The centerpiece of the program is research, or scholarship. The goals of such research may be to deliver papers at academic conferences, to produce publishable articles, or to initiate meaningful community projects. In disciplines in which publications are not the standard of scholarship, other criteria may be used (e.g., a musical composition, an art exhibit).
Each TURC student has a faculty mentor who will help the student along paths of mutual interest and will monitor his or her progress. The TURC program recognizes the academic disciplines are variable in the ways scholars conduct research and in the amount of background study necessary to be effective in this endeavor. As a result, the kind and amount of preparation necessary will vary by discipline and by individual student and project.
TURC participants receive the training and mentoring needed to contend for nationally competitive scholarships such as the Goldwater, Marshall, Truman, and Rhodes and the National Science Foundation graduate fellowships. Competing for scholarships is neither the program’s primary goal nor fitting for every TURC student. But given the program’s inherent components, applying for nationally competitive scholarships has been a natural progression for many TURC students.