Now that you have spent some time thinking about your research interests and narrowed down your choice of topics, it is time to think about your options moving forward.
As was outlined in the What is undergraduate research and creative scholarship? section, there are typically two paths you can take:
- Start your own project
- Collaborate with faculty on an existing opportunity
What path you select depends on your goals, preferences, the type of project you’re thinking about conducting, and the discipline you’re performing research in. However, there is one thing that connects both choices, the involvement of a faculty mentor.
A Quick Note about Faculty Mentors
Faculty mentors are important for many reasons.
- They are experts in their field and know the ins-and-outs of rigorous academic research.
- They have the experience to advise you through every step of the process. They will be able to help you refine your research project, they will ask you the right questions, challenge you when necessary, and they will be able to assist you with overcoming the inevitable challenges of research.
- Having a faculty mentor presents you with an opportunity to develop relationships with faculty outside of the classroom. Not only can you develop life-long friendships from these experiences, but faculty can help you grow your network, open doors to opportunities at the UO and beyond, and they can also be the people that can give you stellar recommendations for career and graduate opportunities.
You can do research on your own, but having a faculty mentor makes the experience more enjoyable and effective.
Make the Decision
Join an Existing Program: If you want to find an undergraduate research and creative scholarship opportunity that already exists on campus, proceed to the finding opportunities section.
Collaborate with a Faculty Member: If you want to try and join a faculty member and assist them with their research, proceed to the find a faculty mentor section.
Start Your Own Project: If you have determined that you want to try and join a faculty member and assist them with their research or start your own project, there are a few more steps involved. Go to the next section to get started.