Whether you work as a faculty research assistant or pursue your own independent project, research is an excellent way to develop new skills, build your professional network, and gain valuable experience for your resume. If you intend to apply for competitive graduate programs, research experience is essential. Many employers outside of academia will also value the skills you have gained through research.
Career Advancement advisers can help you find research internships. Make an appointment with a career adviser to discuss your interests in-depth. Students interested in research are strongly encouraged to meet with the College Center for Resarch and Fellowships.
Finding Research Internships
The best ways to find research internships are to apply for posted positions or to contact a faculty member whose research interests you and ask if you can get involved with their projects.
Searching for On-Campus Research Internships
On-campus research internships are posted on UChicago Handshake. To view these positions:
2. Click “Jobs”
3. Click “On-Campus”
4. Browse the positions and click on any that interest you; you can use the search bar to search for particular types of opportunities (e.g., “research assistant,” “biology,” etc.)
5. If you’re interested in applying for a position, click the green “Apply” button to upload your resume and cover letter
6. We highly recommend having your application materials reviewed by a Career Advancement adviser. Schedule an appointment with a career adviser through UChicago Handshake
Contacting Faculty for Research Internships
You can also get involved with research by reaching out to faculty members to discuss whether you can collaborate with them. Below are some suggestions for identifying and contacting faculty:
1. Explore your interests. What do you want to research? Are you hoping to gain any particular skills or understand a particular topic better?
2. Identify faculty who are working on projects that interest you. If possible, try to get a “warm lead.” Talk to your professors, your teaching assistants, your department’s director of undergraduate studies, the College Center for Research and Fellowships, your College Adviser, and your peers who are already participating in research for suggestions on which faculty members might be a good fit for your interests.
3. If you can’t get a warm lead, another great strategy is to browse faculty profiles on departmental websites and review the list of UChicago research institutes to find faculty who are working on projects that match with your research interests.
4. When you’re ready to contact a faculty member, send them a brief, polite e-mail. Introduce yourself, explain your interest in their research, and request an in-person meeting to discuss the possibility of working with them as a research assistant.
5. Don’t be discouraged if the faculty member isn’t able to take you on. Ask if they have any suggestions for colleagues who might be willing to work with you.
Make an appointment with a Career Advancement adviser if you need assistance at any stage of this process.
Funding for Unpaid Research Internships
Students with unpaid research internships supervised by a UChicago faculty member or another research professional are eligible to apply for the Jeff Metcalf Fellowship Grant. In addition, the College Center for Research and Fellowships provides several grants for research experiences.