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The Rare & Meaningful Experience of Undergraduate Research


Ask questions. Explore the possibilities. Start discovering the answers at Bridgewater College.

At BC, you’ll have unique opportunities for research as an undergraduate. You can perform research projects in partnership with a faculty mentor, either during the semester or the summer. It’s critical preparation for graduate school and a great way to apply what you’ve learned.

More than $55,000 was awarded to support undergraduate summer research projects in 2015. What will you study in 2016?

Research for Academic Credit

To receive credit for research or independent projects at Bridgewater, you’ll need to follow the requirements and register for one of the following:

  • Internship (480)
  • Independent Study (490)
  • Independent Research (491)
  • Honors Project (500)

See the current academic catalog and talk to your advisor for more details.

The Research Experience @Bridgewater

The Research Experience @Bridgewater is a donor-funded initiative providing support for teams of BC faculty and undergraduate students to spend the summer in collaborative research and creative, scholarly work in any discipline. Faculty members invite undergraduates to participate as a collaborator in their summer scholarly work. Students are provided with a stipend and free housing on campus during the course of the research.

Interested in stream restoration and habitat contamination? How about combining laser Doppler vibrometry and mathematical models to identify individuals at a distance? Have you wondered whether addicts view the causes of their addictions differently than do healthcare providers?

In 2015, Bridgewater faculty and students are working together in small groups to explore these important questions, and more. Think what you might discover. Start planning for 2016 now!

See the application form for additional information.

2015 Recipients and Projects:

  • Angela Hastings (Biology, with Dr. Moshe Khurgel), Does Increase in Locomotion Facilitate Limb Regeneration?
  • Alys Harshbarger (Biology with Dr. Kim Bolyard), Observations on the Behavior of Longnose Dace Fish in their Natural Habitat
  • Lacy Clark (Environmental Science, with Dr. Tim Kreps), Analysis of a Fish Community in a Freshwater Stream Designated for Restoration
  • Martha Hill (Biology, with Dr. Moshe Khurgel), Does the Rate of Regeneration Decrease with Increasing Age of Axolotls?
  • Jose Corona (Applied Physics, with Dr. Verne Leininger), Modeling Carotid Pulse Signals
  • Troy Soaper (Applied Physics, with Dr. Eric McGregor), Thoracic Biometrics Using Carotid Pulse Signals with Varying Heart Rates
  • Ariana Brice (Psychology, with Dr. Brian Kelley), Concept Mapping Proposal: New Hope for Addiction Prevention and Treatment
  • Grey Robinson (Psychology, with Dr. Brian Kelley), Concept Mapping Proposal: New Hope for Addiction Prevention and Treatment

Martin Science Research Institute

Through the Martin Science Research Institute, student and faculty teams receive up to $5,000 to conduct a summer research project in the natural sciences. A stipend and free housing on campus enables students to make their summer job one of research and exploration.

Our 2015 teams are studying particle physics and limb regeneration. You never know what you might discover. You’ll be guided by faculty in an area they know well and have opportunities that go way beyond a typical class. Think what you might explore.

2015 Recipients and Projects:

  • Matthew Pisarcik (Biology, with Dr. Moshe Khurgel), From Regeneration to Development – Redirecting the Fate of Stem Cells
  • Kamal Kaddoura (Physics, with Dr. Deva O’Neil), Studying the Parity Behavior of the Higgs Boson A0 in the Two-Higgs-Doublet Model

The Institute is named for Dr. John W. Martin Jr., who taught in the chemistry department from 1961 until his retirement in 1985 and was one of Bridgewater College's most beloved professors.

See the application form for additional details on the process.

Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) Undergraduate Science Research Fellowship

The VFIC awards $2,000 for a supervised undergraduate summer research project in the sciences. Applications are typically due in March. Contact your advisor for additional information.

2015 Recipients and Projects:

  • Malia Berg (Biology, with Dr. Tracy Deem), The Role of Testosterone in Mediating Protection from Malaria in Interleukin-3-Deficient Mice (VFIC-Carilion Fellowship)
  • Samantha Saylor (Biology, with Dr. Tracy Deem), Mechanism for Malaria: A Look Into the Possible Involvement of Innate Immune Cells (VFIC-Carilion Fellowship)
  • Haley Lloyd, (Biology, with Dr. Kim Bolyard), Habitat Contamination and Antipredator Behaviors in Rhinichthys atratulus (VFIC-MeadWestvaco Fellowship)
  • Daniel Feivor (Environmental Science, with Dr. Gavin Lawson), A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Glow Sticks, Sardines, and No Bait for Trapping Red-Spotted Newts (Notophthalmus viridescens)

Southern Education Leadership Institute Fellowship

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund is offering to fund 20 juniors, seniors, and graduate students from 42 private liberal arts colleges like Bridgewater, to participate in the 2016 Southern Education Leadership Institute. Awardees will work for eight weeks during June and July in a nonprofit organization concerned with equity and excellence in education. A stipend of $4,500 plus travel expenses will be paid, and Fellows will work on challenging research, education policy, and nonprofit program–related projects. Applications will be due in February 2016, and additional information on application processes will be forthcoming. More information is available here.

Presentation and Publication

You might present your research at state and national conferences. Or publish your research as a paper in a prestigious publication. All as an undergraduate! Contact your department chair or academic advisor for opportunities in your field.

Faculty Research Opportunities

Find out more about the research opportunities for BC faculty.

Institutional Review Board

The Institutional Review Board reviews all research involving human participants conducted by faculty, staff and students.


International Research Opportunities