Student Research Blog

Creating a Research Presentation

By Divya Ganugapati, OUR Peer Research Ambassador

If you are ready to embark upon the exciting and rewarding journey of presenting your research – congrats! Whether complete or in-progress, take a moment to acknowledge all of the hard work you have put in to make it this far in your undergraduate research career. Now is time for the fun and creative part – displaying your research. Continue reading

Managing Grad School Applications

By Veronica Pleasant, OUR Peer Research Ambassador

Toward the end of their undergraduate career, most students find themselves wondering about what’s next – the job market, graduate school, etc. Some students, however, have their hearts set on medical school, dental school, veterinary school or other professional programs from day one. The decision to apply to these programs is not an easy one- between the financial burden, mental and emotional burden, and the time commitment going forward, it is easy to get lost amongst the application cycle. I want to offer a few specific tips and tricks about the application process that I learned along the way. Continue reading

Getting Started on Your Research Thesis

By Natasha Patel, OUR Peer Research Ambassador

If you are finishing up research, are a senior, or are in the honors program, you may be starting a research thesis soon. I currently am beginning to compose my honors thesis for the research that I have been doing for the past three years. This definitely sounded like a daunting task, however hopefully this blog post can eliminate some of your fears and help you tackle and get started on your thesis! Continue reading

Summarizing Your Research for Grad School Applications

By Priscilla Grillakis, OUR Peer Research Ambassador

I recently applied to graduate programs to pursue a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Throughout the application process, I struggled with the challenge of condensing a year’s worth of research into the small space on the application and on my resume, and with explaining my research within the time allotted during the interview process. I also faced the dilemma of whether to apply for formal research opportunities in these new programs.

If you find yourself in this situation, here are a few tips that helped me: Continue reading

Understanding and Communicating Your Needs

By Jamie Georgelos, OUR Peer Research Ambassador

Student Research Blog Post: Understanding and Communicating Your Needs. By PRA Jamie.When joining an established professional environment, it can be difficult to understand how to fit in while also receiving the resources and support you need to succeed. It is even more difficult as an undergraduate in an environment full of grad students who have very different needs and priorities from your own.

How can you simultaneously learn how to exist within this already established environment, learn your own work style, and ask for these resources in an environment where you are so far down in the hierarchy? Here’s what worked for me. Continue reading

Learning from Mistakes in the Lab

By Ariane Garrett, OUR Peer Research Ambassador

Student Research Blog: Learning from Mistakes in the Lab. By PRA Ariane.We’ve all heard the saying, “everyone makes mistakes.” But when you’re the one who’s to blame, it’s can be harder to remember that you’re not alone. Over the past two years working in a lab at UConn, I’ve made many mistakes and been forced to face the consequences. In this post, I share with you some of my biggest ones in the hopes that we can all feel a little less alone the next time we mess up. Continue reading

Taking the First Steps Toward Your Own Research

By Brendan Hogan, OUR Peer Research Ambassador

Student Research Blog Post: Taking the First Steps Toward Your Own Research. By PRA Brendan.Since finishing a research apprenticeship with a faculty mentor I have wanted to start my own research project, but I have struggled to figure out how. I’ve known for a while that I want to explore ways to utilize photography to help with environmental efforts to preserve natural parks and resources in the West, but it seemed like an enormous project to even begin. I became overwhelmed as I tried looking into past studies, professors on campus who work in this area, and even explored internships, yet it just was not coming together. Continue reading

How Research Helped Me Choose a Career

By Divya Ganugapati, OUR Peer Research Ambassador

As an undergraduate student there is a lot of pressure on you to figure out exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life at such a young age. Enrolling at UConn at 17 years old, I had no clue what some of the 110+ majors offered here even meant (Cognitive Science? What?) let alone having to choose one.

Before switching to a Cognitive Science major, I originally was a Physiology and Neurobiology major. I knew I was interested in a field relating to the brain since I had so many brain-oriented unanswered questions. Why are humans the only species to industrialize? What is the difference between humans, animals, and machines? What happens when your brain gets injured? How can some people switch between two or more languages? These questions are what motivated my major change from a purely physiological and anatomical education of the brain to an interdisciplinary understanding of the brain’s application to language, emotion, and personality. Continue reading

Pursuing Research Outside of the Lab

By Priscilla Grillakis, OUR Peer Research Ambassador

Student Research Blog Post: Pursuing Research Outside of the Lab. By PRA Priscilla.When attending such a well-known research university, it is difficult to go a day without hearing the seemingly hackneyed expression “get involved in research early on.” So often, this is interpreted to mean you should get involved in a professor’s research lab from freshman or sophomore year and continue this research until senior year. Although this a great form of a research experience, it is not the only form of undergraduate research.

Applying for a research grant independent from a specific lab is another form. Through my experience, I have learned that this is a great way to follow your own research interests, which you can continue to pursue throughout your undergraduate career. Continue reading

Gaining Confidence and Direction through Research/Creative Activity

By Emy Regan, OUR Peer Research Ambassador

Student Research Blog Post: Gaining Confidence and Direction Through Research and Creative Activity. By PRA Emy.Recently, I have been reflecting on my experience doing creative activity and research. I have gained so many valuable things from writing and illustrating a comic book through an IDEA grant. I’ve built amazing relationships with mentors, I’ve gained technical skill, but most valuable of all, I’ve gained confidence that I want to pursue a career in narrative illustration.

Research and creative activity can be a key to figuring out your aspirations and gaining direction. I knew when I started this project that there was a distinct possibility that I was not going to enjoy working independently on a comic book for a year. I had never worked on any project that long, let alone writing and illustrating a full book. However, I wanted to see if this career field was for me, and my research gave me an opportunity to test out this type of working situation while I had the guidance of the Office of Undergraduate Research and my mentors. Continue reading