The Ohio State University at Mansfield


Student Research

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One of the advantages of attending the Mansfield campus of The Ohio State University is that you can work closely with professors on various research projects. Most faculty members are engaged in some sort of research or scholarship. Faculty in a variety of disciplines are often looking for research assistants and they are also open to students conducting their own research or investigations under supervision.


Why do research?

The faculty at The Ohio State University are involved in the creation of new knowledge that is eventually taught in our classrooms. Research and scholarship is an important part of the job of faculty members at a major research university such as OSU. Faculty at OSU-Mansfield are members of their departments in Columbus and are expected to produce the same high-quality research as their Columbus counterparts. An advantage of being a student at a campus such as this is the opportunity to take part in some aspect of the research process. There are a number of ways that students may benefit from participating in research, including the following:

  • Expanding learning beyond the classroom
  • Feeling more involved in the college experience
  • Developing a deeper understanding of how knowledge advances in a field
  • Applying some of the knowledge gained in classes
  • Working closely with a faculty member
  • Enhancing chances of getting accepted into graduate school
  • Enabling faculty members to write a more fully informed letter of recommendation for a job or graduate school
  • Having the opportunity to present research finding at a student research forum or even a professional conference
  • Gaining practical experience in a field that will be helpful when seeking a job
  • Demonstrating to yourself and others that you are capable and competent
  • Click here for other reasons

Be a research assistant

The Ohio State University is a top research university. Faculty at The Ohio State University at Mansfield are highly involved with research, scholarship, and the creation of new knowledge. You can play an important role in this research by providing assistance to faculty members in a variety of fields. Research experience course (4998) credits can be given, depending on the nature of the assistance. Sometimes students are paid in exchange for their help on a research project. Occasionally students volunteer for this activity simply for the experience. The details will need to be discussed with the professor that you end up helping. Faculty members may apply for up to $1,000 to pay a student research assistant by means of this application.

  • Some of the roles that students have played in Ohio State Mansfield research include:
  • Interacting with human subjects in experiments and studies
  • Carrying out laboratory experiments
  • Locating books and articles that pertain to a topic of interest
  • Writing a literature review
  • Helping to design a study
  • Statistical analysis
  • Translating documents
  • Doing naturalistic observation
  • Conducting surveys
  • Data coding and input
  • Interviewing research participants
  • Locating community resources and contacts
  • Analyzing literature and film

Do a research thesis

One of the most challenging and fulfilling aspects of your college education could be completing a research thesis. This is an opportunity for students who have a GPA of 3.0 or above. The student must enroll in a total of at least 4 research thesis credits in a 4999 course, complete a research project supervised by a faculty member, submit it in written form, and undergo a one hour oral defense with a two or three person faculty committee. Fulfilling these requirements will enable the student to graduate “with Research Distinction.”

How do I get started?

The important first step is to think about what topic you might be interested in researching. Then you should approach a professor in your major to ask if he/she would be willing to advise you. This should be done no later than the end of your junior year. The necessary forms and other advice may be obtained from Assistant Dean Dr. Terri Fisher in Ovalwood 335. For additional information see the Undergraduate Research Thesis page. 

Develop your own research project

Students who don’t undertake a research thesis project can still pursue research areas that interest them. The key to being able to do this is to find a professor willing to provide guidance and advice. When working on your own project, it is very important to keep your supervising professor informed and involved every step of the way. Research, especially research involving human subjects, must go through an approval process before you can implement it. It is possible to get course credit for undertaking your own research project. The details of this would be worked out with the professor who is advising you.

Get financial support for your research

There are several resources for students who need small grants to support their research projects. The Mansfield campus has small grants of up to $500 to support student research. Just complete this application and have your faculty advisor submit it to the Assistant Dean.

View other funding opportunities.

Share the results of your research

There are several ways that student researchers can share the results of their research with others.

Campus Research Frenzy—a fun event where student researchers give brief summaries of their research projects

Mansfield Campus Research Forum—a more formal event linked to the Honors Convocation in the spring where student researchers display the results of their research in the form of a poster or display

Denman Undergraduate Research Forum is an event at the Columbus campus where students from all OSU campuses display the results of their research in the form of a poster or display. This event will be held on March 28 in 2013.

Presentations at discipline-relevant conferences—students can work with their faculty advisors to submit proposals to various conferences.