Gaining Research Experience
Gaining Research Experience
In collaboration with faculty and the Coordinator of Student Research, CORE is excited to share this resource with students of all majors interested in gaining research experience both on and off campus. It is our hope that this information will assist students in exploring, searching for, and securing research positions and opportunities.
Visit with your faculty advisor
- Faculty members in each individual field of study are the best resource to define research, connect you to opportunities, and guide your learning and development.
- Start by expressing interest in the course material you’ve enjoyed or other areas of interest within your major.
- Professors typically have their own research projects and also have an understanding of the projects happening around campus. Your first step should be to ask about getting involved or volunteering in a lab.
Meet with the Coordinator for Student Research
Search for positions online
- There are numerous outlets to search for undergraduate research positions online. Here are a few to get you started:
- National Science Foundation (Research Experiences for Undergraduates-REU)
- Pathways to Science
- ORISE: Undergraduate Research Opportunities
- Fred Hutch Biomedical Research Opportunities
- Specific Industry Associations (i.e. National Parks Conservation Association, National Association of Environmental Professionals, American Chemical Association, American Psychological Association).
Consider On-Campus Programs
- Augustana offers funding and structured programs for students to gain research experience.
- Visit the Funding and Scholarships page
Create your own!
- Many students have had success in contacting Principal Investigators (i.e. faculty members) directly.
- You can search in any metro area for institutions of interest. Once you find an institution, visit the departmental page (i.e. Biology department). You should be able to find a faculty directory with biographies and research interests.
- Visit with your advisor or Career Coach for help in drafting a message to Principal Investigators.
Overall Tips and Advice:
- How to be more competitive:
- Do your homework, and read position descriptions thoroughly.
- Tailor each application for the specific position—give yourself plenty of TIME.
- Apply early! Position applications are usually due in December, January or February for the following summer.
- Don’t be too picky! Research is research. The topic isn’t as important as the overall experience.
- Get involved on campus—volunteer, take on leadership positions, and work on projects with faculty.
- Use your resources!
- Visit with your faculty advisor
- Meet with the Coordinator for Student Research
- Myths & Facts:
- You don’t have to have research experience to apply, it’s all about learning!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions both before/during the application process and during the actual experience.
- Research is not a “box to check” for future endeavors. Students should embrace the opportunity for creative scholarship, learning, and development.
“The students to get research positions are the ones who ask for them.”