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The Student Research Experience

Building upon the rigorous academic tradition of the Jesuits, Saint Louis University offers undergraduate research opportunities across all types of majors. Here, learning is engaging, active and hands-on.

Student research at SLU can begin even before high school graduation. We are part of the regional Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS) program, one of five area research institutions committed to passing along a fervor for scientific inquiry. Faculty members open their labs during the summer to promising St. Louis area high school juniors who are the scientists of the future.

Undergraduate Research at SLU

Through work in the lab or the field, undergraduates at SLU can be involved in research as early as their freshman year.

Working with faculty mentors, they discover answers to tough questions. Can we modify tests for cholera and typhoid fever for use in developing countries? Does the peppery spice, curcumin, power down cancer cells? How can drones and planes safely share the same air space?

My name is going to be on a manuscript—an opportunity that I don't think I would have gotten at a bigger school."

Julia Pratt, Undergraduate Student

SLU undergraduate students have created devices for patients whose tremors from Parkinson’s disease make eating and writing difficult, designed low-cost systems to filter arsenic pollution out of water and explored new compounds to fight drug-resistant malaria.

At SLU, research extends beyond STEM-related fields.

Our students have ventured to Ireland to study the connection between the Celtic Church and environmentalism and traveled to Belize City to find solutions to stop the high school dropout epidemic. Each summer, students cross the Mississippi River to Cahokia Mounds to be part of one of the world’s largest archaeological explorations of a prehistoric native civilization.

Scholarly Undergraduate Research Grants and Experiences (SURGE)

This program is meant to connect students with faculty who are conducting research, creative endeavors and other scholarly projects at SLU.

You can apply to opportunities posted in Handshake under the SURGE employer profile (search ‘SLU SURGE’). You must provide a resume and a statement of purpose (cover letter) explaining why you want to be involved with the project.

Applications will go to the faculty member overseeing the project and they will choose whom they wish to hire.

Graduate Research at SLU

Graduate students at SLU take research to the next level — delving deeply into a discipline. They find connections among disparate texts. Apply new solutions to old problems. Discover, experiment, dream.

Students in a tissue lab

At Saint Louis University, research opportunities drive graduate education. And many graduate students have a close relationship with a faculty mentor to guide their studies.

Grad students are looking at: Solar panels to replace wood as a fuel source in Haiti; the impact of climate change on the production of grapes for wine; how to use social media to educate patients who have diabetes; ways to get fruits and vegetables into corner markets in low income neighborhoods; and how secondary school students relate to, and learn about, history in non-classroom settings, especially through engagement in the arts.

By joining current projects or spearheading new ones, graduate students gain invaluable academic experience in the research process and its outcomes. As they work to expand their own education, these students broaden the shared base of knowledge.