FAQs

Undergraduate research, consulting, creative endeavors, or whatever is common in your field of interest are opportunities to conduct intensive and deep work on a particular topic. These experiences develop significant transferable skills such as critical thinking and self-efficacy. Participating in undergraduate research and the like provide time to refine professional and personal interests and to build a network of professors and mentors within a field of interest that can be useful later on in your career such as with graduate school applications and employment.

Congratulations in your decision to begin your undergraduate research experiences! You should go to our "Get Started" page to begin the process. The OUR hosts OURConnect an application system where research mentors can post open positions.

Undergraduate research, consulting, creative endeavors, or whatever is common in your field of interest are opportunities to conduct intensive and deep work on a particular topic. These experiences develop significant transferable skills such as critical thinking and self-efficacy. Participating in undergraduate research and the like provide time to refine professional and personal interests and to build a network of professors and mentors within a field of interest that can be useful later on in your career such as with graduate school applications and employment.

Not necessarily. First-year students are able to participate in a research project with expert research mentors. Eligibility preferences and requirements vary based on the research program and the research mentor, but underclass students have been successful in obtaining significant research positions.

It is not too late to conduct independent research as a senior, but you will have to utilize your network quicker than others. Using your network of professors, staff members, and peers can lead you to potential openings and projects. Asking your networking about available opportunities they are aware of and illustrating your interests and passions is key to locating a research project.

Go to the "Get Started" page to read a step-by-step guide on how you can get started – but with a quicker pace than non-seniors!

Your research mentor should be someone with a background in the subject you are interested in. Sometimes the perfect research mentor is not a faculty member. Your research mentor is the most important connection between you and the research community, so it is imperative you are both willing to enter into a mentorship. Countless Purdue faculty/staff serve as research mentors for undergraduate students each year. Your research mentor does not need to be within your major department or your academic unit – many areas of study traverse many departments at Purdue that lead to interdisciplinary approaches.

Go to the "Get Started" page to read a step-by-step guide on how you can approach finding a research mentor!

Yes! Eligibility preferences and requirements vary based on the research program and the research mentor, but underclass students have been successful in obtaining significant research positions off campus. Many students go to other universities, companies, and governmental agencies to conduct research outside of Purdue. Although there are many opportunities with our talented research mentors at Purdue, there are positions available for novice and experienced researchers off-campus. Some examples include the NSF REU program, university summer research programs, company internships, Smithsonian Institute Programs, and community creative outlets. Most students utilize on-campus research opportunities when they are taking courses and then take advantage of off-campus experiences during their extended breaks. Some databases with multiple off-campus opportunities include:
You can be. Undergraduate research compensation varies by the field, department, program, and time commitment. Typically, if the research project is part of a research program – where multiple research mentors offer opportunities under one umbrella name – there will be compensation. It is important to establish if an experience is paid or not and how much before you begin your research project.!

Yes! Departments use variable course titles (ex. 39XXX, 49XXX, or 59XXX) and follow the guideline of 1 credit for every 3 hours/week of research.

When you finish your time on a research project, you may disseminate the results either in a paper, a performance/presentation, a poster, or a gallery. All fields are different in how they disseminate their results, so check with your research mentor. Typically, your project is part of a larger research focus for the research mentor, so you should ensure everything is kept neat for the next undergraduate researchers to pick up in a new direction of where you ended.

A potential venue to consider showcasing your work is at the Undergraduate Research Conference (LINK TO THE CONFERENCE PAGE!). Researchers do not have to be actively working on a project or be completely finished with a project to present. The only rule is that you cannot present the same poster/presentation twice.

Finally, be sure to put the final touches on your resumé/CV as you finish up. Be sure to focus on your accomplishments, skills learned, and any way you disseminated the work.

Think about why you wanted to conduct research. This purpose will determine what you do next regarding your commitment to the research project. If you are considering graduate school or future research positions, keeping up a commitment is vital for a good letter of recommendation. Although the specific project may not be of interest, think about the skills you are developing and the final products. If you wanted a different learning environment but realize research is not for you, consider this a learning opportunity similar to a difficult course.

Overall, you should put your best effort forward for the time you committed. Depending on your team and your research mentor, you can express your changing interests. They may be able to change your contribution to the project to fit what you would like to get from the experience! Finally, do not hesitate to contact the OUR at UGResearch@purdue.edu. We are here to help and will be able to have a discussion about what your goals are and what you can do moving forward.

If you are collecting data from people, you probably need approval from the Institutional Review Board. This includes interviewing people. Your research mentor should assist you in the process. IRB applications are reviewed on a regular basis so you should send your application in as soon as possible. For research involving animals, you may need to seek IACUC approval.

The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) is a self-paced web-based training program covering core ethical concepts and regulatory requirements. Purdue University requires all individuals engaged in the conduct of human subject research to have current CITI certification. Information can be found on what modules to take, at minimum.

The OUR is located in Duhme Hall (Windsor Halls Complex) in Suite 134.