It can be difficult determining where to start! Use the below FAQ's to help you explore how, when, and where to being your exploration of research at the University at Albany
When can I get involved in research?
This is dependent on you as an individual. We advise students to give themselves one semester to adjust to living and learning at UAlbany. This also allows time to get a GPA at UAlbany as many research positions require a minimum GPA.
Why should I do research?
Did you know you are already a researcher? That's right! Because you've most likely completed some forms of research for courses, you have the start of the skills needed to dive deeper into the research culture at UAlbany!
Participating in research and other forms of applied learning are beneficial to you as a student! The benefits vary based on the role you play on a research project, but one thing is true – you gain hands on experience that will benefit you for years to come. Many students use these opportunities to “test out” a career or specific field of study. Others use it to assist their applications for future professional programs (example: Medical School). While some students excel in an active learning environment. No matter your reason, you open doors to expanding your academic and professional network, and gain valuable skills for your future.
Is research available in all majors?
Yes! Research is engrained into the curriculum as part of your courses, as specific credit bearing experiences, and through independent projects. To learn more about the courses available where you can get academic credit, Explore Opportunities by Academic Department.
Do I have to do research in my major?
No! Students can and should explore opportunities outside of their major (and minor). Not only does this open up the number of options available, but it also prepares you for working in an interdisciplinary and multifunctional team to address the newest and greatest problems or questions!
What are some benefits of getting involved in research?
Students who get involved in research may experience some (or all) of these benefits:
Development of "soft skills" for future careers including critical thinking, analytical skills, time management, team building, etc.
Produce publishable data and reports
Authorship on publications related to your research - this is a great boost to your resume
Attend and present at conferences
Receive funding and awards
Expand your academic and professional network
And many, many more!
How can I get academic credit for Research?
Nearly every academic department has research credit bearing course registration options. These are typically classified as ‘Independent Study’ where you working one-on-one with a faculty member and you lead the research process. Other options include guided research, capstone courses, and/or a senior thesis. Check out the Explore Opportunities by Academic Department to learn more about the courses you can register for.
If you cannot register for the course through your major or minor, UAlbany has two other options to explore! The Center for Experiential Education has Internship Courses that students have used for research both on and off campus. The Community and Public Service Program (CPSP) oversees the RSSW courses where students engage in community service. Students have used RSSW to receive academic credit for research-based service projects!
I don't know where to start when thinking about research.
The best starting place is to do a self-reflection! CURCE recommends you ask yourself the following:
What are you interested in? (This can be a specific field of study, a disease area, topic, or period of time)
What do you want to do after graduation? (This can be a job or career field, graduate school, professional school, etc. The goal is to figure out what you might need to make yourself standout)
What are you passionate about? (It is okay if this is not within your major or minor, but instead a hobby, community service/action, etc.)
What courses or faculty at UAlbany have you liked? Better yet, are there any you did not like? (This helps know where to narrow the search)
Once you've answered these questions, start exploring our website, join the Blackboard Community Page, and/or schedule a meeting with a member of our team!
UAlbany student can also join the CURCE Blackboard Community Page for exclusive information about UAlbany faculty recruiting research assistants.
Don't forget to check your email throughout the entire year! Faculty members ask CURCE to do direct outreach to students who meet their requirements to apply for research positions - you do not want to miss these!
How do I join the CURCE Blackboard Community Page?
The Blackboard Community Page is for UAlbany Undergraduates Only!
We use this space to post research opportunities for faculty and researchers that are looking for new students to join their projects.
Log into your UAlbany Blackboard Account
In the upper right-hand corner of the page, click on "Community"
Find the "Organization Search" and type in "CURCE"
Hover over our "Organization ID" labeled "NS-2020-Undergrad-Ed-Curce" and click "Enroll"
How can I connect with the CURCE team?
To contact us, please email [email protected]. When you do contact us, please give some specific information so we can best assist you.
Ask your faculty! They are the individuals at the University who are doing research. Going to straight to the source is always a good idea
Ask your friends & peers! Students are doing research in many different ways, but don't always talk about it. Just ASK! They have successfully navigated the process of getting involved and can guide you.
How do I contact Faculty about getting involved in research?
It is important to do this in writing through email! This way you can go back to it if needed
Make sure you have a Subject Line. For example, use Interested in Research Opportunity or something similar
Always be professional and address the email using the most appropriate salutation (example – Dr., Professor, etc.)
Start your email with: “I am writing to inquire about a research position in your lab” or “I am interested in learning more about how I can get involved in your research.”
Mention how you identified their research – are you in their class? Did you get an email about an open position? Make sure they know how you found them
Include the following information: your major/minor, class year, GPA (if applicable)
Highlight anything relevant about WHY you want to research with them – this is where you will need to do some research about their research! Is there a specific field they are working on or did they recently have a publication about a topic you are interested in?
Provide any relevant information about prior experience, course work, or other items that would make you a good fit for their team.
When in doubt, ask the CURCE team to review your email. Simply email it to us at [email protected]
What other ways can I explore Research?
You can explore People Powered Research. This is where volunteers assist and help professional researchers analyze data and information. No need to be an expert or have any specialized training. Try something out, especially during Winter Session!