Securing Undergraduate Research Opportunities

We hope that you'll find a position that will both challenge you and inspire you; however, it is important to understand that not all students who express an interest in a particular project will be able to work on that project.

  1. Think about your own research and goals

    What do you hope to achieve through participating in research (technical skills, experience to prepare for graduate or professional school, a deeper level of exploration of scientific ideas, completion of requirements for a major or minor, etc.)? Research is a serious time commitment, and you must be prepared for hard work and careful attention to detail. You may want to talk with your adviser or the instructors of your courses to learn about opportunities on- or off-campus.

  2. Do your homework.

    Find out the general research interests of the faculty by looking at their websites and reading a few of the papers they have written.

  3. Talk with the professors in whose work you are most interested.

    Talk with the professors in whose work you are most interested. E-mail them to request a time to meet and take a copy of your résumé or CV (if you have one) to the meeting. Ask about the opportunities and projects currently available in the lab. Be ready to talk about what your own goals are, what it is about their research that interests you, and the time commitment you are prepared to make.


  4. Complete an application

    If there is room in the lab and money available to support the project on which you like to work, you may be asked to complete an application or return for an additional interview. After you are accepted into a lab, follow up with the professor to determine if there are papers you should read or other ways to prepare for the work you will do in the lab.


  5. Receiving course credit

    In consultation with your research advisor, discuss the commitment and requirements for receiving course credit. Registration for course credit is through a special course registration form, available at the registrar, and is completed at the beginning of the semester during the Add/Drop period.

  6. Design and collaborate

    In many labs, students work on projects directed by the professor's interests and funding, but advanced students may have the opportunity to eventually design their own studies in collaboration with the professor. If this is your goal, discuss this possibility with your professor.

Office of Experiential Learning

Undergraduate research is central to Trinity University's values. The Office of Experiential Learning provides place for students gain information about internships, community service and service-learning opportunities, beyond the classroom course projects, and undergraduate research opportunities.