Getting Started in Undergraduate Research
- Insight into the process of research and knowledge creation in your chosen field of study
- Deeper mastery of essential technical and non-technical skills
- Contacts and references that you’ll need for admission to the graduate or pre-professional program of your choice, or your first job.
In many of your classes, you’re learning information that is already known and well established. In research, you explore what is unknown, and create new knowledge. Challenge yourself!
How do I get started?
An excellent, step-by-step guide to selecting an opportunity that is right for you can be found at WebGURU, a Guide for Undergraduate Research.
Start by thinking about your interests:
- What are you interested in studying?
- What areas and departments might be related to your interests?
- Are there classes you can take that will help you explore your interests?
- Know your goals – why are you interested in getting involved in research?
Do your homework:
- Read faculty websites and learn about their research
- Attend an OUR workshop to learn more about opportunities and funding
- Talk to undergraduates already working with a faculty member about their experiences
- Attend Frontiers in Undergraduate Research to learn what other students have done
Make a good impression:
- Make an appointment to talk to a faculty member whose work interests you
- Don’t send a generic email to everyone in a department– take the time to show that you are truly interested in a specific research topic
- Start early, be polite, and be persistent