Physical Science

Undergraduate Research

Research and Scholarship Defined

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

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

Definition of Scholarship: For its definition of scholarship, the Department of Physical Science uses Boyer’s (1990) model that describes scholarship as discovery, integration, service, application, and teaching.  Scholarship involves a lifelong commitment to thinking, questioning, and pursuing answers.

Scholarship of Discovery
The scholarship of discovery takes the form of primary empirical research, historical research, theory development and testing, methodological studies, and philosophical inquiry and analysis.

Scholarship of Practice (Application)
The scholarship of practice answers a question to improve the application of physical science principles in the benefit of individuals and groups.  It encompasses all aspects of physical science where information is developed, including questioning of certain methods and models while investigating possible improvements.

Scholarship of Integration
The scholarship of integration associates research with reality and clarifies the meaning of results. The scholarship of integration emphasizes the interconnection of ideas, and brings new insight to bear on original concepts and research.  Critical analysis and interpretation are two common methodologies, but interdisciplinary work may take place through any medium for scholarship such as those described as discovery, teaching, or practice (Boyer, 1990).

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