First Steps

  • Determine how much time each week, and when, you can commit ABOVE AND BEYOND what you need to maintain your academics.
  • Consider areas of study that interest you. Conduct a brief literature review using library resources. Learn about current activities in the field.

Look for Opportunities / Potential Mentors

  • Look at the departmental webpages. Identify research projects that interest you or faculty with whom you would like to work or whom you admire, even if undergraduate research positions are not specifically mentioned.
  • Speak with advisor and your current professors about your research interests.
  • Ask other students or teaching assistants for advice about which faculty members are good mentors.
  • Find out who mentored earlier undergraduate researchers by looking at the research posters in Von Braun Research Hall.
  • Look beyond the campus. Artists throughout the area may accept apprentices. Researchers at other area institutions often need students. Look at faculty webpages at nearby universities.

Reach Out

  • Identify three to five potential mentors. Speak to faculty members after class or during office hours to request an appointment to discuss research.
  • Be prepared to email or bring in person your current transcript (unofficial) and a resume. UAH's Career Services can help you to create a good resume.
  • Ask to join a faculty member's ongoing work as an assistant or for mentoring in a creative or research project of your own design. If you have a specific project in mind, a mentor can help you fine-tune your plans and get started.
  • Potential mentors may be approached at any time of year, but always allow plenty of time in advance of when you would like to begin working.
  • If you can start by offering larger blocks of time during summer or winter break, you can receive the necessary training then and be ready to work more independently when classes start again.
  • Many summer research application deadlines are early in the year. Look at the offerings through the fall. A successful application process usually starts well before the end of the year.
  • Contact Career Services for internship and co-op opportunities.

Once You Start a Research Project

If you need more help getting started, try the Web Guide to Research for Undergraduates (WebGURU).