5 Things You Can Do to Get Involved in Research as an Undergraduate
Getting research experience as an undergraduate is becoming increasingly important for a student of any major, but especially if your future career aspirations are in medicine or a scientific-related field. Here are five things you can do to get started:
1. Leverage Free Campus Services
Visit the Undergraduate Research Center (URC), located in the Student Community Center to learn how to get involved in research and about undergraduate research programs on campus.
2. Find a Faculty Sponsor
Finding a faculty sponsor is more like getting a job than enrolling in class, so make sure you prepare ahead of time. Read up on a faculty member's research and peruse their publications, most of which are likely online. Then visit that professor during his or her office hours to talk with them. Be prepared to ask and answer knowledgeable questions related to their research. Remember, you don’t have to be taking a class with a professor to drop in during their office hours.
3. Attend the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference
At the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference, students can see what their peers have been researching and who they've been working with. Many of the students presenting are graduating, and faculty members may be looking for additional students. It's essentially one-stop shopping for a faculty sponsor.
4. Join an Undergraduate Research Program
There are numerous sponsored research programs offered to undergraduate students at UC Davis that provide academic enrichment, advising and the opportunity to conduct research under the supervision of faculty mentors.
Once you have a research project, visit the UC Davis Library. They have a team of experts, including a research support team, whose job is to help students with their research projects.
Some of the services that the library offers include:
- First-year seminars to help students work more effectively and efficiently on research projects
- Tours and drop-in classes on how to navigate the library and special collections
- A digital scholarship lab that can help you turn data points into compelling graphs that both look cool and are accurate