Looking Ahead to Summer Research

St. Thomas undergraduates who participate in collaborative research with faculty may find themselves working anywhere from a chemistry lab to a lake to an archive, but they all have at least one thing in common – they’re great at planning ahead. Winter is not quite upon us, but new and returning research students are already dreaming of summer. At St. Thomas, it’s typical for students to confirm summer research plans in January and February, so November and December are the ideal time to take a few concrete steps towards research. The next time you ask your student what they’re up to at school, ask them if they’ve considered becoming a researcher.

Right now, students interested in research should be making connections with faculty who can collaborate with them. Your future research student will really benefit from developing these habits:

  • Attend their professors’ student hours and ask about research happening in their department, upcoming research recruitment, and how to collaborate on a summer project.
  • Check out faculty research interests in departmental online directories to figure out who’s working on the kinds of things that make your student most curious. 
  • Make a Zoom appointment with the Program Manager of UROP to get one-on-one advising about first steps to research, options in their field, and the grant application process.
  • Register for the Student Opportunity Center (free with a stthomas.edu email address) and save and regularly search this constantly updated database of experiential learning options. Students can find thousands of student conferences, publications, journals, research, and funding opportunities in one place tailored to their own interests and goals, including virtual opportunities.

With the help of these resources, students in all majors can prepare to apply for a summer research experience. The next deadline for students to apply for research grants through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program is February 15, 2021. You and your student are welcome to direct any questions to UROP@stthomas.edu.