I have a graduate admissions question for anyone who might have been part of a graduate admissions committee. How do you view undergraduate research projects that are not cutting edge or particularly interesting? My project is on the effect of ball milling on production of a bulk high-Tc superconductor. I first got onto the project by asking the one materials-related experamentalist at my small liberal arts college if I could work with him on his current research. At the time he gave me this project, so I agreed to work with him. When I first started doing literature search for background reading on my project, I found out that my project was not particularly cutting edge and had probably been done 20 years ago. When I contacted the professor about it, his attitude was essentially take it or leave it. He also does not want to support my original idea of writing a senior thesis, partially because he plans to retire in a few years and partially because he also doesn't think my research project (the project itself, not related to my effort or intelligence) would be good enough for a thesis. Because I literally have no other options for a professor to do research with (I want to go to materials science graduate school and he is the only experimental materials physics professor at my college) I did the project with him, put in my best effort, and plan to output an experimental writeup and data analysis that is enthusiastic as I can make it. I am aiming for top 40 schools in my graduate applications (with a couple of backup schools). The good news is that I have performed well at 2 REUs, one of which is with a pretty well known and well funded professor, so I have those letters of rec to fall back on. However, I am concerned about the letter that I will get from my own school. Will admissions committees look down on me if my undergrad research project is not cutting edge or clearly something that was done 20 years ago, or will it not matter as long as the professor has a decent opinion of me and can discuss my character?