other options. There is also a new student run online journal (run by an NU grad) called Student Pulse that may work for you. Check with your faculty advisor about the possibility of having your work published in professional journals as well. Click on the Publication Information tab to learn more.
In any event, you need to complete the circle, and share your new-found knowledge with the world.