Accelerated Research Opportunities

Video: Accelerated Research Opportunities Program

Looking for a way to make connections with faculty, conduct original research, and challenge yourself? The RU Accelerated Research Opportunities Program allows freshmen the opportunity to immediately be exposed to, prepare for and actively engage in research and scholarship.


Accelerated Research Opportunities (ARO) Purpose

The purpose of ARO is to provide select students with the opportunity to immediately be exposed to, prepare for and actively engage in research and scholarship. 

How do I apply to ARO?

Applications occur through this website.  For additional information email ours@radford.edu stating your interest in the program, and a way that you would like to be contacted. Final acceptance into the program is through permission of the director of the Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship. Space is limited to 24 students and will be filled on a first come, first served basis of highly qualified and motivated applicants.

What is research?

Research is broadly defined as anything that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to a discipline.

Why participate in research?

Undergraduate research and scholarship is strongly associated with students earning higher grades, finishing their degree, going to graduate school, increased self-confidence, and having better retention and application of information. 

Why start research as a freshmen?

The ARO students can potentially have over three years of research experience upon graduation in a single environment, which should result in publications, presentations, and recognition not possible when students get started on research typically as juniors and seniors. 

What is involved in the ARO program?

The major components of the program include common housing, a section of OURS100 designed to successfully prepare for participating in research projects, and includes a seminar series on active research that the students can join in the spring.  In the spring each student will be part of a research project tied to at least one credit hour of an independent study, participate in biweekly chalk talks discussing their work so far among the group, and culminating in a year end professional presentation of their work.

Who can join ARO?

Students need to have demonstrated the ability to handle the challenges of working on independent studies their first year. High GPA and understanding of the program and research are required. 

What are the unique aspects of the ARO program?

By the end of the semester the ARO students will have direct contact and explanations of over two dozen individual experienced and successful faculty mentored research programs across all undergraduate colleges. Additionally, students will be taught by the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholarship (OURS) granting immediate access and immersion to the resources available on campus to support research projects. Other campus leaders will be introduced to the participants. 

How do I join a research group?

Students will attend all of the seminars and submit a ranked list of their top three faculty to work with including written descriptions of why they choose each faculty mentor and describing the contact they have had with the faculty outside of class time.  The Director of OURS will then take those lists and work to provide students with their top choices.  In the case of multiple requests first priority will be given from the quality of the written requests and engagement in the program through the Fall semester.

Where can I get questions answered?

Contact Dr. Joe Wirgau, Director of OURS, at 540-831-7203 or ours@radford.edu.