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Finding Research Opportunities

There is not one specific way for students to find research opportunities. Instead, there are many paths students may to start their undergraduate research.

Database of Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The Undergraduate Research Office manages Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. This provides a convenient way for faculty to post openings for undergraduate student research assistants.

While the online database is one source, students should also talk with faculty and advisors to identify opportunities. Opportunities for students may exist that are not listed on the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity website, so do not view the online database as the single source of information.

Research and Arts Forum

The annual University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) provides Michigan State undergraduate students with an opportunity to showcase their scholarship and creative activity. This is a great place to see what other students have done and get ideas for your research project or faculty members you may wish to work with.

Check with Individual College Departments

Several web sites do offer information and listings of some undergraduate research opportunities. Again, do not assume this information includes all such opportunities. however, this list provides some of the options:

  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology BMB hosts annual research forums and poster presentations provide opportunities for students to gain skills and experience in scientific presentations. Several annual research awards are given to support student research.
  • Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics (Medical Technology) All faculty in the department conduct research with interested undergraduates.
  • Chemistry Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to develop a greater appreciation and knowledge of research by joining chemistry faculty research groups. Participating students will register for credit in CEM 419. An undergraduate research brochure describing the research opportunities with each faculty member is available for the Undergraduate Office, 321 Chemistry Building.
  • Division of Science and Mathematics Education Teaching certification candidates are invited to enroll in NSC 499 any semester to participate in science and mathematics education research.
  • Geological Sciences The Department of Geological Sciences has undergraduate research opportunities. Contact the Department Office in 206 Natural Science Building or the Undergraduate Director.
  • Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Summer research in field ecology and evolutionary biology is available under and NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program which is open to U.S. citizens.
  • Mathematics The Research Training Program sponsored by the NSF has opportunities for students in biological and mathematical sciences.
  • Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Participation in undergraduate research can fulfill degree requirements in Microbiology. Microbiology faculty encourage and welcome undergraduate participation in their research endeavors. Consider enrolling in MIC 103 or contact the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics for information pertaining to particular research interests.
  • Plant Biology Undergraduate research is required part of the curriculum in Plant Biology. To find out about research opportunities in laboratories, greenhouses, or in the field, contact the departmental Undergraduate Director.
  • Physics and Astronomy The Department has academic year and summer research opportunities for undergraduates, including research opportunities in the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. Contact the Department’s Undergraduate Office for further information and also see more on the NSCL Undergraduate Research Page.
  • Physiology The faculty of the Physiology Department welcome undergraduates to become involved with research. Stop by the Undergraduate Director’s office for information.
  • Statistics and Probability Students who have an interested in statistical research should speak with the Undergraduate Director for information about specific opportunities.
  • Zoology The Department has a comprehensive undergraduate research program. A brochure describing all of the undergraduate research opportunities in Zoology is available in 203 Natural Science Building.