Undergraduate Research2019-12-04T21:16:05-05:00


Centre provides opportunities and mentoring to help students complete research experiences.


The talented students who enroll at Centre often are eager for challenges beyond traditional classroom discussion and testing. These students are ready for a new level of discovery, so we provide the opportunity for them to become partners in learning with our faculty both on- and off-campus.


Research opportunities abound at Centre at no additional cost. Many students complete research projects by working during the summer with faculty mentors one-on-one or as part of a research team. Others complete their research projects as part of an independent study during the academic year, which is covered by regular tuition and often results in academic credit. Tuition is the same as for a regular class, and the study is listed on your transcript. Some students also receive funding to present their research at regional and national conferences. Many other students choose to complete internships during the summer or academic year, often resulting in course credit for the experience.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a four-year, $600,000 grant to Centre aimed specifically at increasing undergraduate research opportunities for our students.

43% participate undergraduate research
On campus research versus off campus research percentage breakdown


Centre offers several programs that support undergraduate research. They are open to students from all disciplines and include students as early as their first year on campus.

  • John C. Young Scholars

    A competitive program that enables seniors to spend a year working on an independent study, research, or an artistic project, then present the results at a formal program in the spring. Funding is available. It is named for a notable 19th-century Centre president.

  • RICE (Research, Internships, and Creative Endeavors)

    An all-campus symposium held each spring for students from all disciplines and all classes.

  • 400-level independent research courses

    Mentored by an appropriate faculty member during the academic year.

  • Summer research

    Paid opportunities to work with Centre faculty on their research.

  • Advising

    You will get the help you need. We pair students with a faculty member in a field related to their interests.


The John C. Young Scholars program is designed to serve strong, highly motivated senior students allowing them to engage in independent study, research, or artistic work in their major discipline or in an interdisciplinary area of their choosing. Students will apply for the program in the spring of their junior year by submitting a thesis proposal to a faculty member who will serve as their project director and who will collaborate with them in designing the program.

Every year approximately seven seniors are chosen as John C. Young Scholars. Guided by a Centre professor, these academically outstanding students choose any topic of interest, and present their work at a symposium. The program offers students a stipend to cover expenses related to his/her project, and their research results are subsequently published

Examples of recent student work:
  • The Role of Fatherhood as It Relates to American Masculinity

  • Ten Perspectives on Strife: A Concept Album

  • Is Boyle County Ready for Universal Pre-Kindergarten?

  • Strengthening Elliptic Curve Cryptography and Preparing for Quantum Computing

  • Falling with Style: Determining the Gliding Ability of the Enigmatic Fossil Sharovipteryx mirabilis

  • Building Accountable Communities: Prison Abolition and Transformative Justice in the Age of Social Media Activism

  • The Lancaster Chronicle: Women as Revolutionary Writers and Publishers in Colonial Pennsylvania

student presenter at RICE symposium
student presenters at RICE symposium
student presenter at RICE symposium


The annual RICE symposium is a cross-disciplinary celebration of high-quality, independent student research, internships, and creative endeavors that provides students with an opportunity to learn what it is like to be part of an academic conference. Students in all disciplines and in all class years are invited to present in the form of a 15-minute presentation, poster, gallery display, or performance. Here are some of the goals of the RICE Symposium:

  • Provide an opportunity for students to present their rigorous, sustained, mentored scholarship in a professional manner to the wider campus community.
  • Celebrate the high-quality, mentored scholarship completed by Centre students.
  • Improve the oral communication skills of student presenters through feedback from mentors and audience members.
  • Model appropriate behavior at academic conferences for both presenters and non-presenters.
  • Inspire non-presenting students to seek opportunities to participate in mentored scholarship.


If you have a passion for a subject and are eager to work outside of Centre, there are many opportunities to find an
internship or research position at a well-known company, institution, or organization.

  • Endocrine surgery at Johns Hopkins University
  • Life support design and engineering at NASA
  • Forestry research at Harvard University
  • Presidential politics within media publications
  • Wildlife study at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee
  • Biomedical research at L’Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire in Strasbourg, France
  • Materials chemistry at the National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Surgery research at University of Louisville Hospital
  • Biometric security research at New York Institute of Technology’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences


Karin Gill poses for a headshot on August 4, 2015.

Karin Gill

Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience


Eva Maria Cadavid oses for a portrait for the Diversity Poster Series Project on August 14, 2014

Eva Cadavid

Associate Professor of Philosophy