Independent research is fully encouraged in the LAAS Discipline at Morris, and students are motivated to initiate and execute their own research or projects. At times, there are also opportunities for students to assist faculty with projects, either on campus or in the field. These are excellent opportunities for students to get an introduction to scholarly and academic work, or to have a chance to apply knowledge from coursework to real life situations.
The centerpiece of the LAAS Discipline is the chance to travel abroad and experience Latin America firsthand. There is no substitute for immersion in the culture and language, and the LAAS program is designed to ensure that students engage with the people and take on significant and worthwhile work during their stay. This can include residing with families, working for community organizations, conducting fieldwork, or other activities related to the student’s area of interest.
Financial support for student research is available through many venues. University funding opportunities are consolidated by the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE). One example is the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), a University-wide program which provides academically talented students the opportunity to earn up to $1,400 assisting faculty with scholarly and creative projects.
Another, the Morris Academic Partners program (MAP), is unique to the Morris campus and provides paid research partnerships to academically talented, qualified third-year students. The standard stipend is $2,000. The Multi-Ethnic Mentorship Program (MMP) affords students of color the opportunity to receive a $2,000 stipend for working with faculty or staff on year-long projects.
Student work at Morris has also been funded by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the Community Assistance Program (CAP). Faculty research funding obtained independently via grants or from other awards may also create paid positions for students to assist in research projects.