The important first step to getting started in undergraduate research is to find a faculty mentor whose interests match yours.
Undergraduates do not work alone on their research projects; they work with a faculty member in a particular department. Your faculty mentor can assist you in helping identify and frame a significant question in your discipline and then help plan the steps to the project.
Here are some ways to find a faculty mentor and get started in undergraduate research:
- Talk to your professors about their research interests. Do you share common interests? Ask about the faculty member’s areas of interest and if they are currently working on any projects that could use your assistance.
- The department chair of your major department and your program level academic advisor are also good resources for finding out about opportunities.
For additional guidance, contact the Manager of the Office of Undergraduate Research, Kate Theobald at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not ready to begin research, but want to explore ideas, here are some options for learning more about undergraduate research:
- Seek out a professor and volunteer to help out in their lab research, art studio, or assist them with other research endeavors.
- Talk to students. Go to student performances, exhibits, symposiums and research events on campus and talk to those students to find out about their experiences.
- Attend on campus research events such as Scholars Day to see what others are doing in your field and to gain ideas for future research.
- Research Day is where each College and many departments get involved and students from all over
campus present their research.
- Find a student assistant position or a Student Research Assistant Program (SRAP) position in a department that represents your area of interest.
- Talk to your professors and/or the department chair of the department of your major to see if a position is available.
- Student Assistant and SRAP Positions are posted through Career Services. Log in to WolfWorks from the Career Services website to view available positions. Contact the SRAP Coordinator, Kate Theobald, at email@example.com for help finding a SRAP position on campus.