Determine your interest. Think about what you want to do, and learn about research in your chosen field. A lot of research incorporates skills from an array of disciplines. Click here for our current Undergraduate Research Ambassadors (URAs). They are some examples of students pursuing their interests in undergraduate research.
Identify four or five faculty members whose research interests you. Don't limit yourself to just research within your major. Keep a broad perspective when searching for opportunities. Gather information about their research, such as research aims, methods and findings. Collect journal articles, books, and presentations published by the professors. If possible, attend one of their lectures, performances, or productions.
Contact the faculty members. Write an email or visit them in office hours. Be sure to identify the project and some of the information you have learned about their research. List your year in school, major, and relevant courses you have taken or training you have acquired, if any, and ask to meet to talk more about the project.
Follow up. Sometimes our faculty can get very busy. Don't hesitate to send them a reminder that you reached out to them. The key is passion, dependability and being personable. Answer questions honestly, have questions ready for them, and thank them for their time.
Understand your expectations and those of your faculty mentor. Decide on the time commitment you can make to your research. Determine how many hours per week, weeks per semester, semesters per year you can dedicate to your project. As a general rule of thumb, one credit hour translates to approximately three hours in lab per week.
Once you've signed up for undergraduate research, it's important to ensure you get credit for your work. Click here to register and get course credit for the research you're doing outside of the classroom.
If you're still having trouble finding a research opportunity for you, reach out to the UROP office, the Undergraduate Research Ambassadors, and/or your school’s undergraduate coordinator. We can guide and assist you in finding a research position. Click here to contact the UROP office.