Consider Undergraduate Research
March 2, 2010
Whether you want to obtain a job upon graduation or are planning on attending graduate school, undergraduate research is a great way to gain practical experience and broaden your knowledge base.
Ohio State is a Research 1 Institution, which means that it has a strong focus on research and advancement in various fields of study. The OSU faculty members are innovators in their fields and the work you do here will be of a high caliber...making research experience a valuable addition to your resume.
Research can provide students with numerous professional and educational benefits:
• Like an internship or co-op, research can help to make coursework come alive through hands-on experience. It's also a way to make a unique contribution to your field.
• Research is a great way to begin exploring possible career fields or specializations by learning more about specific interest areas (or even finding out what is NOT an area of interest so that it can be avoided in the future!).
• Working closely with the faculty builds professional networks. Faculty can be excellent references, especially if you're considering grad school. These relationships will make for strong, meaningful letters of recommendation and references later on!
• Critical thinking, time-management, teamwork, and problem-solving skills are necessary in any type of work, and collaborative research gives students a solid foundation in these areas.
• Research enhances communication skills, which is essential in any career. Presenting findings at forums, like the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum http://denman.osu.edu/, or to classmates and faculty strengthens technical writing and public speaking skills. Communicating effectively in a professional setting is essential for success in the job market, and research is a great way to develop that skill.
Research positions can be obtained in a variety of ways: students with unique ideas for a project may contact faculty in their department about supervision for an independent study; faculty may seek out students to participate on research teams; going onto college or department websites to identify research opportunities is also useful.
For more information or to get started on your own research journey, check out the following links:
• The Undergraduate Research Office http://www.undergraduateresearch.osu.edu/ offers Peer Research Contacts for interested students.
• Undergraduate research opportunities with the College of Engineering http://engineering.osu.edu/undergraduate/research
• The National Science Foundation also has Research Experiences for Undergraduates http://www.nsf.gov/
• Ask your professors!
"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science."
-Edwin Powell Hubble
Authored by Rachel Ligman.