Agriculture and Nutrition Science

Undergraduate Research

Research & Scholarship Defined

Definition of Research: An attempt by careful enquiry, experimentation, study, observation, analysis, and recording to:

  • discover new facts
  • develop new interpretations of facts, knowledge or information, or
  • discover new means of applying existing knowledge

Definition of Scholarship: AGNS recognizes that many definitions of scholarship have been described in the literature.  For its definition of undergraduate scholarship, the Department of Agriculture and Nutrition uses Boyer’s paradigm of four categories of scholarship (1990).  Three of these categories relate to scholarship in terms of research: discovery, practice/application, and integration/synthesis.

Definition of Discovery:
The scholarship of discovery contributes to the development of or creation of new knowledge (Smith, 2005).  This represents the traditional view of research, and is disseminated through publications such as peer-reviewed articles, books, and presentations at scientific meetings.

Definition of Practice (application):
The scholarship of application/practice applies findings generated through the scholarship of integration or discovery to solve real problems in the professions, industry, government, and the community.  This involves taking findings generated via the scholarships of discovery and integration and applying them to clinical practice or teaching and learning (

Definition of Integration (synthesis):
The scholarship of integration involves contributions to the critical analysis and review of knowledge within disciplines or the creative synthesis of insights contained in different disciplines or fields of study.  This includes such activities as literature reviews, meta-analysis, and the synthesis of literature from other disciplines and discussion of its significance for nutrition and/or agriculture.

American Physical Therapy Association (2007).  Physical therapy faculty and scholarship.   Accessed online February 24, 2008 at

Boyer, E. (1990).  Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities for the professoriate.  Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Parks S, Schiller R, Bryk J. *1994).  President's Page: Investment in our future--The role of science and scholarship in developing knowledge for dietetics practice. J Am Diet Assoc. 1994;94(10):1159-1161.

Smith, TL.  (2005).  It’s a question of scholarship.  The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice, Volume 3, Number 2 (