Getting Started

Has a professor sparked your interest in a topic during a course? Is there a project or an area of research that you have been excited to explore? Wondering where to start? 

The key to getting started in research is finding a subject you are passionate about and making connections with faculty who share that interest.

  • Get to know professors, teaching assistants, and upperclassmen in your classes or in any department and find out what kind of research they are doing.
  • Take advantage of what's going on around you. The university is full of lectures and colloquia every week. You never know what topic might spark your interest!

If you are looking for an existing research opportunity, thinking about designing a research project of your own, or just wondering whether or not research is for you, the Office of Undergraduate Research is a good place to start. 

Research Process

Explore Your Discipline and Interests

The most important ingredient in a successful research project is the passion of the researcher: What is it that makes YOU want to learn more? Explore research methodologies and timelines across academic disciplines.

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Department and Program Pathways into Research

Departmental faculty, staff, and curricular opportunities are essential resources for finding your pathway into research.

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Find a Mentor

Because undergraduate research is, by definition, faculty mentored, students will need to spend a significant period of time finding a mentor and establishing a relationship before beginning a research project and well in advance of applying for a research funding award.

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Undergraduate Research Funds and Programs

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) helps fund students undertaking research projects over the summer and keeps listings of other summer programs both at WashU and programs and funding sources outside of WashU.

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