- Since 2000, UMKC has been offering undergraduate students financial support to pursue projects under the mentorship of faculty mentors through the SEARCH program (Students Engaged in Arts & Research).
- As part of UMKC’s strategic planning process in 2010, a task force of 17 faculty from across the university was charged to
review the impact of the existing SEARCH experience on students and faculty, conduct a review of other models of undergraduate research programs and recommend a new model or models that can serve significantly more students with the goal of positively impacting student engagement and success. (Undergraduate Research Taskforce)
- In May 2012, the task force filed a 160-report, including data on undergraduate research programs at colleges/universities recognized for their leadership in this area; at benchmark and aspirational peer institutions; and at regional competitors. The task force recommended additional investment in the SEARCH program; allowing students to use federal work-study dollars to work as research associates with faculty mentors; and to integrate undergraduate research experiences into the curriculum. Undergraduate Research Task Force 2010-2012
- In 2014, UMKC was awarded strategic investment funding from the UM-system to build a more robust undergraduate research program and was charged with ensuring that the undergraduate research program supports the university’s recruitment and retention goals and that it targeted students from under-represented groups and first-generation college students. This strategic investment funding has allowed UMKC to develop its current programs for undergraduate researchers and creative scholars.