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How to get research experiences with your DePauw education

  1. How can research experiences help you?
  2. Research opportunities at DePauw
    1. How to find research opportunities at DePauw
    2. How to fund your research at DePauw
  3. Research opportunities outside of DePauw
    1. Application components that are common to a lot of off-campus research applications
    2. How to find research opportunities outside of DePauw
    3. How to fund research opportunities outside of DePauw
  4. How to share your research and build from the experience


How can research experiences help you?

  • Solve interesting, complex problems
  • Improve your knowledge in a field of study or across fields, and pick-up research skills (which often help you outside of those fields too)
  • Improve time management and perseverance, and become confident in your ability to manage complex projects
  • Improve teamwork with a professor and peers
  • Improve oral and written communication
  • Contribute to competitiveness for additional undergrad and post-grad opportunities, and benefit from another mentor who can help provide reference letters and recommendations
  • Earn course credit during the academic year or potentially be paid and earn extended studies credit while conducting summer research


Research opportunities at DePauw

  1. How to find research opportunities at DePauw
    1. Talk to your professors – Professors are passionate about their fields, and professors at DePauw love working with students. By talking with professors you know from class or other contexts around campus, you can learn about their projects, about their colleagues who may be working on interesting projects, and about the types of courses and skills that will be helpful for you.
      • Some departments have .25 – 1 credit courses where you can enroll with a faculty mentor to work on a research project throughout the semester. (DePauw generally seeks to provide academic credit for research during the semester, but there are situations where a student is eager to pursue an opportunity for more informal collaboration without academic credit. Although DePauw generally discourages these "voluntary" activities, exceptions may be made where possible, with approval from the Office of Academic Affairs, which will consult with Human Resources and Risk Management)
      • Some courses include significant research experiences – for example, many senior seminars and corresponding theses are entirely research experiences, and many courses include student-driven research projects as a standard part of the course
      • Student-faculty collaborative summer research is very common at DePauw. During early spring semester (and even late fall semester), talk to professors about openings on projects they’re already planning or ask if they’re available to develop a project idea with you. Also, check out the info on faculty research interests that the Asher Office of Undergraduate Research shares in February each year
    2. Attend dept/program events about research – many departments and the Asher Office have occasional lunches and research talks where you may hear about timely opportunities
    3. Students often feel like one hurdle is deciding how to reach out to a professor that they don’t know well. If it’s a professor you have for class, office hours are a terrific time to chat about research interests, and you can also strike up a conversation with the professor right after a class session ends. If it’s a professor you’ve heard about but don’t know yet, a polite, professional email is a great introduction.
    4. You may have interests that fit well with one or more of the Centers at DePauw. Reach out to them and ask them about resources that will help you get started.
    5. Contact the Director of the Asher Office of Undergraduate Research to discuss ideas and get connected with other faculty members who might fit your research interests
  2. How to fund your research at DePauw
    1. For research during the semester (e.g., expenses for materials for current research or expenses for presenting research you previously conducted), these are great funding sources:
    2. For summer research at DePauw, these are great funding sources (note: you can also submit a summer research internship for extended studies credit here):


Research opportunities outside of DePauw

  1. See this website for more detailed help on common application components of many off-campus research applications (note: you can also submit a research internship for extended studies credit here)
  2. How to find research opportunities outside of DePauw
    1. Check out some of the resources on this DePauw webpage
      • Note for international students: There are fewer opportunities that have funding available for international students; however, it can be worthwhile to directly inquire. For example, the REU programs mentioned below cannot provide NSF funding to international students, but some programs have other sources of funding that can be used to support international students for joining their summer research program. The links in the next section below (after the DePauw website links) provide useful templates for contacting professors or directors of these programs via email.
    2. There are lots of avenues for finding out about other research opportunities and trying to make a connection. If you're considering reaching out to a researcher at another university or company:
    3. Talk to your professors and administrative assistants – professors often know about external research opportunities that are specific to their field (the professors might find out about them from friends at other institutions, from email lists and conferences in their field, etc.).  Some departments also have bulletin boards with posted opportunities or they maintain a website or Google Doc with opportunities. Ask your professor or department's administrative assistant if the department has particular resources and how often they're updated.
    4. Contact the Hubbard Center (and use the Handshake internship search system) to see if there are research internships in businesses that may be a good fit.
    5. If your interests seem to match with one of DePauw’s Centers, contact them to learn about related research opportunities:
    6. Contact the Director of the Asher Office to discuss other ways to find opportunities 
  3. How to fund your research outside of DePauw
    1. In many cases, research outside of DePauw may be paid by the university or company sponsoring it.
    2. For unpaid research outside of DePauw, you can consider applying to these funding sources prior to conducting the research:


How to share your research and build from the experience

  1. Present your research - here are several possibilities:
    1. Fall poster session at DePauw - each year we organize a large poster session, typically held in the Julian Atrium in early October, and students present research projects from the summer and preceding academic year; see examples of projects presented
    2. Regional, national, and international conferences - discuss with your mentor whether there are good conference fits for your research. You can apply for DePauw funding to support conference registration as well as travel expenses via funds listed above in the funding section. Also, students who wish to attend a professional conference, but have not been accepted to present may apply for funding to help with travel, housing and meals from the Hubbard Center or the Hartman Center
    3. Present at departmental events in your major or other fields related to your study
  2. Consider publishing your research - discuss options with your research mentor
  3. Submit your research to the DePauw institutional repository of Scholarly and Creative Work so it is accessible to fellow scholars all over the world. This has great benefits -- your research will appear in the searchable Google Scholar database, you can include the repository link in your resume for employers/selection committees to see, and you receive updates regarding the number of times people have been accessing your work from the repository.
  4. Translate your research skills to your resume and personal statements for graduate and professional schools
    1. Ask your research mentors for feedback on your description of the research and skills you developed and used.
    2. Ask your academic advisor (who may not be familiar with the details of your research experience) for feedback on your description of the research and skills you developed and used.
    3. Sign-up for one of the helpful resume-writing workshops held by the Hubbard Center.
  5. Talk to your mentors about further skills you want to develop and opportunities you want to try. Are their additional research opportunities or internships at DePauw or outside of DePauw that can help you develop your passions?