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How do you get started?


  • Determine how much time each week, and when, you can give to research work. Can you offer more time during the summer or in January?
  • Consider areas of study that interest you. Learn something about current activities in your field by exploring articles and professional organizations.

Identify Opportunities / Potential Mentors

  • Many faculty members are able to provide funding or offer credit for undergraduate support. Students are encouraged to discuss opportunities and collaborate on research projects with faculty. To explore faculty research areas, read your department's faculty page.
  • Review Purdue research programs.
  • Talk with your peers or teaching assistants about which faculty members are good mentors.
  • Explore links to other science research programs.

Reach out

  • Identify three to five potential mentors. Speak to faculty members after class or during office hours to request an appointment to discuss research. If you are in the biology department, there is one professor who connects students with faculty members for research.
  • Be prepared to e-mail or bring in person your current transcript (unofficial) and a resume. The Center for Career Opportunities can help you to create a good resume.
  • You may ask to join the faculty member's ongoing work as an assistant.
  • Potential mentors may be approached at any time of year, but always two to three months in advance of the time you would like to begin working.
  • Many summer research application deadlines are in February. Look at the offerings through the fall.

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