Research. Explore. Discover.
Student researchers are a valuable part of our department. Undergraduate students have a variety of opportunities to gain valuable hands-on research experience while learning new skills and techniques, which can be broadly applied across fields.
Research Experiences for Course Credit
There are several opportunities for undergraduates to gain research experience while earning course credit. Undergraduates can take the following courses:
HCS 4193 Individual Studies
HCS 4193 provides an opportunity for students to investigate a particular topic of interest with the guidance of a faculty mentor. This course takes place over one semester, is considered an Independent Study, and may be in the form of a literature review and discussion over a specific topic or a specialized project designed by the student and mentor.
HCS 4998 Undergradute research
HCS 4998 provides an opportunity for students-led, independent research projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Undergraduate research in Horticulture and Crop Science may take place in a laboratory, greenhouse, and/or field. Students will gain valuable experience with experimental design, research techniques, data analysis and interpretation, and science communication. The research experience will differ by faculty mentor, so please visit this page to identify an HCS faculty member carrying out research most similar to your interests. The research project will be designed in collaboration with the student researcher and their mentor. This is a non-thesis option that provides research experiences for students who do not want to pursue research distinction or whose research projects are not eligible for distinction. This option is intended for short-term research projects, which can be accomplished in one or two semesters, but can be repeated for research experiences in different labs under different faculty mentors. A student’s research project can also segue into a Research with Distinction project (see below).
HCS 4999 Research with Distinction or Honors Research With Distinction
HCS 4999/HCS 4999H is similar to HCS 4998, in that it provides an opportunity for students to carry a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Undergraduate research in Horticulture and Crop Science may take place in a laboratory, greenhouse, and/or field. Students will gain valuable experience with experimental design, research techniques, data analysis and interpretation, and science communication. The research experience will differ by faculty mentor, so please visit this page to identify an HCS faculty member carrying out research most similar to your interests. The research project will be designed in collaboration with the student researcher and their mentor. This option is intended for multi-semester projects. HCS 4999 Research with Distinction requires the students to write a project thesis and present their research at a local or national conference. Successful completion of the thesis will result in the student’s research distinction being stated on their diploma. For additional information about the requirements for graduating with research distinction, please visit the following sites: Guidelines for Graduating with Research Distinction, Guidelines for Graduating with Honors Research Distinction please see the guidelines, Plan for Graduating with Research Distinction form, and Plan for Graduating with Honors Research Distinction form.
If you are interested in one of the above research options:
- Determine your area of interest and what type of methods and skills you would like to learn.
- Identify a faculty mentor whose research interests you: hcs.osu.edu/research
- Contact potential mentors via e-mail and inquire about opportunities to carry out a research project in their lab.
- Set up a meeting with the faculty mentor to discuss project ideas, research schedule, expectations, and credit hours.
*Be sure to ask your faculty mentor about the availability of paid research positions in their lab, opportunities to present your research (see below), and opportunities to apply for external funding (see below).*
Presenting research results
Undergraduate students have plenty of opportunities to share their discoveries with others. By presenting their research findings, students will develop important science communication skills for both general and specialized audiences, which can be broadly applied across fields. In addition, these events are excellent opportunities to discover the breadth of research being performed by students across campus and engage in constructive conversations with students, faculty, and staff from different areas of study. Students are encouraged to present their research results in the form of a research poster or oral presentation at one of the following events:
CFAES Research Presentation Opportunities
- The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Research Forum is a college-wide event that allows students to share their research discoveries with others and engage in constructive conversations with other students and faculty members across the college.
University Research Presentation Opportunities
- The Ohio State University Denman Undergraduate Research Forum is an annual competitive research presentation opportunity for undergraduates across campus. The Denman is held each spring at the RPAC.
- Autumn and Spring Undergraduate Research Festival is an event that highlights the work of undergraduate researchers across the university.
- The Ohio State University Plant Sciences Symposium is an annual convention hosted at OSU centered around topics in plant science.
Additional opportunities to present your research can be found here: Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate Research Funding Opportunities
There are many local and external funding opportunities to which undergraduates may apply to support their research experience:
- Wilhelm and Eleanor Beckert Scholarship Fund
- Gladys Wittmeyer Knox-Gene Wittmeyer Scholarship