The Odyssey Program

Undergraduate Research

Experiences in which students undertake significant research projects using the methods of their chosen discipline.

The College has long recognized the value of undergraduate research as an excellent extension of traditional classroom pedagogy. Such research leads to an enhanced and more practical understanding of professional methods and fields of study appropriate to the various academic disciplines. In some cases, research may result in the discovery of previously unknown information. In many instances, however, the pedagogical value of such research lies as much in the methods used as in the results obtained. The primary objective is that the project be substantial (in breadth, scope, scale, maturity, effort, and time involved), and that research methods of the chosen discipline be learned and demonstrated.

Each Odyssey research project, whether curricular or extracurricular, whether on-campus or off-campus, must be conducted under the supervision of a Hendrix faculty member in the field of study related to the research in question. The faculty supervisor must be consulted in the planning stages of the research and frequently throughout the duration of the project. Faculty supervisors of undergraduate research projects not only attend to the quality of a student’s research in the discipline but also, as appropriate, help the student use the experience to explore his or her potential as a researcher or other professional in the field of study.

Dissemination is a crucial part of the research experience. Therefore, the final product must be shared in a way that is appropriate to the academic discipline and open to an outside audience. This can occur, for example, at a professional meeting, via publication, or at an on-campus venue.

Examples of research experiences that may qualify for Odyssey credit include, but are not limited to, participation in courses that have research as the primary component, participation in senior capstone experiences where research is a significant part of the capstone requirement, or enrollment in independent studies or off-campus experiences the principal focus of which is research.

A research proposal must be prepared for student-initiated projects, as delineated in this Odyssey Program Guide. For off-campus projects, the Hendrix faculty supervisor will ensure that the student will be an active participant in a high-quality research project, and that the student has acquired a solid theoretical and practical understanding of that project.

Examples of experiential learning activities that might fulfill this category:


Courses with a UR coding require research that is substantial and typical of the particular discipline.

Individualized Academic Experiences

There are some course experiences that, under certain circumstances, may qualify for UR Odyssey credit even though such courses are not UR coded. Examples of such experiences could be independent studies with an extensive research component or class assignments (modules) that in individual cases expand to the point where they are worthy of UR Odyssey credit.

Co-Curricular Activities

Examples of appropriate projects which might be included in this category include research conducted either at Hendrix under the direction of a faculty member or conducted primarily off-campus. Dissemination of the research results and supervision by a Hendrix faculty member are both required for summer and off-campus research projects.

Special Considerations for Undergraduate Research (UR) Projects and Activities

Consider carefully any laboratory facilities, supplies or equipment that you will need for your project.

There may be safety issues (chemical, human or animal subjects, radiation, etc.) that must be addressed prior to beginning the research. Be sure to contact the proper safety officials, discuss the proposal with them, and obtain clearance to proceed.

In order to receive Odyssey credit, your research results must be presented in a public forum, either on- or off-campus. Specify your plan for presenting your research in your proposal. Also note that a reflection activity may be encouraged for the experience.