Importance of Research at Undergraduate Level
The undergraduate research experience is one of several experiences that can impact the future career choices of our undergraduate students. In academia, both the faculty and the students are challenged to embrace engaged learning experiences and evidence-based education through undergraduate research. This has been the transition in higher education over the last 20 years: moving towards creating powerful educational environments that improve learning, rather than adding more courses that merely transfer knowledge. However, undergraduate research as a retention strategy does not go far enough. A report from the Council on Undergraduate Research succinctly summarizes that undergraduate research should be: faculty-driven, student-centered, and institutionally supported and provides the combination of factors necessary for: pedagogical effectiveness, enhanced learning outcomes, research productivity, and research program sustainability. Research should be at the core and must be instrumental in generating a major interface with the academic and business world. It empowers the faculty for an in-depth approach in teaching. It has the potential to enhance the consultancy capabilities of the researcher. Research can be internally driven or projects can be commissioned by national and international organizations such as the UNO, World Bank, OECD, Asian Development Bank, NCERT, Planning Commission, ISRO, DRDO, Central & State ministries and industrial agencies. Students need to be mentored in the entire research process. The best way for this to happen is to put students in a position to become a research assistant and be truly useful to the research program. Undergraduate research allows students to develop professionally and personally in ways not possible through traditional lecture and laboratory courses. Research is an important theme that threads its way through the undergraduate experience from the first year through to graduation. Weaving together the threads of what is currently underway provides a powerful basis from which to build an enriched, comprehensive learning environment for undergraduate students and encourage engineering graduates towards pursuing research. Undergraduate research allows students to develop professionally and personally. Research experiences give students an opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge of research techniques and processes, apply classroom learning in real-world contexts, explore academic literature, and form meaningful relationships with faculty members and professional researchers. In India the technical education institutes realize the immediate need to bridge the gap between the institute and industry needs and the students must be aware of the latest technology. Therefore, it is essential to establish labs of current technologies in the Engineering departments of colleges. This paper looks forward offering the students perspective undergraduate internships available for undergraduate research. This paper tries to present some of the websites which encourage taking up the research projects at undergraduate level.