Research is more broadly defined than many students realize. It's generally understood that biology majors working in labs "do research." But so do psychology majors interning at hospitals, English majors plowing through archival documents, business majors examining market trends, and communications majors analyzing broadcast television. Any academic interest holds potential for research, and there are ample funds out there to help you carry out your project.
Research provides a plethora of intrinsic benefits: gathering and creating new knowledge, learning the methods of your field, exploring new ways of thinking, and entering your field's professional dialogue. But undergraduate research merits external rewards as well. It may make you more attractive to graduate schools, employers, and national fellowship committees, and it may provide you with professional and academic connections that last a lifetime.
Villanova University has an extensive community of researchers who have published various bodies of work across the disciplines that can be found in the Villanova Community Bibliography. A database of the entire published output of Villanova University's authors and researchers, the Community Bibliography is a great tool for undergraduate research students to search for faculty who are researching and publishing in their fields. In addition, it is a great celebration of the scholarship of Villanova University from 1842 to the present.
Keep this thought in mind as well: after you complete your research, there are abundant opportunities to share it with others. Publish your findings in an undergraduate journal, present them at a conference (the Honors Program sponsors trips to two such conferences each year), or submit them to a writing competition.
Villanova University Presidential Scholar Joana Petrescu ’14 LAS, a rising senior from Warrington, Pa., has been named a recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, making her the 9th female and 15th Villanovan overall since 1995 to receive the prestigious award. Established in 1986, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is considered to be the premier undergraduate award of its type for these fields and was awarded to only 272 students nationwide for the 2013-2014 academic year. The Scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 a year.