Christopher Reaves, Ph.D.
Director, Undergraduate Research and Student Innovation
Is your student interested in research but a little unsure as to what area of interest would be the right one? Do they want to get a head start on planning for the fall semester? The summer is a great time for students to use their time to investigate possible research areas and projects of interest. For example, we always suggest students do a little homework before contacting a faculty member concerning research projects. One efficient and effective way to accomplish this is to review the research of their major or another interesting field of study at Georgia Tech. Read about what faculty members are doing and take notes … or at least download a few of their papers from the Georgia Tech library to read. Our 10 Simple Steps to Finding a Research Position is a great guideline to follow.
Students who are in Atlanta over the summer may also want to make appointments to visit some of the labs on campus and get a tour from a graduate student, post-doc, or undergraduate researcher. Summertime is ideal for meeting researchers in the lab, plus the pace is a little more relaxed. It’s also a great time to ask questions and to get a feel for what is really done in that specific research program. Students might also plan to attend departmental presentations hosted during the summer. This is another way to meet the researchers and learn about available projects.
Students should take some time to update their resumes. Many faculty members ask to see a student’s resume in order to learn more about their experience and leadership skills. In some cases, students may also have the opportunity to volunteer in the lab. This is another good way to get a foot in the door. Many labs will be hosting undergraduates from other universities, high school students, and often teachers during the summer. As a result, additional opportunities to be a part of a volunteer project might be available.
For more information on how to get involved in on-campus research, visit the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program website at http://www.urop.gatech.edu/.
Last revised August 1, 2017