How do I get started?
Here are some ways to find a research position:
1. Define your interests: What's your passion? What do you enjoy learning about? (it doesn't have to be in your major - but some majors only give you credit toward your degree if you do research with a faculty member in the major)
2. Visit the career services job listings and see if there is a position listed that interests you. You can also check the Off-Campus/On-Campus (computer science and engineering, life sciences, math, physical sciences) area on this website to see if there are any positions that would interest you.
3. If there is not one listed, define a subject that interests you, go to the departments' websites and browse through the faculty webpages.
4. Read 1 or 2 of the recent research papers that the faculty member has published. Try to understand as much as possible, but do not worry if you have trouble with it. Scientific papers are not easy to read - some even seem to be written in a different language.
5. Contact the faculty member and ask if there are any openings for an undergraduate researcher. A sample email (pdf) is provided for you. Modify it to suit your needs and add personal information. Some advice: do not include items that do not apply to you (e.g. if you have not read a paper, do not discuss it as if you have - they will know).
6. Set up an appointment (pdf)to meet and speak with your potential research advisor. Be punctual and dress appropriately. First impressions count.
7. When speaking to your potential research advisor, make sure that you understand the expectations that the research advisor has of you. Clarify any points that are not clear.
8. Hopefully, you are now underway to an exciting new adventure in undergraduate research!