I am sure you guys know that the University of Minnesota is one of the biggest public research universities. That means we all have the opportunity to do research here. Here are some ways to do research/getting into a lab:
1. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP): This is a great opportunity to work with a faculty mentor in any academic area. You just need to find your interest area thinking what makes you want to discover more. Then once you figured out what you want to work on, find a faculty mentor by asking any professors who is related to the research you want to do. There is also some former UROP mentors list available. You can email them and of course introduce yourself and why you are interested in this area and ask whether they will have time to help you and make an appointment to talk with them. Once you found a faculty mentor, you need to plan everything and write a proposal with your faculty mentor. Then you can apply online. UROP awards $1400 to the student for the semester and $300 to the lab for supplies. For more information, please visit http://www.urop.umn.edu/
2. Directed Study/Directed Research: Directed Research is a way to do research for credits. This allows you to do your own research with a faculty member. Each college has different rules and different classes. So make sure you check that out.
3. Student employment (Science students): You can work in a lab by getting paid. All you need is check out University of Minnesota job postings. This is a good starting position; basic lab techniques including collect samples, enter data and wash dishes etc. www.umn.edu/ohr/
4. Volunteering: I think this is the most popular way to get into lab especially if you don’t have any lab experience. You just need to find a professor you want to work with. Go to your college website and find a professor by looking through what research they do or read their published papers. Then email them with a proper email by introducing yourself and tell them why you are interested in joining the lab.
I feel like doing any kind of research, especially if you are a science student, will help you know your career and what kind of job you will enjoy doing in the future. It will give you idea of what is like to do research and what is the good and what is the bad. That’s how we learn things.