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Undergraduate Research - Getting Started

Office of Research and Economic Development


The Wyoming Research Scholars Program has facilitated my learning of concepts and skills through the conducting of research and the presenting of findings from that research. These opportunities are helping me develop a solid foundation for continued learning and a successful career.

- Rachel Tenney, Chemistry major, Casper, WY


Develop your interest: what are your goals and interests for getting involved in research or a creative activity?

  • Be creative in making a list of what sparks your interest and what you would enjoy learning. What connections or resources do you have for pursuing these interests? Concentrate your efforts on where different topics might overlap.
  • Now what? Gather information on those topics that excite you the most. Talk to others with similar interests, ask questions, do searches and find out what is already known and what might be interesting to research. Reach out to other students who have done research, faculty, librarians who can help you conduct searches, and people outside the University. Look for the openings where something new or different could be researched.


What kind of research do you want to pursue?

Find a Lab - Find people to approach that work in fields you are earnestly interested in. This step is a valuable process for learning more about the field and discovering what excites you about areas of research. Talk to faculty, post-docs, graduate students and undergraduates in the labs. It must be a good fit, so don’t feel like you have to jump into the first opportunity you find.

Develop a Project - Your project is what you undertake to research within a larger topic. An idea for a project can originate from and then evolve around something you find interesting from conversations and discussions, doing searches, reading publications and books, or attending seminars and events. Identify a question that sparks your curiosity and that you are excited about answering.


Why do you want to be involved in research or creative activity? The experience will be more satisfying if you are motivated by curiosity rather than wanting to beef up your resume or just because you think you ‘should’ have a  research experience.


What interests you? Think about classes, departments or areas that spark your interest. What appeals to you about a specific topic? What are you hoping to gain through this experience? Do you want to build a skill set, learn to write a proposal or research paper, work on a creative project that is uniquely your own design? Do you want to work on campus or find an off-campus experience?


Do you want to work independently or collaborate with others that have the same interests? Are there faculty you specifically would like to work with and be mentored by?


How would the experience fit into your career interests and goals? Will you be able to organize your time and manage your academic, personal, and financial needs during the research period?  





Contact Us

Office of Research & Economic Development

Dept. 3355, 1000 E. University Avenue

Old Main Room 308

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-5353

Fax: (307) 766-2608

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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