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Undergraduate Research

Mentoring Guide - Undergraduate Research

Ideas to assist a faculty member in directing a student who wishes to find an undergraduate research project.

  1. Know the research projects of colleagues in your area and related areas. Departments are encouraged to publish lists to be shared with fellow advisors so that interested students can be directed to appropriate projects.
  2. Be familiar with the programs offered by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (gvsu.edu/ours). There are multiple outlets and funding opportunities designed to assist students to find undergraduate research opportunities.
  3. Advice to give to the students:
    • What interests you? What previous class, lab or project (of any sort) have been interesting? What was exciting about that subject?
    • Read. Do a search on Google Scholar, JSTOR or specialized database and develop a familiarity with the literature. Even a few articles will prepare you for a basic discussion with a professor.
    • Investigate various labs and professor’s research agendas. Knowing what they are currently doing can give you an idea of what you might like to experience.
    • Contact a professor. With your identified interest and increased understanding, make an appointment with a professor, identifying your interest and current knowledge.
    • Do well in professor’s course. Being an intellectual standout can always help.