Why participate in undergraduate research?
There are many reasons to choose to do undergraduate research. One of the main reasons is to get involved in and learn more about a subject matter that interests you most. When you are able to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a research project, it makes the material come alive.
Another reason to become involved in an undergraduate research project is for the chance to get to know and work closely with a faculty member and his/her research group. Professors can be intimidating at times, but by working with them, and contributing to their research, you begin to realize that they really are just like you (a regular person).
By choosing to work with a particular professor on a research project, you are also able to develop and improve your skills that will help prepare you for the work force. Most of these skills you will most likely not have obtained from a regular classroom environment.
Here are some ways to find a research position:
Visit the Research and Economic Development (RED) website to learn more about what research is and the various types of research taking place at UCR.
Once you have a better idea about the types of research that might interest you, you can visit the Undergraduate Research Portal and Opportunities website to see if there are any positions that interest you and that might be available to you.
- Define a subject that interests you
- Go to the departments' websites and browse through the faculty web pages
- Read 1 or 2 of the recent research papers that the faculty member has published.
View a sample email on how to contact a faculty member to inquire about a potential research position
CNAS Practices Safety!
In order to ensure that you are ready to participate in undergraduate research, it is important for you to complete the mandatory, on-line UCR Laboratory Safety Class prior to starting to work in any UCR laboratory. You can find the training on-line at the UCR Learning Center at ucrlearning.ucr.edu. You will need to use your UCR NetID (e-mail username) and your UCR password to access the training.
Once you log into the UCR Learning Center, enter "Laboratory Safety Orientation" in the search box. Once the course description comes up, click on "Register" which will bring up the training. Once you complete the training you will be awarded a certificate of completion. Please make sure to print out the certificate and make copies for professors with which you wish to work.