Student Research Blog

Overcoming Research Challenges

By Shreya Murthy, Peer Research AmbassadorOvercoming Research Challenges. By PRA Shreya.

Its 11pm at night and you have to send some materials to your PI on your research project the next morning. All of a sudden, your computer screen goes blue, then black, then won’t turn on again; your computer just crashed with all of your research inside.

Participating in research is a really wonderful and engaging experience and helps students in so many personal and professional ways. However, when situations such as the above computer crash happen, things get a little more interesting. Continue reading

The Importance of Mentors

By Anisha Jain, OUR Peer Research AmbassadorThe Importance of Mentors. By PRA Anisha.

Why do we need mentors anyway?

Learning can become onerous for anyone and often we feel its weight on our shoulders. Competitiveness in academic culture can become toxic. Having good mentors can help one to navigate the obstacles faced in academic culture. Mentors instill their passions and interests which not only can define our professional lives but impart critical and fundamental experiences in research. I owe a lot to my mentors. The ones who spend hours sitting with me and teaching. The ones who give me opportunities to make my own mistakes. The ones who believed in me even when I didn’t know what I was doing. Mentors give us access to various academic resources, mold us into professionals, and help guide us towards our goals. Continue reading

Starting Off With Self-Advocacy

By Brendan Hogan, OUR Peer Research AmbassadorStarting off With Self-Advocacy. By PRA Brendan.

Getting started in research can be tricky. There are many details to consider. You may be wondering what kind of research you want to do, when you want to work on a project, or even who to contact in order to get started. Out of all these concerns, one of your priorities should be ensuring that you advocate for yourself while working under, or in collaboration with, a mentor.

It can be daunting to advocate for yourself when you are trying to successfully land a research position without any experience. You may want to take the first offer you are given. Once involved, you may try to avoid any conflict or differences of opinion with your mentor. Getting involved in research does not have to conflict with your ability be your own advocate. Incorporating self-advocacy into your research experience will allow you to make the most of the experience and fully realize your goals. Continue reading

Similarities and Differences in My Research Experiences

By Claire Fresher, OUR Peer Research AmbassadorSimilaries and Differences in My Research Experiences. By PRA Claire.

Many kinds of research occur on campus. Each research lab is different and unique. As a mechanical engineering student I have had the privilege of working in two labs that have shown me two different sides of what research can look like while also showing me overlap between the two. Continue reading

The Importance of Connecting With Your PI

By Alexandra Bettencourt, Peer Research AmbassadorThe Importance of Connecting With Your PI. By PRA Alexandra.

I will never forget my first academic advising appointment as a freshman at UConn, because it was there that I met a mentor who would help to shape the entirety of my academic career. Prior to meeting Dr. Sarah Reed for the first time, I had read her faculty biography to learn more about her. After skimming her qualifications and publications, my eighteen-year-old self, that had just begun taking BIO 1107, was a bit intimidated by her scientific accomplishments. These feelings melted away within minutes of meeting her, as she welcomed me with a smile and genuine enthusiasm for helping guide me through my academic career and accomplish my lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. Continue reading

How I Got Started in Research

By Oreoluwa Olowe, Peer Research AmbassadorHow I Got Started in Research. By PRA Oreoluwa.

I got started with research the second semester of freshman year. As a Mechanical Engineering major there are activities organized to allow students to get a better understanding of research or come up with ideas they wish to pursue. This was where I was introduced to my first research experience. Continue reading

Follow Your Curiosity, Not Your Major

By Mukund Desibhatla, OUR Peer Research AmbassadorFollow Your Curiosity, Not Your Major. By PRA Mukund.

As a Physiology & Neurobiology (PNB) major, I have always been surrounded by the expectation of joining a PNB lab. While my classmates quickly joined labs with professors within their majors, I struggled to find mentors who would be a good fit for my interests.

Feeling discouraged, I reached out to my PATH mentor, who is also a PNB major. He shared similar frustrations but ultimately joined research in the psychological sciences. Although his mentor was a faculty member outside of his major, the professor’s compassion and guidance helped my friend foster a genuine interest in the study of brain-behavior from a different lens. Continue reading

What I’ve Learned Through Involvement in Research

By Kerry Morgan, OUR Peer Research AmbassadorWhat I've Learned Through Involvement in Research. By PRA Kerry.

In my years at UConn, I have been involved in many different types of activities. Whether it be sports, academics, volunteering, hobbies, there is certainly something for everyone at UConn. As I am beginning my senior year at UConn, I look back and reflect on the time I have had here, and most importantly the things I’ve learned and enjoyed. Now, I can say with clarity that research shaped me into the person I am today, and it has been one of my most cherished experiences from my undergraduate education. Continue reading