Finding Research Opportunities

When you have a good idea of what you're looking for in a research experience (refer to our Identify Your Research Interests page for help) you'll want take a few minutes to think about what kind of research experience you're looking for.

The below information and links can help you refine exactly what you're looking for and identify resources to help you in your search.


When do you want to get involved in research: during the academic year (i.e. Fall or Spring semesters) or over the summer?

  • Think about how you'll balance research with your class load.

  • More than likely, research will be done on campus.

  • You may be able to enroll in directed research classes (usually numbered 392 or 492) to get credit for your research. 

  • Paid research positions may be a possibility. 

  • You may need to figure this out the semester prior if you're taking a directed research class. However, if you're volunteering or looking for a paid position you can likely start looking at the start of the semester.

  • There are a lot of opportunities for summer research programs at other institutions.

  • Think carefully about whether or not you want to enroll in directed research and/or internship credits over the summer as you can run into issues with financial aid.

  • Look closely at Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs and/or ask your professors about opportunities they may be aware of.

  • A lot of summer programs will require you to apply in the spring or even fall semesters - so don't wait to start looking!


Do you want to do research here at UA, at another university, or with an organization?

  • Given UA's status as a Tier 1 research institution, there are a lot of opportunities to get involved in research on campus.

  • These opportunities may be on UA's main campus, in the greater Tucson area, or elsewhere in Arizona.

  • You may be able to find an opportunity with an individual faculty member using our Research Opportunity Search page which will show you faculty who have open opportunities for undergraduate students.

  • You can also look through department's and/or college's websites for additional information on research opportunities, we have a list of such sites here.

  • Another option is applying to one of UA's established undergraduate research programs.

  • If you want to do research at another university, it will typically take place over the summer.

  • Frequently, these opportunities will be Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs, a list of these programs can be found here.

  • Additional links to external opportunities can be found here.

  • You may be able to find research opportunities with private companies or organizations in the form of internships.

  • These will vary greatly depending on the organization and nature of the internship.

  • A list of external opportunities can be found here.


What do you want to get out of your experience: course credit, financial compensation, and/or experience?

As mentioned above, most departments have a 392 and/or 492 option for directed research which allows you to get course credit for your research work. In some cases you can also enroll in an Independent Study course with a faculty member to get credit for your research. In addition, an increasing number of courses around campus include research as a core component of their curriculum; check with your departmental advisors for more on these opportunities.

  • Paid research positions are another option to consider, though they will likely be harder to find and more competitive to get.

  • Many of the established UA research programs provide financial compensation.

  • REU programs will normally provide compensation for your work and often additional stipends for living expenses / travel.

  • Many internships will also be paid positions and in many cases can lead to a full-time job with the organization.

  • If you have the ability to do so, one of the quickest and easiest ways to get involved in research is to offer to volunteer: you'll get good experience and build connections which could ultimately lead to a paid position or bigger project.

  • To get the most out of any research experience, consider signing up for UA Undergraduate Research Engagement Experience. This 100% Engagement Non-credit experience can be used in conjunction with any research experience, so long as it's not tied to a class or program which has an existing engaged learning component. This program will ask you to reflect upon your research experience so that you are better able to communicate it with others.



How can you actually find a research opportunity?

  • Start with our database of available research opportunities with UA Faculty.

  • If you can't find what you're looking for there, start looking over departmental pages for faculty you may want to contact.

  • You can also use the website to do a key word search of your research interests to find faculty with similar interests.

  • You may also want to consider one of the established research programs for undergraduate students, a list of which can be found here.

  • Refer to our list of sites and programs off campus here