Undergraduate research opportunity available to students from all majors

Nicole Cobler

Science and biology majors met with students in areas of study less traditionally associated with resarch, such as communications and advertising, to attend a research information session Friday in the Peter T. Flawn Academic Center. 

More than 40 students attended the session put on by the Office of Undergraduate Research.

“We help students find a research opportunity on campus, and help them reach out to professors,” said Agnes Savich, the administrative associate for undergraduate research.

Students from any major can perform undergraduate research by signing a contract with their faculty adviser and devoting about 10 hours per week to work on their research, Savich said.

The School of Undergraduate Studies, the Cockrell School of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts are just a few colleges that have research programs on campus, said Rebecca Wilcox, senior program coordinator for the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Undergraduates can choose from many different research opportunities such as assisting a professor, conducting supervised independent research or studying abroad, Wilcox said.

Undergraduate research also includes benefits such as earning course credit, presenting your work during research week, possibly publishing your work in the Undergraduate Research Journal and winning scholarships and grants, Wilcox said. To be a part of undergraduate research, students are encouraged to contact several faculty members they’d like to work with. Students can learn tips on how to get in touch with faculty members at the information sessions.

Mechanical engineering junior Huy Tran is interested in going into optic research and has already contacted two professors. Tran wants to go into research for the experience and eventually wants to attend graduate school. 

Savich said students can apply what they have learned in the classroom by being a part of the growing undergraduate research program. 

Biology senior Carly Jorgensen attended the general research information session last week and hopes to do research in environmental biology. 

“I want to do research to get a better idea of what I want to do when I graduate,” Jorgensen said. 

The Office of Undergraduate Research will be holding four information sessions per week this semester − two science sessions and two general information sessions.

Science sessions will be held Mondays at 10 a.m. and Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. in the FAC. Students who want to learn more about all types of research can attend a general information session on Mondays at 9 a.m. or Thursdays at 2 p.m.

“Undergraduate research is a great way to get to know professors, build up a resume and build experience in their field,” Savich said.