What is considered research?

I know this might be a dumb question but what is considered research? I come from a university that puts out a lot of research and so to me research is expensive and takes years and isn’t even worth mentioning unless its published in a journal. Its the kind of thing that takes an NIH grant or else some other massive amount of money. This is research on the professional level. What I don’t know is what “research” looks like at the undergraduate level. Most of my peers wash beakers or prepare culture media in a professors lab. Is this whats considered research?

I was told that as far as my school was concerned, if your name is on the paper, then you contributed to research. However, if you were asked to talk about said paper and couldn’t come up with any real info about the methods, results, conclusion, etc, it looks very badly on you.

Research at my institution is basically anything that contributes to academic understanding and/or furtherance of our understanding of _____. It’s a pretty general definition…