Undergraduate Research

At Luther, we challenge you to grow in how you confront the world, including the world of ideas. In order to help deepen your learning experience, we provide many opportunities for close study of a subject through undergraduate research.

Student-Faculty Collaboration

Luther students often collaborate with faculty on research projects, addressing challenging questions that can’t be confined to semester-long courses. Recent student-faculty collaborations include scoring a film, creating a language tutorial, analyzing the effect of stride length on running economy, and studying corn-based plastics and gene expression. These projects often result in papers that students and faculty jointly publish or present at conferences.

Grants and Other Funding

Summer student/faculty collaborative research grants and work-study positions are two Luther programs that make student-faculty collaborations possible. You can also undertake independent research or creative projects through student research grants.

External Funding

Recent grants from outside sources include:

  • Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources: "Survey of Fitchiella robertsoni, Fitch's Elephanthopper, a rare piglet bug found at Spirit Knoll State Preserve," Kirk Larsen, project director.
  • Iowa Science Foundation: "Using Next Generation DNA to sequencing technologies to reveal relationships among perennial species of sunflowers," Eric Baack, project director.
  • Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture: "Body of Water," Jodi Enos-Berlage and Jane Hawley, project director.
  • ASIANetwork-Freeman Foundation: "Student-faculty fellows program for collaborative research in Asia," Stratis Giannakouros and Hongmei Yu, program directors.
  • Living Roadways Trust Fund: biology research (recent awards to Kirk Larsen).
  • Monticello College Foundation: focus on women student researchers in the sciences (recent grants to Stephanie Fretham. Molly Wilker, and Beth Lynch).
  • Iowa Ground Water Association: collaborative student/faculty research projects (Eric Baack)

Examples of Undergraduate Research Projects