There are many ways to find research opportunities at UNC:
- talk with an OUR Ambassador or to other students who are doing research in an area of interest
- make an appointment to talk with an OUR Department Liaison
- discuss your research ideas with a faculty member who is doing research that interests you
- investigate research opportunities in your department or a related department
- sign up for a research intensive course
- check the postings in the OUR Database of Research Opportunities
- look for an opportunity with a local business
Many students have difficulty knowing what to say when they reach out to a faculty member or research advisor for the first time. Each situation is different, but our tips for writing a contact email can help.
One way to find a research opportunity that interests you is to review the current postings in the OUR database. Included here are a wide range of potential research experiences, including those connected with particular courses, volunteer positions, paid positions, and mentored scholarship that can lead to an undergraduate thesis. The postings include project descriptions, links to web sites with additional information, and contact information. The faculty who posted these opportunities have specified appropriate student majors for these positions.
Many companies and organizations nearby have internship or workshop opportunities that involve research. If there are companies that work in an area you care about, try contacting the company to see whether they have a formal internship program, or whether they have other opportunities for you to work with or shadow a researcher. Any Triangle-area opportunities OUR has heard about are listed here, but you should also talk to UNC Career Services or to your advisor.
This site was designed for students who intend to apply to graduate programs, but it includes resources that are helpful for undergraduates who want to identify faculty working in particular research fields.
There are also many research opportunities and programs available outside of UNC. The National Science Foundation has compiled a site of Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), providing links to research opportunities in the natural sciences.