First Steps

How to Find a Research Position on Campus

There are various ways by which you can identify research opportunities on campus:

1. Faculty

Faculty are a great resource for information about research (their own as well as that of others in their department) and potential research mentors. Faculty want you to take the initiative to learn what their research areas are before reaching out to them.

  • Review the faculty research profiles. Read scholarly articles written by professors at Case Western Reserve University.

  • Identify faculty whose work interests you and contact them. Typically students will contact, usually by email, 8 to 10 faculty members (individually).

  • In this email, briefly introduce yourself (major, year, any relevant experience); express your interest in their research, using specifics; and indicate if you are seeking research as a volunteer, for pay, or for course credit. You also will want to communicate how many hours per week you want to work (e.g. 5-8, 10-12, etc.)

  • If you are a work-study student, inform them that, while you are willing to volunteer, you are approved for work-study, so you would prefer a paid position.  Attach a resume.  If you have not had your resume reviewed, please plan to do so by attending the drop-hours of the Career Lab Career Peers. You can find their hours and locations on the Career Center

  • Watch a video where CWRU faculty explain the value of undergraduate research.  

2. The Opportunity List

The Undergraduate Research Office encourages Faculty to submit undergraduate research positions, which students can find on the Opportunity List.  The Undergraduate Research Office encourages students not to rely on the Opportunity List exclusively as it is, "hit or miss," and in no way compares to the process of identifying an opportunity by communicating with faculty.

3.  Your peers

With an average of 83% to 85% of our student body reporting participating in undergraduate research prior to graduation, CWRU has a strong undergraduate research culture.  Friends can be a great way to learn about research opportunities.  Let everyone around you know that you are looking for a research opportunity, and ask that they let you know if they hear about an opening.

4. The Undergraduate Research office

Part of our job is to inform you how to get connected to research positions on campus.  The Undergraduate Research Office offers almost weekly information sessions for students at the very beginning of their search. Session times and locations can be found on our seminar listing page.  You also may make individual appointments through My Journey.

5. Learn about what’s happening on and around campus

Stay informed!  The Daily (email newsletter delivered to your inbox), posters and signs on and around campus, campus offices and clubs, etc, are all ways to be alerted to potential research opportunities. Attend talks, seminars, and other presentations whose topics are of interest to you. Many opportunities arise out of simply engaging with faculty after a presentation or reading an article in The Daily.