Tips and advice for getting involved with research, creative, or other scholarly activities at Morris!
There are numerous opportunities and ways to get involved with research, creative, and other scholarly activities while being a student at Morris. Activities may be done to assist faculty in their work, in collaboration with faculty, staff, and/or other students, or to reflect your own original direction and contribution. Review the ideas below and talk to your professors and/or visit the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) for further ideas and resources.
At this point you are still deciding on or being introduced to your chosen field and likely are just learning important methods, theories, and approaches that support scholarly work. BUT, understandably, you want to get involved. There are several ways to do so.
- If you are eligible for federal work-study support, you might be able to work as an assistant in a lab, studio, or directly for a professor. Pay attention to the Office of Financial Aid website and discipline listserves for job openings. Also, let your division office know that you are interested in case jobs become available.
- Talk to your adviser and professors. Who is doing what kind of work? Is anyone looking for help? Get your name out there, and let people know you are interested (and follow-up!).
- Be sure to also ask about student projects in which assistance may be needed. A great way to get started is to work with a student further along in the program.
- Ready for a bit more independent work? Check out the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). This competitive program provides a stipend and money for materials for students to conduct research. It’s not just for juniors and seniors, but for students with worthy projects at any level!
- Seek out a directed study. Directed studies can be done at any level and for any number of credits (from 1 to X). Worked out in consultation with your professor, your project can focus in on a particular topic. This can be an excellent way to develop background knowledge for developing a project idea!
- Learn more about what’s going on: Attend senior presentations, the Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS), recitals, performances, and other public displays of work. You’ll see some of the amazing stuff your fellow students are doing—which can really help give you ideas of what you can do!
You’ve been around for a while now. You’ll be taking some of the upper-level courses in your field and are becoming more familiar with the methods and underlying theories and approaches. This is a good year to start developing your own interests in your chosen field while still exploring. Here are some options for you to get involved.
- Take a look at the first-year opportunities list—those all remain options for you, so go for it!
- Look at funded positions such as the Multi-Ethnic Mentorship Program (MMP).
- Build on what you’ve learned in your discipline’s methods class. Remember those directed studies or Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) practicum credits! Get credit for doing the background work for your future research.
- Do a pilot project. It’s a nice way to prepare for that UROP application!
- Talk to your professors about summer research and internship opportunities. These are great opportunities to work with experts in the field at premier research institutions. Ask about the NSF-REU, the McNair, UROP, and other programs that may be available.
- Hanging around Morris for the summer? Many Morris faculty continue their research and scholarship during the summer. Ask around.
- Early in the spring of your sophomore year, you should talk with professors about the Morris Academic Partnership. Designed for juniors, faculty submit a request for a student assistant who will receive a stipend.
This is the optimal year for doing your own or collaborative work. If you are able to get a project done during your junior year, then you still have time to present that work at national or regional conferences or venues, or possibly develop it for publication. What to do?
- Look at what is listed for first-year and sophomore students—you can still do these!
- Talk to professors about the Morris Academic Partnership. Designed for juniors, faculty submit a request for a student assistant who will receive a stipend. You should talk to people early in the spring of your sophomore year about this opportunity.
- Did we mention UROP?
- Even without UROP, propose your own or collaborative work. Do it for credit—the experience is well worth it.
- Attend a national or regional conference. Nothing gets the excitement going about the work in your chosen field like experiencing it firsthand. See if your discipline club or professors are going. Help organize a trip if nothing is planned yet!
- Remember those summer research and internship opportunities.
Those previous three years go by fast, and you have one last shot. Take the opportunity!
- Nearly every major at Morris has a senior capstone experience and most of those reflect some kind of original scholarship or creative activity.
- Remember to take on your own activity, for credit, UROP, or whatever.
- Present your work at a national or regional conference or performance venue.
- Publish your work. Note that there are a number of undergraduate journal outlets as well as the possibility of collaborating with your professor on a final product.