Undergraduate Research

The Undergraduate Research Program encompasses independent scholarly activity by students in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Driven by the many opportunities for interaction between students and faculty, undergraduate research at MCLA has expanded dramatically in recent years.

Student explaining his project

The program supports students with independent study opportunities in many disciplines, small Research and Travel MiniGrants, and a dynamic campus-wide Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) for presenting their work.

Beyond the campus, MCLA is a proud member of COPLAC, the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Each fall MCLA students join with peers from other schools in the Northeast to present at the regional Northeast Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity (NEURSCA) COPLAC Undergraduate Research Conference

In addition to these opportunities, MCLA students also participate in the Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference, held each year in Amherst and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).

For more information on these and other opportunities: 

Research and Travel MiniGrants 

Faculty/Student Conference Awards 

MCLA Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) 

COPLAC Undergraduate Research Conference (NEURSCA) 

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference (MassURC)

National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 

MCLA Scholar Designation 

Institutional Review Board (IRB)


For more information, click on the links on this page or contact Dr. Anna Jaysane-Darr, Chair of Undergraduate Research or Dr. Nicole Porther, Associate Chair of Undergraduate Research.


NEW UR Policies

IRB/IACUC for MiniGrants
Any student or group of students working with human (IRB) or vertebrate animal (IACUC) research subjects must obtain IRB/IACUC approval in advance of submitting a proposal for an Undergraduate Research MiniGrant. IRB/IACUC applications must be submitted by the faculty sponsor of the research to the appropriate group at least 1 month prior to the MiniGrant deadline to ensure enough time for IRB/IACUC to read and make their decision on the proposed research. Applications and submission instructions can be obtained for their groups through the Chairperson or Academic Affairs. Upon approval the submitting faculty mentor will receive a 6-digit approved proposal number. This number should be provided to students so it may be included on the MiniGrant proposal form.

IRB/IACUC for URC
Any student or group of students working with human (IRB) or vertebrate animal (IACUC) research subjects must obtain IRB/IACUC approval in advance of submitting an abstract to the Undergraduate Research Conference. IRB/IACUC applications must be submitted by the faculty sponsor of the research to the appropriate group at least 1 month prior to the URC abstract submission deadline. Applications and submission instructions can be obtained for their groups through the Chairperson or Academic Affairs. Upon approval the submitting faculty mentor will receive a 6-digit approved proposal number. This number should be provided to students so it may be included on the MiniGrant proposal form.