Get Started with Undergraduate Research

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Contact OUR to find out more information regarding campus-wide undergraduate research opportunities, how to begin the process, and more!

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When can I start?

You may begin your undergraduate researcher experience as early as your second semester of your first year at UTA. The optimal time is sophomore year and beyond, but this can vary with individual.

When you start depends on:
  • Your readiness
  • Model of research you are interested in
  • Assisting a professor in their research (on their research team) vs. conducting supervised independent research (student lead)
  • Conventions of the field
  • Degree plan and class schedule
  • Faculty expectations

How to start

Identify Your Interests
  • Determining your interests is an initial step in finding a research area that interests you. Here are some suggestions on how to identify your interests:Read through your College/Department’s brochures and website. Find out what topics interests you. Look at what courses/electives you gravitate too.
  • Look through faculty profiles. Discover their research interests and recent publications. Have conversations with your current faculty members about their discipline/field.
  • Speak with other students on their interests.
  • Visit the Lockheed Martin Career Development Center to discover what can be achieved with your degree. Discuss what resources they offer. Additionally, question the employment status and venues of recent alumni?
  • Volunteer to work with a faculty member on one of their research projects.
  • Volunteer and/or work at a venue outside of UTA – research institutes, industry, community-based organizations, hospitals/medical centers, museums, libraries, etc.”

Note: Research does not necessarily have to be directly related to your major/field/discipline. OUR supports interdisciplinary studies.



  • Once you have identified your interests, find out more about faculty that share similar interests and are currently engaged in research around your research concentrations. Start engaging in deeper level conversations with faculty members, advisors, and peers. This can be intimidating; however, the process is rather simple (note, we didn’t say “easy”). OUR can also aid you in selecting a potential faculty member who will become a mentor. OUR can aid you in:
  • Selecting three possible faculty mentors, at a given time, not to overwhelm the process.
  • Aid in drafting a professional letter of interest email and scheduling a meeting.You may also go to faculty members office hours for an informal meeting.


  • Provide guidance on talking points during a meeting, for example:Small talk & non-verbal communication.
  • Express your interest in the faculty members research and how it aligns with your interests.
  • Ask to serve a volunteer and/or formal position in research environment.
  • Explain how you qualify for the position.
  • As for a follow-up meeting, volunteer, and/or decision date.
  • Thank faculty for their time.
  • Have a backup plan.
  • Prepare you for the physical and mental demands of (undergraduate) research.

Apply Yourself

Once you have found a faculty member who is willing to serve as your undergraduate research mentor, you may approach research informally or formally. Volunteering in a research environment is the most common form of informal engagement. Formalized engagement is when you are employed and have a title (e.g. “undergraduate research assistant”), part of formalized program (e.g. OUR programs, SRAs, REUs, Honors College), or engaging in independent research facilitated by a faculty mentor.


Now that you’re on a research team and/or engaged in independent research, you are an undergraduate researcher! OUR can further your experience through our events, workshops, and connecting you with experts in your field.

Contact Undergraduate Research

Campus Center (CMPC)
505 W. Nedderman Dr.
Arlington, TX 76019


Contact Research

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