UTEP has a strong tradition of involving undergraduates in research. Students are currently working on numerous projects in all departments throughout the various colleges at the university. Many faculty members participate in interdisciplinary programs that provide additional cross-training. Interested students are strongly encouraged to talk to their academic advisor and/or any professor in their department of interest about joining a research group. Keep in mind that in addition to research opportunities at UTEP there are also external opportunities at other institutions, campuses, industry, hospitals, national laboratories, museums, theaters and national and state parks to name a few. In most cases these external research experiences come with full support for travel, living expenses and stipends. Some opportunities are international in nature, which provide the added advantage of cross-cultural and language training.
Finding the right research experience for you starts with identifying a project and a research mentor. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has created a short (15min) video and information page that can help you begin this process.
*This is a great time to start exercising professional etiquette. When communicating via email or phone, make sure you introduce yourself, are clear and concise. In addition to participating in COURI Workshops we strongly encourage students to take advantage of all the resources available to them at the University. The University Career Center offers tips and workshops on Professional Etiquette.
Although in most cases it is not a requirement, most undergraduate students across the nation conduct research for credit because of the added benefit of the research credits showing up in the student’s transcript. While some students start as volunteer researchers, they eventually enroll for research credit. Some are able to secure a stipend, a research award, or are employed by a faculty member as undergraduate research assistants. Many students erroneously believe that they need to have a special award or a grant to conduct research. Some students are able to conduct research without the need for financial support, while others must have financial support for the hours spent conducting research, as a substitute for much needed outside employment. Financial support may come from faculty funds, UG research grants, and/or fellowships. Remember that the greatest value of being involved in research comes from being part of a team that shares your passion for creating new knowledge, or the thrill of discovery, and just as importantly from the learning gained. Financial support is a privilege for those that otherwise would not be able to participate in academic research.