Find Research Opportunities
1. Talk with your professors.
Many MSU Denver students do research with MSU Denver faculty. Often the best way to find a faculty mentor is to talk with your professors. Ask them about their research projects and let them know you are interested in learning more. They might invite you to work with them or they might refer you to other faculty. This list of Faculty Research Interests may help you find someone with interests similar to your own.
Keep in mind that not all faculty will have current openings or they may have specific criteria for research assistants. Be polite and understanding if your favorite professor doesn't offer you a position. Don't take it personally. Ask for suggestions and then move on to other resources.
2. Talk with your academic department and other students.
Sometimes your department office will have information on faculty research interests. They may also have lists of organizations with research programs. If you hear stories of other students who had done research, ask them how they got started.
3. Take a research course.
During a research course, your professor will likely know of opportunities for more research in your field. If you do well in the course, the professor may recommend you to other faculty in the department who are looking for student researchers.
4. Attend the Undergraduate Research Conference: A Symposium of Scholarly Works and Creative Projects.
Ask the presenters how they got started with their project. If you see a project you are interested in, ask the presenter if there is an opportunity to continue the work.
5. Do your own project as an independent study.
Some students have ideas for their own projects. Nevertheless, you will need a faculty mentor to apply for grants or present at the conference. Approach your favorite professors with your ideas and ask if they will help.
6. Work in a lab.
In some fields working as a lab assistant will open doors to research projects.
1. Research Internships: Internships
The Applied Learning Center at MSU Denver also supports an internship program. There are often research internships posted on the internship database. You will need to attend an internship orientation. Call 303 556-3290 to set up the orientation meeting.
2. Seek out researchers from other institutions.
If you have a particular area of interest, use the internet to seek our local researchers working in the field. Approach them and ask them to tell you more about their work. Offer to work with them for internship credit. (Most researchers will not take volunteers; however, if you are doing an internship for academic credit, they may be more likely to consider letting you work with them.)
3. Join professional organizations in your area of interest.
These organizations often have resources and announcements related to work being done in the field. They may also have journals with articles on recent research.
4. Use the internet to seek out research programs.
There are a wide variety of organizations that fund student research programs. Here are a few to help you get started:
The Pathways to Science website has information to help you find programs such as undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions, as well as resources and materials pertaining to recruitment, retention, and mentoring.
The Undergraduate STEP-UP (The Short-Term Education Program for Underrepresented Persons sponsored by Health and Human Services) provides hands-on summer research experience for Undergraduate students interested in exploring research careers in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences. The program provides exposure to the core NIDDK mission areas of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases and nutrition; kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases.
The National Science Foundation offers Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) in these disciplines: Astronomical Sciences, Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Cyberinfrastructure, Department of Defense (DoD), Earth Sciences, Education and Human Resources, Engineering, Ethics and Values Studies, International Science and Engineering, Materials Research, Mathematical Sciences, Ocean Sciences, Physics, Polar Programs, Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.