Undergraduate Research Resources
Between the unknown and known is discovery. It’s this process of discovery that often attracts scientists and mathematicians to their fields. It requires asking the right questions, critically thinking your way out of corners, analyzing the data and being able to say why what your doing is important. The best way to exercise these skills is through the research experience.
Benefits of Research
- Contribute new knowledge and insights to your field
- Explore research techniques
- Learn from professionals
- Enhance your communication skills
- Develop critical thinking skills
- It’s a resume builder
- See if it’s a good fit for you
Examples of Current Undergraduate Research Projects
- Helping a researcher figure out why Denali (Mt. McKinley) is the tallest mountain in the United States when it sits atop a type of fault that usually does not produce mountains.
- Making part of the brain transparent for just about $150. The price is typically in the thousands making it an expensive technique for researchers to use.
Resources for Research
You may propose a research project to the office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Research. If they accept your project, you could receive funding to support your project. They also advertise other research opportunities on campus.
If you are interested in the biosciences, you can propose a mentored research project to the BLaST Undergraduate Research Experience. They will award funding to the projects they approve. They encourage students of diverse backgrounds, especially from rural Alaska, to apply.
The honors program has resources to help undergraduates in its program find research opportunities.
Sometimes research is required as part of a class or as part of your major in the form of a capstone project. Talk to your advisor to see if there are classes within your major that focus on developing your research skills.
Sometimes there are paid positions which are advertised through your department and the UAF website.
Once you conduct research, there might be an opportunity to present your research at a conference. CNSM offers competitive travel funds for undergraduate and graduate students who have conducted research and wish to present it at a national or international conference.
Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program
This program for rural and Native students who are interested in science, math, engineering or technology requires an undergraduate research project and an internship.
Ask faculty if they know of research opportunities that are available. Many faculty members are also researchers at the different research institutes on campus including the Geophysical Institute, the Institute of Arctic Biology, the International Arctic Research Center or the UA Museum of the North. They might also be able to steer you toward local businesses or organizations in Fairbanks who have research opportunities.