Why should I do research as an undergraduate?
Becoming involved in a research laboratory can be one of the most rewarding and
challenging experiences of your education. The potential long-term rewards are many:
- establishing a professional relationship with a faculty member
- gaining insight into the process of the scientific method
- participating in the generation of new knowledge
- learning about a field of interest in greater depth
- learning about the culture of academic research
- setting and reaching individual goals
- experiencing scientific collaboration as part of a research team
- participating in the publication of a scientific article
- creating a tangible record of achievement to support your applications for employment
- gaining research experience to increase your chances of going to graduate or medical schools
How Do I get started?
- Identify potential faculty research mentors. To learn about the research interests
of faculty, download the following PDF with descriptions of faculty reasearch interests (Download).
Consider faculty you have had as teachers, as they like to take on students they have
had in classes. Choosing the right mentor will have a large impact on your experience and
deserves serious effort and preparation on your part. You do not need to have a particular
research project in mind, just the desire to do research.
- Contact faculty whose work interests you. It is never too early to contact faculty—by
email, phone, or in person. Students who eventually pursue independent research and receive course
credit often begin earlier by helping in a lab. Be aware that not all faculty have the space,
time, or resources to mentor every interested student. Therefore, you should consider multiple
faculty members, start your search early, and be patient and persistent.
- Evaluate your schedule and availability. Engaging in research can require a serious commitment
of your time, mental focus, and physical effort. Do not plan to take on more than you can handle, in
order to avoid compromising your ability to meet your goals in your research or your coursework.
Carefully discuss your other commitments with faculty you contact.
- Consider which credit option is appropriate for your level of involvement. The “zero credit”
option is open to all students regardless of course preparation, year standing, or GPA. It provides
you with research experience and shows your mentor that you are committed and motivated to conduct
further research. Course credit for research (Bio 499) requires at least the completion of Bio 111 a,b,c
and at least one of the following classes: Bio 350, Bio 360, Bio 370, or Bio 380. Also, a faculty member
who is willing to mentor a student. For further information please contact the head of the Biology department
Dr. Pelzer @ firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Biology department website @
Research opportunity throuth the Student Research and Creativity Institute
The Student Research and Creativity Institute (SCRI) offers interested students funding to conduct their own
original research project. If you are interested and have a research project you want to realize during your
time at SVSU visit the SRCI website at SRCI