One of the major advantages of the McNair Scholars Program is the opportunity to conduct research with a faculty mentor. The research component is central to the program and a key aspect of preparation for doctoral study. This component results in a major research project identified during the junior year, prepared for by attending a course on developing a research thesis, and conducted during the summer that preceding the senior year. Upon completion of the research, each Scholar writes an article for submission to the McNair Scholars Program. Scholars are also encouraged to seek publication and to present their papers at regional and national conferences.
The research project is conducted over eight weeks during the summer between junior and senior years. Students receive a maximum $2800 stipend for participation in summer research, which requires a 40 hour per week commitment. Faculty members who participate in the program receive a stipend for their research activities. In some cases, Scholars and McNair Scholars Program staff will identify research opportunities at national Research I and Research II institutions who have agreed to provide research experiences to NEIU McNair Scholars. The summer research project initiates students into the scholarly activities of their chosen discipline. In addition, it provides a model of the student-major professor relationship that is crucial for success in graduate school.