Undergraduate Research Opportunities
All students are strongly encouraged to participate in undergraduate research. Given the small number of students, all interested students typically can be readily placed. However, placement within a research group is not a formal process and requires initiative on the part of the student. The rewards are significant; research itself can be addictive and intensely rewarding as you make the transition from knowledge acquisition to knowledge creation.
Productive undergraduate research provides a window into another portion of the Hopkins enterprise, and can help a student determine what future path is best for themselves. In addition, undergraduate research provides a deeper more collaborative experience with graduate students and faculty – the type of experience that translates well in recommendation and reference letters.
How to find research opportunities
- Consult the web pages for all faculty in the department
- Consult with your faculty advisor for suggestions
- Meet in person with the faculty member your advisor recommends
- Talk to upper class students about research they’ve done
- Consider summer research at an NSF-funded REU site
How to fund your research
- Check out the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Awards (PURA) program
- Learn about WSE’s Student Initiatives Fund
- Research abroad may be funded by a Vredenburg fellowship.
- Ask your research advisor about NSF-funded REU supplements
Volunteer, Academic Credit, or Pay?
Most undergraduate researchers begin as volunteers, and many stay that way throughout their time as undergraduate researchers. Volunteering is a fantastic, reasonably low commitment way to initiate research.
For students interested in delving more deeply into their research, willing to produce academic output commensurate with a class, and where their research advisor agrees it is sometimes possible to perform undergraduate research for credit. The procedures are briefly outlined at the bottom of the WSE undergraduate research page.
In some cases research advisors may have funding available for undergraduate researchers. You should feel free to ask any faculty member if that is the case. Although funding is not available in all cases, in many instances at least partial support is available. Terms of the funding, hourly, for the semester, etc. are on a case-by-case basis and are determined by your research advisor.