Before you begin research, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. When is a good time to become involved in research during your undergraduate career?
  2. Can you afford to take time away from your coursework while conducting research?
  3. What areas of research interest you? What subjects or classes have excited you?
  4. Is undergraduate research relevant to your long-term goals?

Explore the types of research opportunities

  1. See Finding a Research Opportunity for some suggestions.
  2. Credit: Some departments offer academic credit as a result of work completed with a faculty mentor. Check with your adviser.
  3. Paid: Some students on campus receive financial compensation for research, but these positions often require a large time commitment
  4. Work-study is another option for those who qualify.

Identify potential faculty mentors and contact them

  1. Every undergraduate researcher requires a faculty mentor to help focus his/her research interests.
  2. Review the Undergraduate Research website and departmental websites to learn about opportunities that correspond with your area of research interest. Many departments list each faculty member’s research interests, and some faculty have personal research websites linked from the departmental website.
  3. Talk to your adviser, faculty engaged in research and students in your department.
  4. Send a formal email to the faculty member or stop by during posted office hours to introduce yourself and let the faculty member know that you are interested in his/her research.
  5. If you have any questions along the way, contact your faculty adviser and/or the Office of Undergraduate Fellowships & Research.