Participating in undergraduate research gives you the opportunity to engage in learning experiences beyond the classroom and gain new perspectives and insights while helping to create new knowledge. You can learn how to work on a team in a close-knit interdisciplinary community, improve your oral and written communication skills and have a chance to discover what really interests you.
Research opportunities often begin with a student's direct contact with a faculty member. Here are some tips from the Office of Research to help you get started:
- Make a list of the subjects that really interest you and that you’d like to explore.
- Decide what you want to gain from working on a project: simply learning more about a field of study, being better prepared for a future career, or working closely with faculty and graduate students who can offer professional guidance and mentoring.
- Check out our Faculty or Research web pages to identify professors working on projects that interest you. When you have narrowed down your choice, tell your professor of your interest after class or during office hours, and then make a specific appointment to discuss your thoughts.
- Develop a description of up to a page explaining why you want to do research and why a faculty mentor should want to work with you. Include information on your major, if you have identified it; background courses you have taken; and time availability and commitment (number of quarters you will be available; hours per week; times available). Be sure the faculty member knows how to get in touch with you.
Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships
The Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships (CSEP) builds on a record of innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs at the California NanoSystems Institue (CNSI), to create a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration. The center’s mission is to strengthen UCSB’s capacity to play a leading role in the education and professional development of current and future scientists and engineers.
Materials Research Lab
MRL scientists and education staff are dedicated to improving access to science for diverse groups and to building a competent work force of scientists and engineers. Our education programs provide undergraduate research opportunities, graduate student training, outreach to K-12 students and teachers, and community outreach.
Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA)
The mission of the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) Unit in the College of Letters and Science is to promote the scholarly work of undergraduate students and to provide resources for undergraduates to pursue independent research and creative activities under the guidance of faculty mentors.
Reuben Demirdjian and Tyler Rhodes presented their research at the 2012 URCA Colloquium.
Worster Summer Research Fellowship
The Worster family has graciously given Physics a gift to support the development of graduate and undergraduate research in physics through a mentoring program that pairs an undergraduate Physics major with a graduate student mentor during the summer.