Finding an Undergraduate Research Experience

Contact
Rachael Pocklington
Parents Program
Contact Rachael Pocklington
404-385-3920
Sidebar Content
No sidebar content submitted.
Summaries

Summary Sentence:

Students should plan ahead for undergraduate research opportunit

Full Summary:

It’s not too early for your student to begin working to secure an undergraduate research experience for Fall 2009. Summer is a great time for students to begin thinking of focus areas for their research experiences since they may have additional time to explore research topics online or speak with faculty members. This planning period can also help students decide when to start research, how research coursework fits within their degree requirements and schedule, and when to apply for funding for research.

Karen E. Harwell, Ph.D.
Director, Undergraduate Research

It’s not too early for your student to begin working to secure an undergraduate research experience for Fall 2009. Summer is a great time for students to begin thinking of focus areas for their research experiences since they may have additional time to explore research topics online or speak with faculty members. This planning period can also help students decide when to start research, how research coursework fits within their degree requirements and schedule, and when to apply for funding for research.

Additionally, early planning can ensure that students have time to sign up for the appropriate courses during late registration. Often we’ve seen students wait until their first week back at Tech to find a project or mentor. As a result they either miss the registration window or the opportunity to work with a specific faculty mentor because he or she already chose another student who contacted them earlier!

Georgia Tech’s UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) suggests that students begin their search for an opportunity by first focusing on specific topics within (or outside of) their specific major. Students should begin narrowing down their areas of interest and investigating what specific problems are of interest to them. We suggest that students visit the Web sites of their respective majors and minors and click on the “Research” tab to read more about specific topic areas. While reading, students should note specific faculty whose work interests them. If possible, student should read a few papers written by faculty and students in that area and note specific questions. If not immediately available online on the faculty mentor’s Web site, most articles will be available over the internet to Georgia Tech students or via interlibrary loan.

Networking is critical in finding an appropriate and interesting project. Students should talk to faculty members from whom they have taken a course, speak to their graduate student TAs, and talk with their academic advisors. Another great way to find a project is to talk to peers. Since 40% of Georgia Tech students are involved in research at some point before graduation, chances are that your student has a friend, classmate, or acquaintance who has been involved in research. Suggest that your student attends student organization meetings within his/her major to meet other upperclassman. All will have varying perspectives on research and how to get involved. Students can visit the Web site of our most recent UROP Spring Symposium to take a look at the more than 150 presentations made by undergraduates this year or visit the UROP Research Opportunity Database for possible project ideas. Once students narrow down their possible points of contact to 3-4 faculty members, they should e-mail the faculty directly and ask to make an appointment to speak further.

If students need additional assistance, our office is happy to advise students directly, providing tips on how to find projects and suggesting possible mentors or additional points of contact within specific colleges and schools. Questions can be directed to urop@gatech.edu. Students interested in research can also attend the Benefits and Rewards of Undergraduate Research information session held early in the fall semester: Tuesday, August 25 at 11 a.m. or Tuesday, September 1 at 4 p.m. in Student Center Room 319.

Additional Information

Groups

Parent and Family Programs

Categories
Institute and Campus, Student and Faculty
Related Core Research Areas
No core research areas were selected.
Newsroom Topics
No newsroom topics were selected.
Keywords
Alaska, freshman orientation, ORGT, Tech Treks
Status
  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jun 1, 2009 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:11pm