- Matt Sitek, UW-L Undergraduate Research participant.
Working on a research or creativity project with a faculty member is an opportunity for you to go beyond learning about a discipline and become actively involved in creating knowledge and new meaning within the discipline. You will learn things you don’t learn in a classroom.
1. Identify your area of interest
Research is a hands on way to explore different interests you may have within your field. You may develop an idea of your interests based on class activities such as reading, researching for class assignments or discussing topics in-class. Look and listen for announcements from faculty members seeking student researchers on bulletin boards, in classes or at seminars.
2. Find a mentor and project
Identify a few faculty members who have similar interests with our faculty interest chart and ask if they have time to supervise another undergraduate researcher. If they do have the time to work with you, arrange to meet with them to discuss options available within your field. Make sure to prepare questions for the meeting and have an idea of the type of research or creativity you would like to engage in (see step 3 for ideas).
We also have a new Policy Research Network that solicits research topics from local civic leaders.
Each year 25 incoming freshmen are selected as Eagle Apprentices by admissions and are supported through financial aid to work with a faculty mentor on their scholarship. This provides students valuable experience and can develop into an independent research project.
3. Choose a way to participate
There are several ways to participate in undergraduate research depending on your schedule and desired level of commitment. Here are a few suggestions to get involved:
- Volunteer: Most professors involved in research are willing to take on student volunteers. This method allows you the most flexibility in how much time you can dedicate.
- Credit in your major: Many disciplines allow students to receive elective credit for undergraduate research. Inquire with your program for details.
- Work for payment: Some professors have money available to hire student workers. Inquire with your faculty mentor about available opportunities within your discipline.
- Write a grant to fund your research project: There are a variety of opportunities available to fund your research or creativity project.
Present your work: There are a variety of opportunities available
to present your research or creative project.
This can include research or creative works made
in the classroom setting and funded work you