Where to Start

Every student's path to an undergraduate research experience is different. The tips below will help you find the right opportunity for you. 

Find an Opening in a Lab
Many faculty post research opportunities on DragonTrail Jobs. These opportunities include work study, course credit, and volunteer options. If you are unable to find an opportunity that suits you consider the options below. 

Take a Research Course

Consider registering for an Undergraduate Research Courses. All of these courses have a strong research component associated with them.

Find a Mentor

Many students know the type of lab or research experience they want. Those students should follow the steps below to find a research mentor 
  1. Determine your interest and learn about research in your chosen field.
  2. Check out the research of faculty.
  3. Make a list of 4 or 5 faculty members whose research interests you.
    • Gather information about their research, such as research aims and policy considerations
    • Collect journal articles, books, presentations etc., published by the professors. If possible attend one of their lectures, performances, or productions.
  4. Determine what sort of time commitment you could make- hours per week, weeks per semester/year
  5. Contact the faculty members. Do this in a couple of ways:
    • Write an e-mail or letter to tell them you're interested in a directed study, co-op, volunteer research assistant, etc.
    • Be sure to identify the project and some of the information you have learned about their research
    • List your year in school, the courses you have taken, training you have acquired, goals you have
    • Ask to meet to talk more about it
  6. Follow up and be reliable! Answer question honestly, have questions for them and thank them for their time.
  7. After the initial visit and if successful in acquiring a research opportunity, discuss project details and related expectations. As questions such as:
    • How many hours per week will you be working?
    • Will you get academic credit?
    • What do they consider "A" performance?
    • Who will you be reporting to?
    • What will your specific duties be?
    • Is this a group project or individual project?
    • What additional books or articles do they recommend that you read?
  8. Find out how to present your work at a conference or in a journal.
  9. After your experience, be a role model and help others do what you've done.
Make an Appointment with the Office of Undergraduate Research

Can't find what you are looking? Unsure about your options? Make an appointment with the Office of Undergraduate Research and we will help you find the "best fit" research opportunity