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Defining Research

Defining research is as difficult as explaining how gravity works. We are aware of its tremendous effects, yet it’s hard to begin explaining all its complexities.

Why Perform Research at Cornell?

Undergraduate research is an enriching process by which you meet people, gain skills and become an active member of the university community.

Student Research by the Numbers

Cornell's mission is to discover, preserve, and disseminate knowledge; produce creative work; and promote a culture of broad inquiry throughout and beyond the Cornell community. See how we’re doing by the numbers.

Is Research for You?

Whatever the type or setting, all research is motivated by the quest to gain new knowledge. Some research is applied and may ultimately lead to the betterment of people’s lives, other research is at a basic level and can lead to a revolutionary change in in the way we think.

In the Beginning: What to Consider

Before you get started in "research," it is important to identify your goals and objectives. Knowing what you can learn from research will not only help you to find a great position, it will help you make the most of it. The following information should give you a few “thinking” points to consider.

Research Skills

Find information on the following topics: ethics and safety, statistical training, research reference and writing guides, presenting and publishing your work.

Research by the Numbers


Cornell students who earned credit for their research efforts in 2019-2020


Undergraduates who earned credit for participating in research during the course of their study at Cornell during the 2019-20 academic year


The number of hours a typical senior science major spends each week in the lab while participating in a faculty-led research project


The average number of books read each week by a humanities major participating in a faculty-led research project