Undergraduates benefit from participating in research in many ways. You become a more competitive applicant when applying to graduate schools. You deepen your understanding of your field. You develop a relationship with a faculty mentor. You gain confidence and experience in research, writing, and presentation skills. You may receive academic credit for your research. The University of Florida is one of the leading public research institutions in the nation, and many opportunities for undergraduate research await you.
Students participating in undergraduate research should consider completing an honors thesis for magna cum laude and summa cum laude recognition. For more information on honors thesis submission, click here.
How to find a Research Position
There are several ways to get involved in research:
- A good starting point is to browse the Undergraduate Research Database for opportunities in all academic fields here at UF.
- Another way is to collaborate with a faculty member in your area of interest. A professor you resonate with may need an assistant for their current research project. If you're not sure whom you'd like to work with, try asking in your department about available research positions with faculty. Bulletin boards may also post openings. Click here for tips on approaching faculty
- You might design you own research project with a professor mentor. See these tips on building the student-mentor relationship.
- Another option is to apply to an outside institution to participate in research. It is possible to receive UF credit for this sort of research. There are countless programs around the country geared towards science and engineering research, but opportunities exist in all fields. The Career Resource Center, Honors advisors, and the Internet are all good starting points to find outside research opportunities. Click here for a brief list of research programs.
- Students majoring in Chemistry or Biochemistry may contact Dr. Alexander Angerhofer for information on research opportunities in the Chemistry Department.
You may be able to get academic credit for your research. An application for Honors Research Credit is available on this site.
Special opportunities for undergraduate research are available, including funds, accolades, conferences, and scholarly journals that might publish your findings. Students may not receive funds from the University Scholars Program and the Science for Life program at the same time (read this page for more information about the differences between programs).
- The University Scholars Program
This highly competitive program provides undergraduates with the unique opportunity to work closely with UF faculty. Teamed with a faculty mentor, students pick their topic, conduct summer research, and complete their paper throughout the following academic year.
All undergraduates are eligible. You may choose to work with a faculty member in a different college than your own major. Scholars receive a $1,750 stipend and $500 to support their faculty mentor. In addition, scholars have the opportunity to publish their research in UF's online Journal of Undergraduate Research.
- McNair Scholars Program
The UF McNair Scholars Program, named in honor of Dr. Ronald E. McNair (an African-American engineer, scientist and astronaut who perished in the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger), exists to support undergraduate college students from low-income, first-generation and underrepresented backgrounds in their progress towards a doctoral degree.
- UF-HHMI Science for Life Program
Funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, this program allows talented, motivated, and responsible undergraduates majoring in the life sciences at the University of Florida to get a rapid start in research and connect with the most outstanding faculty mentors at UF (freshman and sophomores are eligible to apply). The Undergraduate Research Award gives students a $2,000 stipend, $500 publication and travel awards, and minimum of $2,000 for extramural projects. A one-credit Science for Life Seminar course (BCH 4905) is offered each fall and spring to help students find a faculty mentor. Students do not have to be in the Honors Program to participate in the program or register for the seminar.
- National Science Foundation REU Program
The National Science Foundation offers funding for research. See their website for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs), locations, and contact information.
- Beckman Scholarship
This scholarship is to support research in chemistry, biochemistry, the biological and medical sciences or some combination. Apply in the freshman or early sophomore years.
- The InvestiGators The InvestiGators allows UF undergraduate students of many diverse disciplines the opportunity to practice good research procedures, foster friendships and share knowledge under the guidance and direction of Dr. Peggy Borum. Over the years, we have grown into a group of about 40 individuals on three interconnected teams: the Carnitine, Gator and KetoGator Teams.
- International Research Experiences for Students Undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines are invited to apply for the US-Australia International Research Experience for Students (IRES) program on Materials for Energy Technologies. This program provides opportunities to perform cutting edge research in Materials for Energy Technologies while becoming a part of the international materials research community. The program includes a 10-week research experience at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. Departure and return is approximately May 29 and August 10 of each year. More information and applications are available at http://jjones.mse.ufl.edu/IRES.html.
- The Summer Research Program in Biological Sciences at MIT
This program is designed to encourage talented sophomore and junior science majors, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, under-represented minority groups or first generation college students to pursue a Ph.D. in the biological and medical sciences. The program is open to students with a minimum 3.5 GPA, a strong interest in basic research and a genuine interest in attending graduate school. The program lasts from June 4th to August 10th and includes on campus housing, a weekly stipend etc.
- Other summer research opportunities
Summer research experiences--both lab and clinical--are available all over the world. The list of opportunities published by the Association of American Medical Colleges is a good place to start.
- A general list of health related summer opportunities
Publishing & Presentation Opportunities
- Journal of Undergraduate Research
This monthly journal updates the university community on the various achievements of featured University Scholars in every department.
- The University of Florida International Review
This is an online student-edited journal of international affairs, continuously accepting articles for consideration.
- National Conference for Undergraduate Research
A national organization that provides opportunities for students with research projects to present their projects at national gatherings.
- Undergraduate Journals and Conferences Directory
The UJCD lists journals, electronic and paper, and conferences, that will consider undergraduate student essays, research papers, poetry, short fiction, photography, cartoons, art, etc., for publication.
Click here for tips on approaching faculty with a research idea.
Click here for tips on building the student-mentor relationship.
Visit WebGURU (The Web Guide to Research for Undergraduates) for a comprehensive guide to navigating the hurdles of the undergraduate research.