How Can I Get Involved with Research at CU SDM? Tips about Research from SRG.
By: Petros Yoon
1. Find out what research topics interest you.
It always helps you to choose a topic that you are engaged in and excited to pursue. Think about a topic you want to discover more about. Then look up the research faculty in the school of dental medicine and the department of craniofacial biology. Explore faculty lab websites, and recent publications from clinicians/scientists. This will give you a good idea of what the lab is currently focused on, and maybe it’s also something that interests you!
2. Go seek faculty that you want to do research with
Take the initiative and design your own research project. Formulate a hypothesis and methods to test them. This doesn’t have to be perfect, but this process really helps you organize ideas that really interest you. Bringing research proposals to a faculty member shows your preparedness and seriousness to do research. At the same time, if you don’t have one, don’t worry! Be receptive to LEARN as you go, but definitely go in with a GOAL. The goal can be publishing your work, participating in national research meetings, or fulfilling your intellectual curiosity.
3. Schedule a Meeting with the Faculty
Email professors you want to do research with. Set a time to meet and discuss your goals and project ideas and why you want to join their lab or project.
4. Research does not have to be on a bench top.
Not all research lab/projects are the same. There are many research opportunities in Dental Public Health, Dental Education, and Clinical Specialty research. Many faculty in the dental school mentor clinical research projects. Search for faculties that are doing projects. Email them, ask them if they are working on any projects and ask how you can get involved; often not everything a faculty member does is advertised.
5. Start Now!
The sooner the better! Once you start in a lab or work on a project, you will have an introductory training phase to get used to the set-up, layout, lab protocols, etc. This training takes time before you can become self-sufficient in a project. Holiday breaks are an excellent time to start because you don’t have classes to worry about. Get your training and then manage and organize your schedule once school starts. If you are even a little curious about doing research, I would highly encourage you to at least give it a shot! The sooner you settle into a project, the more time you have to see completion, like a publication.
6. Contact Us!
Doing research as a dental student is not easy, but it is an incredibly rewarding experience. If you have any questions about research you can always contact me!: Petros.Yoon@ucdenver.edu