Office in the TILT Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry
(970) 491-1566

Mark A. Brown, Director

Program Background

The faculty, staff, and students at CSU are actively engaged in a wide range of scholarly activities that both anticipate and respond to the interests and needs of the people of Colorado, the nation, and the world. In these endeavors, we are recognized as one of the most highly rated public research universities in the United States. Faculty, staff, and students at CSU are pioneers in a variety of disciplines that help shape our global environment. The Mentored Research and Artistry Program provides a structure for undergraduate students to engage in these activities. Whether investigating infectious disease or the benefits of music therapy, international economics, or regional climate change, every undergraduate is encouraged to contribute to the scholarly output of CSU.

Program Philosophy

Aristotle noted, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” The development and application of new knowledge plays an essential role at research-intensive universities, enhancing both learning and teaching. The Mentored Research and Artistry Program allows students to initiate a learning experience under the close guidance of a faculty mentor. Research and artistry, as an extension of the learning experience beyond the classroom, leads to the acquisition of skills and unique mindsets necessary to create new ideas and expand human knowledge. Through inquiry, students become their own teachers pursuing answers to unresolved questions and enriching their educational experience. For example, a student may use techniques learned in a chemical engineering laboratory to explore alternatives for clean energy. Another student might expand the technical repertoire of acrylic painting in the context of experimenting on canvas. In all cases, each student’s path to new knowledge is enhanced with the guidance and experience of a mentor. The role of faculty mentors in undergraduate inquiry is to provide input, feedback, and support while guiding students in the responsible and ethical pursuit of new knowledge and experiences.

Main Features

The Mentored Research and Artistry Program is designed to enhance and recognize the learning experiences of undergraduates who are engaged in research, artistry, or other forms of creative work. The experience allows students to distinguish themselves as undergraduate scholars in their disciplines. This opportunity is open to all undergraduate students in good academic standing who have at least two full semesters remaining before graduation. The criteria for completion of the program are rigorous, ensuring that only the most dedicated students receive the distinction of Mentored Research and Artistry Program on their transcript. Students earn the right to wear the Mentored Research and Artistry Program’s Silver Ribbon with their graduation regalia and of listing this distinction among their academic achievements.


To complete the program, the following requirements must be satisfied.

  1. Inquiry projects must be conducted under the guidance of a faculty, staff, or industry mentor for a minimum duration of two semesters. Approval of projects by the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry is required. Forms and guidelines for program registration are available at TILT.
  2. Participating students must complete a workshop on the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), provided regularly by the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry. Upon completion of the RCR workshop, participants are required to complete the online RCR training and examination module available at RCR. Students must register and actively participate in a student organization related to their discipline and approved by the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry. Students will be required to submit a letter from the organization’s Faculty/Graduate advisor verifying the student’s active involvement for at least two semesters.
  3. Students must complete a research methods course with a grade of C or higher. The course must be approved by the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry.
  4. Inquiry projects must be presented at CSU’s annual Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity (CURC) Showcase or another venue approved by the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry, such as a regional or national conference. A program highlighting the participant’s project or a letter of verification from the faculty mentor must be included with the final report.
  5. Projects must be submitted for publication in the CSU’s Journal of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Excellence or in another peer-reviewed journal, approved by the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry. A copy of the published manuscript or correspondence from an editor of the journal to which a manuscript has been submitted indicating the manuscript is under review should be included with the participant’s final report.

Upon completion of a project, participants must submit a final report including a summary of the project, its outcomes, and a detailed reflection of the experience along with a letter from the mentor (report forms and guidelines are available at TILT). The Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry will generate an electronic file for each participant. Upon submission of the final report, the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry will review the file and confirm the student’s successful completion of the program notifying the CSU Registrar’s Office for transcription of the Mentored Research and Artistry Program.