INCO 590 & INCO 790

NOTE: Students must complete an INCO 590 / INCO 790 Student-Faculty Contract and submit a paper copy in person to the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research (118 Conant Hall) before registering on Webcat.  FOR PERMISSION TO REGISTER: You must receive permission from the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research before registering.  Spring 2024: INCO contracts must be submitted to the Hamel Center no later than 12:00 noon on Friday, February 2, 2024 in order to register for the spring semester without having to Petition for Variance in Academic Policy.  

We encourage all undergraduates in good academic standing to consider one of the following variable-credit courses for hands-on research experience:

  • INCO 590: Student Research Experience is designed as an entry-level apprenticeship experience, to assist students in developing research skills and to prepare them for more advanced research. 
  • INCO 790: Advanced Research Experience is designed as an advanced-level experience, for students who are conducting more advanced research and applying research skills they already have developed.

To read a quick summary of the similarities and differences between INCO 590 and INCO 790, click below.

INCO 590 / INCO 790 Comparison Chart

INCO 590 and INCO 790 provide opportunities to step outside the classroom and get a fresh perspective on your education. Working with a UNH faculty mentor, you learn about the theories, tools, resources, ethical issues, and professional expectations that guide a scholar's research and teaching activities. In the process, you gain a deeper appreciation of your own coursework, define your academic interests and goals, and sharpen the skills needed to design and carry out independent research, an honors thesis, or a senior project.

What are the requirements?

ALL matriculating UNH undergraduates in good academic standing are eligible to enroll.

  • As an entry-level experience, INCO 590 is particularly suitable to lower-division students or those with little or no previous exposure to research. Students may be enrolled in a UNH associate or baccalaureate degree program.
  • As an advanced-level experience, INCO 790 is particularly suitable to students who have already taken at least one semester of INCO 590; who have already conducted research on a volunteer or grant-funded basis; or who are upper-class students with significant preparatory coursework.  Students must be enrolled in a UNH baccalaureate degree program.

What will I do?

The exact nature of your work will depend on several factors: your mentor's field of study, the topic you have chosen to investigate, and your own level of research preparation and/or experience.  The following is a list (by no means exhaustive) of the kinds of activities you might expect to participate in.  INCO 590 students will conduct entry-level activities under the direct supervision of their faculty mentor, with some measure of independence.  INCO 790 students will conduct more advanced activities, often with more independence.  NOTE:  Students who are involved primarily in clerical, clinical, or laboratory maintenance tasks are not eligible for INCO 590 or INCO 790.

For students in the liberal arts, business, economics, and social sciences:
Since all scholars review journal articles related to their research or teaching, your faculty mentor may ask you to go to the library to research recent journal articles on a particular subject, photocopy them, and then read and summarize them. (They may also ask you to comment on which articles would be appropriate for an introductory-level course.)

You may also engage in data collection, entry, and analysis or work with study groups by conducting interviews, administering or processing surveys, and recruiting subjects. You may design or update web sites, provide foreign language translation, transcribe audiotapes, help organize a conference, edit a journal, work in a darkroom, catalogue slides or specimens, or organize and label slide collections.

For students of mathematics or the physical and biological sciences:
Many activities suitable for students of business, the liberal arts, economics, or social science may also applicable for those in your field. (See above) Other activities may include the repetition of experiments to confirm results or correct problems, building or repairing equipment, applying software applications to research problems, performing biochemical assays, preparing samples for histochemical or molecular analysis, validating or optimizing a procedure, maintaining a culture in vitro, or collecting and analyzing samples.

How do I begin?

Start by identifying a professor whose teaching style or research interests particularly intrigue you. Fill out an INCO 590/INCO 790 Student Résumé for this professor's review, and then meet to discuss how you could be of assistance in his or her work, or how you might pursue research on a related topic. If the professor is willing to become your faculty mentor, you can register for the course.  (See registration instructions below.)  **Your faculty mentor should determine which course—INCO 590 or INCO 790—is most appropriate for your level of research preparation and/or experience.  

NOTE:  All UNH tenure-track, research, clinical, and extension faculty are eligible to mentor a student.  Other non-tenure-track faculty may be eligible with prior approval.  A faculty member may mentor no more than five students per semester under INCO 590 and INCO 790 combined.

Faculty mentor eligibility

How many credits can I earn?

INCO 590 and INCO 790 are variable credit courses that you may repeat up to eight (8) credits combined.  Similarly, you may apply up to eight (8) INCO 590 and INCO 790 credits combined  toward graduation.  Students may not work on more than one INCO 590 or INCO 790 project (max. four credits) in any one semester. 

You receive one credit for 42 hours of research work (3 hrs/wk), or two credits for 84 hours (6 hrs/wk).  In special circumstances, when the extent of the research project warrants it, you may receive three credits (9 hrs/wk) or four credits (12 hrs/wk). Please discuss other academic responsibilities with your faculty mentor to determine whether a three- or four-credit commitment is manageable.

Is there financial support?

Students enrolled in INCO 590 and INCO 790 are eligible for up to $200 in funding (per semester) to underwrite research expenses such as photocopying, supplies, and travel to research sites off campus. See registration instructions below for information on how to request expense funds.

How do I register for the course?

Step 1: With your faculty mentor, fill out a Student-Faculty Contract – including a detailed summary of research activities.  Sign the contract, and have it signed by your faculty mentor and the mentor's department chair.

INCO 590 Student-Faculty Contract

INCO 790 Student-Faculty Contract

Step 2:  Students enrolled in INCO 590 and INCO 790 are eligible for up to $200 in funding (per semester) to support expenses directly related to the research activities outlined in the Student-Faculty Contract.  To request research expense funds, complete an itemized Budget form and have it signed by your faculty mentor.  Read the INCO 590 / INCO 790 Budget Instructions before completing the budget form.

INCO 590 Budget Instructions and Budget Form 

INCO 790 Budget Instructions and Budget Form 

Step 3:  Submit the completed, signed Student-Faculty Contract and a completed, signed Budget form (if you are requesting research expenses) to the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research -- 118 Conant Hall -- before registering.

FOR PERMISSION TO REGISTER ON WEBCAT:  You must receive permission from the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research (118 Conant Hall) before registering.

What happens at the end of the semester?

Once the semester is complete, your faculty mentor will complete the Final Grade Roster: 

  • INCO 590 is "Credit/Fail."  If you satisfactorily complete the course, you receive a grade of "Credit."  No letter grades will be assigned.   Your transcript will read like the following example:

INCO 590: Student Research Experience (English*) 2 credits     Cr

  • INCO 790 is graded.  Your faculty mentor will assign a letter grade and submit it following University procedures.   Your transcript will read like the following example:

INCO 790: Student Research Experience (English*) 2 credits      A

*The disciplinary designation on the transcript is determined by your faculty mentor's departmental affiliation.

If you do not fulfill the expectations of your Student-Faculty Contract, either in commitment of hours or in completion of satisfactory work, two options may be followed:

  • You may petition the Academic Standards and Advising Committee to receive a reduced number of credits (if you registered originally for two or more credits).
  • Your mentor may assign a grade of “Incomplete” and permit you to complete the research the following semester.

At the end of the semester, you and your mentor also will be sent a brief course evaluation form (electronically) to complete and submit to the Hamel Center.