Five Tips to Jumpstart Your Research at Rutgers–New Brunswick
Sometimes, the quickest way to reach a goal is the direct approach. To that end, here are pointers for going directly after that research gig.
1. Volunteer. It’s always a terrific idea to ask. Even if you are a first-semester student, there are faculty out there who would be happy to have your assistance. So visit your professor or department adviser and ask about research possibilities.
2. Be a research subject. Get a feel for the research environment by volunteering to be a subject. The Department of Psychology is a great resource; all students majoring in psychology must participate in research. Check the Daily Targum, the student newspaper, for advertisements seeking subjects.
3. Take a research course. Many departments offer courses specifically meant for research. You’ll usually need a faculty member to approve your idea before registering. Check the course catalogs for courses with titles like “Research in Psychology,” “Research in Mathematics,” “Independent Study,” and “Advanced Independent Study and Research.”
4. Fulfill a research departmental requirement. Some academic departments require research as part of a major. Majors in molecular biology and biochemistry, genetics, and biotechnology must complete a research project. Check Degree Navigator or meet with an adviser to learn about research requirements in departmental majors.
5. Pursue an honors track, honors thesis, or senior honors thesis. Many departments’ honors tracks call for original research. For instance, earth and planetary sciences, Spanish and Portuguese, and political science (with papers available for you to read) are programs whose honors tracks have a strong research component. Qualifying students also have the option of completing an honors thesis or senior honors thesis, which are entirely research-focused. Economics and English are two examples. Consult with a departmental adviser to learn more and check out the School of Arts and Sciences' general information on senior honors theses.