Undergraduate Research Portal and Opportunities
Getting Started – Tips on how to identify faculty who are conducting research in your field of interest:
- Be sure you read research requirements before you apply to ensure you are a good fit.
- Ask friends, staff, academic advisors, and faculty for recommendations on faculty known to be enthusiastic undergraduate research mentors and whose expertise compliment your interests.
- Use the college and department websites to identify who is conducting research in your field of interest. All unit websites have a listing of faculty and their field(s) of expertise. (see Preparation Tips for Contacting Faculty for more information on how to approach faculty for research opportunities)
- Use office hours to visit faculty who are teaching or conducting research in your field of interest, be inquisitive about how to get started in the specific field.
Preparation Tips for Contacting Faculty:
- Be prepared to sell yourself; bring a resume and copy of your transcripts.
- Think about why you are interested in the research area and what preparation you’ve had to complement their project (other research experience, course work, papers you’ve written, enthusiasm for the topic).
- Be prepared to articulate why you want to work with the faculty mentor (research focus, work experience, mentoring, preparation for graduate/professional school, technical knowledge, cutting edge research, opportunity to figure out career opportunities, etc…).
- Practice your elevator speech to introduce yourself:
- Who are you? (what defines you, makes you unique)
- What do you offer? (experience, course work, enthusiasm, interest)
- Why are you interested in the topic/research project?
- What do you know about the discipline?
- What do you hope to contribute?
- What are your long term goals?
Questions to ask during your interview:
- What are the faculty member’s expectations of work to be accomplished by student researchers?
- How many work hours per week are expected?
- What are the opportunities for taking on increased responsibilities?
- How many undergraduate students have presented their research at professional meetings (off and on campus) and/or published papers based on their work?
- Did these students receive credit in the form of authorship for their work?
- Does the professor have funding to support his/her research program?
- Will there be opportunities to apply for research funding through the student mini-grant program?
- Can you earn research units for your work?
Organized Campus Research Programs
CAMP: California Alliance for Minority Participation in STEM research
- Focus on underrepresented students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
MacREU: Research Experiences for Undergraduates
- Focus on applications of thin films or monolayer materials for chemistry, physics, and engineering (EE, ME, BE, CE) students
MARC U Star: Maximizing Access to Research Careers, Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research
- Focus on underrepresented students in biomedical and behavioral sciences
- Focus on Hispanic or low-income students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
RISE: Research in Science and Engineering
- Summer programs focused on increasing diversity in science research
- Includes CNAS Scholars Fellows, STEM Pathways, Dynamic Genome Scholars
U-SPARC: Underrepresented Students Pursuing Agricultural-Related Careers
- Spring and Summer experience, focused on Sophomore and Junior students
MSRIP: Mentoring Summer Research Internship Program
- Summer research program focused on students entering their Junior or Senior years, emphasis on supporting students from educationally and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds
UCLEADS: University of California, Leadership Excellences through Advanced Degrees
- Two-year program focused on Sophomores
- The program supports students from educationally and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds
- Information on pathways programs for students interested in pursuing a career in the medical or health fields
A two-year program that provides financial support, mentorship, and graduate school application assistance. Designed for students in their last two years of their undergraduate experience
Regional Research Opportunities
- National Science Foundation (NSF), Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
- CalTech Student-Faculty summer programs (WAVE Fellows - science and engineering)
- AMGEN Scholarship Fellows (AMGEN - sciences)
- Public Policy & International Affairs and Junior Summer Institute (PPIA | JSI)
Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program-Summer Enrichment Program