A note from Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Sandra L. Suárez
Undergraduate students have a variety of research opportunities at CLA. Conducting research teaches you how to think creatively and critically, deepens your understanding of the research topic and helps you develop analytical and problem-solving skills. Equipped with this new skill set and knowledge you’ll clarify your career interests and strengthen your resume for your future profession.
These opportunities afford you the chance to enrich your education through scholarly research while receiving valuable faculty mentorship. You are the next generation of independent thinkers and collaborators, problem-solvers and decision-makers. We’re here to support you, our #TempleMade thought leaders of tomorrow, as you participate in the four research opportunity paths below.
Partner With a Faculty Member
Many faculty members have ongoing research initiatives. Working with a faculty member is a great opportunity to learn about the research process and support the work of an established scholar. You should start by setting up an appointment with a faculty member to discuss their research and how you might support their work.
Some departments and programs keep a running list of faculty looking for research assistants, so check with the department chair or program director about available opportunities. Work-study positions are available. Alternatively, faculty members may have grant money to support a research assistant.
A very popular program is the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Research Awards (LAURAs). Student-faculty teams work together over the course of a semester (including the summer) on a research project of mutual interest. Ask your favorite faculty member about mentoring you for a LAURA. Another opportunity is the Merit Scholarship Stipends (from Honors).
Develop an Independent Project
All students will embark on an independent research project in their senior capstone project, but students with a passion for a particular topic can undertake an independent research project under faculty supervision before senior year. Many departments have an option to do this for credit. Students can also take advantage of university-wide resources for undertaking independent research projects through programs such as the Creative Arts, Research and Scholarship (CARAS) and Diamond Research Scholars Awards, which support students undertaking independent research projects.
If you have a faculty mentor in mind whom you’d like to conduct your study with, please contact them directly. Alternatively, you can reach out to your undergraduate department chair for guidance on which faculty mentors may be appropriate for you to work with.
Work With a University Lab or Group
Opportunities for undergrads to experience working as part of a research group and/or lab abound. Reach out to the laboratory head or principal investigator to see what research opportunities are currently available and, in some cases, apply via their website. Keep in mind that undergraduate researchers’ roles in some of these spaces may fluctuate throughout the semester due to modifications related to COVID-19.
The Psychology Department and Neuroscience Program are particularly rich with such opportunities.
Other potential opportunities include but are not limited to the Institute on Disabilities and the Institute for Survey Research. Many of these positions are work-study eligible.