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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Getting Involved in Research


Get Involved

Why should I get involved in research?

Being involved in research projects can be very personally rewarding, valuable in getting jobs, and often critical in getting into graduate school. If you do a good job, you may achieve one or more of the following:

  • great practical experience to supplement course material
  • experience working as part of a team on complex projects
  • much more detailed letters of recommendation from faculty for graduate schools and jobs
  • experience in job skills such as data analysis, collaboration, writing and planning
  • recognition of your efforts in print in the acknowledgements section of a research paper
  • even more acknowledgement as a co-author on a professional publication
  • opportunity to write an Honors thesis based on a research project

Research Opportunities in the Psychology Department

Aside from teaching, college professors spend the bulk of their time doing research, which means gathering information, the kind that ultimately appears in the scholarly journals and the textbooks you read. All of the UC Denver Psychology faculty members are involved in research, including basic and applied research, empirical and theoretical studies, and clinical and experimental endeavors.

There are three types of opportunities for undergraduates. First, undergraduate students can get involved in studies done by faculty and graduate students. They can do a multitude of things, including library research, preparing research materials, research design, collecting data, entering data, typing, data analysis, and writing. Second, undergraduate students can collaborate as partners in projects with faculty and/or graduate students. Third, undergraduates can conduct research of their own, under the supervision of a faculty member.

How do I learn about research opportunities in the department?

  • Check this Web site for some specific opportunities.
  • Check the bulletin board outside the Psychology Department office, where all faculty members and graduate students post their most recent publications. This will give you an idea of what types of work people are doing.
  • Go see professors during their office hours. This is easier than you might think, because (a) faculty typically see students around test times only, and (b) faculty love to talk about their research. You can read some of their articles and book chapters and ask them questions about it, or you can simply ask them what they are involved in at the moment.
  • Come to Psi Chi (the psychology honor society) functions. They are advertised on a bulletin board opposite the elevators on the 5th floor of the North Classroom, outside the Psychology Department office.
  • Ask fellow students what kinds of activities they are involved in. \

Get Involved!

  • Talk with faculty members (your own and others) and ask them what they are working on. They will be happy to share some of their work with you so you can read up.
  • Take courses from faculty who are doing the kind of research you find interesting. This is a good way to get to know faculty and for them to get to know your skills and knowledge in their field.
  • Take Statistics and Research Methods as soon as possible. This is often necessary to get involved in more than a minimum way.
  • Come to colloquia, talks, and other functions sponsored by the department and Psi Chi.
  • Talk to graduate students in the department.
  • Volunteer your services
  • Think about the kind of research you would like to do and talk to a faculty member about it.
  • Talk to the Center for Internships (at the Career Center) to see what kinds of research internships are available.