Deciding on Research
Before getting involved in a research project with a faculty, consider your goals, interests, and time commitments. Ask yourself:
- What do I hope to gain through my research experience?
- What are my interests?
- What do I know about research in my field?
- How much time can I realistically commit to working on a research project?
- Are there particular skills I need to aid me in my research project?
- Are there courses I should take before doing a particular research project?
- What type of learning environment do I prefer?
Whether you are ready for research depends on your willingness to take intellectual risks, your interest level, and persistence, in addition to your background knowledge. If you are intellectually curious about a topic and are willing to work hard to learn and master knowledge and new skills, then you are probably ready for a research experience.
Keep in mind that if you are a beginner with few skills, the type of project you can undertake will be limited; however, projects suitable for beginners exist in many disciplines. Visit the Undergraduate Research Program as soon as possible, no matter what your level of expertise!
To aid students who are deciding on research, the Undergraduate Research Program conducts Information Sessions on undergraduate research every fall and spring semesters. Registration for these sessions is recommended.
Also, if you are a faculty leader who would like the office to conduct an Information Session for your class, e-mail the office with your preferred dates and times.
Some of the greatest benefits of being involved in research is the insight it gives you on:
- How to learn;
- How new knowledge is created; and,
- What you can accomplish when actively engaging your own research questions.