Research Positions

You should definitely consider a research position during your time in college, especially if you are considering graduate school! 

     Conducting research as an undergraduate is an excellent way to gain experiences and skills that will benefit you both academically and professionally. In addition to exploring your areas of interest in-depth, undergraduate research develops skills in collaborative learning and critical thinking. For students interested in pursuing grad school, undergraduate research is a way of expanding your education outside of the classroom and better preparing yourself for the rigors of graduate study. Even if you are unsure about graduate studies, conducting undergraduate research is a way of exploring your research interests and testing the suitability of a research career to your interests. 

         As a student you may choose to participate in a research position at the University of Michigan - Dearborn or at any university that offers research positions to undergraduate students. To learn more about how to find these opportunities read "How can I find a research position?".

         If you choose to participate in a research position outside of the University of Michigan - Dearborn you should know the following bit of information. Most universities will provide students with a stipend, a few provide housing and round trip travel expenses , but most expect you to pay for those using your stipend. During a research position you will be supervised by a faculty member and postdoctoral fellow or advanced graduate student. Also, you will be exposed to state of the art research laboratories and interdisciplinary centers. You may also have the opportunity to co-author a scientific paper with the faculty mentor.

         For example, MIT Summer Research Program holds a weekly research presentation by MIT faculty, weekly seminars on issues directly related to the academic, personal, and professional growth of interns, community service day, social outings (barbeques, boat cruise, visits to Boston area), preparation of an abstract, research paper, and graduate school statement of purpose, and poster presentation at the end of the program. As you can tell research positions are pretty technical and give you a chance to continue learning new material outside the classroom and sharing that with other faculty and students! You can watch a video of what a research position is like below:

MIT Summer Research Program 2015 from MIT AMPS on Vimeo.

  • Be ready to send an error free, grammatically correct resume and cover letter to the university. Provide all references with a copy of your resume as well as any additional information on any special skills and accomplishments they might not know about. 

  • Most will require you to submit transcripts and recommendation letters, be sure to allow ample time to get these documents together.

     Visit Resume/Cover Letter and Tips to learn how to create your own resume/cover letter and to also learn about some tips on getting your application noticed!

  •      The University of Michigan - Dearborn offers a day called College of Engineering and Computer Science Open Lab Day where participating faculty will open their labs to students to recruit research assistants and those working on their thesis, capstone design projects, or directed study. This is a great opportunity to meet professors who share your research interests.  
  •      Another GREAT source to help you find research positions is the Pathways to Science site. Use this website to find programs such as undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate fellowships, postdoctoral positions at several universities around the nation!

  •      Most research positions available at other universities require US citizen or Permanent residency, so international students are not eligible. However, there are a few research positions that are international student friendly. A list of those research positions can be found here.

Prepared by Mena Abdel-Maguid