Work side by side with professors on research projects both inside the classroom and out in the field, tackling real problems and gaining invaluable, practical experience.

Often inaccessible to students at larger universities, hands-on research allows you to spend a significant part of your education outside the classroom working on projects of personal interest while developing skills in critical thinking, data analysis, and communication that are highly valuable to future employers and graduate programs.

This year, Hampden-Sydney students are experiencing their first virtual Student Research Symposium where they present their research online to faculty, staff, and peers. Explore their presentations.

Student Research Stories

Research Opportunities with Faculty

Summer Research Program

Summer 2020 Research Opportunities

The Office of Undergraduate Research intends to showcase the wide diversity of inquiry-based work conducted by Hampden-Sydney students. Work of this kind is needed by all students to be competitive in a rapidly evolving job market.

Dr. Michael Wolyniak, Director of Undergraduate Research

Cancer Research at Hampden-Sydney College

Dr. Kristian Hargadon (H-SC '01), Associate Professor of Biology, has developed laboratory experiments for his Hampden-Sydney College students that allow them to meaningfully contribute to his research on the growth and spread of skin cancer.

How do I get involved in research?

In many cases, your first exposure to research comes with an in-class semester-long project. These classroom experiences let you practice the skills necessary to perform independent research, including locating literature related to your project, discerning reliable from unreliable sources, designing effective research questions, and evolving your research questions based on the data you collect and analyze. When you have gotten a taste of these skills and would like to gain additional independent experience, schedule an appointment with the faculty member who studies the topic closest to your interests to learn more about how to develop a project of your own. From this conversation, you can figure out what sort of work may be best for you and set some goals and benchmarks for a successful project.

How does H-SC support undergraduate research?

In most cases, you can earn Directed Reading or Independent Study credit towards graduation for student research work. Many departments require a senior research project of their majors, and in many cases this work can be applied towards earning Department Distinction status at graduation. Consult your faculty mentor to find out which track may be most appropriate for you.

For a more immersive experience, the Honors Council sponsors 8-10 week summer research internships in which students work full-time on their project and live on campus with fellow research students. (Note that you do NOT need to be an Honors Scholar to apply for this program). Financial support is provided in the form of a modest stipend and housing expenses. 

Summer Research

How and where can I present my research?

Hampden-Sydney students have the opportunity to present their research at the College's Student Research Symposium. Since it is important for undergraduates to get the chance to present their work off-campus as well, the College supports student travel to regional and national conferences. Regional presentation opportunities include the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference on Undergraduate Scholarship (MARCUS) meeting held at Sweet Briar College each Fall and the  Virginia Academy of Science meeting held each May. On a national level, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) is held each April, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is held in Orlando, FL, and several academic professional societies hold meetings with undergraduate presentation sessions.

The College also has several outlets available on campus for the presentation and publication of original work:

  • TEDx—students and professors community-wide present their own round of TEDx talks on the topic of " Tradition and Change: 21st Century Men's College"
  • English Capstone—students examine race and identity through a series of podcasts 
  • PechaKucha—faculty and students sharpen their brevity by describing their research using 20 slides presented in 20 seconds each
  • H-S Journal of the Sciences—Hampden-Sydney's very own science publication releases its latest edition
  • Elevator Pitch Competition—Rhetoric students hone their research pitch with 2-minute presentations about "Problems and Solutions in the World of Sports"
  • Environmental Studies Capstone—students present their ideas and commercials 
Student Research Stories

What kind of research might I do with faculty?

There are a many research opportunities for undergraduate research at Hampden-Sydney. You can work out a specifically-tailored research plan with your faculty mentor(s) based on your interests and future career goals.

Faculty Research Interests

Alex Dent '21

Physics major Alex Dent ’21 is the first student from Hampden-Sydney College to be accepted into the prestigious and highly competitive Clinical Research Internship Program at the Mayo Clinic.

Alex Dent '21

Office of Undergraduate Research


Dr. Michael J. Wolyniak, Director
Elliott Associate Professor of Biology 
(434) 223-6175
mwolyniak@hsc.edu
Gilmer 129 | Box 183
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden Sydney, VA 23943 

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