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Undergraduate Research 

Opportunities and Information 

Procedures & Suggestions for arranging Undergraduate Research

The following instructions are intended for those students seeking to do undergraduate research:

1.  You must find a faculty member who is willing to direct your research.  Since some faculty have waiting lists, you are wise to make arrangements in advance of the semester you intend to do the research.

2.  You should consider preparing a resume of some sort that you can hand to your prospective mentor. Calling or e-mailing someone “out of the blue” and asking him/her to direct your research is not likely to be fruitful.  Also, it would be a good idea to look up his/her research interest on the Web so you have some idea of what you might do.  Also, it will give you an opportunity to have a more meaningful conversation with your prospective mentor.

3.  The faculty member who will direct your research does not have to be a COSAM faculty member, but you need to be working on a problem in which a question is being asked and data are being collected.  Going to the library to find an obscure source of literary criticism is unacceptable.

4.  You will be expected to work 2-3 hours per week for every 1 hour of credit.  Generally the hours that you work will be quite flexible.   Those of you in the Biomedical Sciences curriculum are required to take 2 credit hours.

5.  Although the requirement in many of your curriculum model indicates “BIOL4980 Undergraduate Research,” you may enroll in any similar course in the parent department of your research mentor (if they are not in Biological Sciences).

6.  You will not be able to register for these courses on the Web; typically the department will have to put you in the course.

7.  If there is not a similar course in your mentor’s department, Dr. Dute can act as your surrogate and enroll you in his section of BIOL4980.  You must see him about this for further details

Have a great experience in your undergraduate research.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Tips

Why undertake a research project?

  • Learn outside the classroom
  • Work in a team environment
  • Apply skills to current problems
  • Foster critical thinking skills
  • Learn about current topics in your field
  • Enhance your competitiveness
  • Work in a problem-based learning environment
  • Develop oral and written presentation skills
  • Increase your confidence and knowledge
  • Work one-on-one with a professor
  • Stepping stone to graduate or professional programs

Steps in doing research and other benefits

  • Typically interest and good academic standing
  • Decide what you want out of the experience: a grade, experience, thesis, paper
  • Find a mentor - visit web sites, find people who interest you
  • Talk to several professors
  • Look outside you major area of interest, widen your horizons
  • Consider doing a summer experience elsewhere – recruitment tool (deadlines 2/1)
  • Select a mentor – check on means to obtain credit?
  • Apply to programs for support
  • Set aside a time to meet regularly
  • Commit to the endeavor
  • Develop a plan
  • Implement the plan
  • Refine the plan
  • Expand the plan
  • Present your work: peers, local meetings, regional, national

Means of Support at Auburn University for undergrad research

Contact Dr. Ray Henry, Assoc. Dean for Research

Last Updated: 06/23/2016