A research opportunity for every interest
The University of Washington is a top-tier research university. Faculty in every Arts & Sciences department pursue leading-edge research – and many invite undergraduate students to join them in this important work. Experiencing the challenges and excitement of the discovery process can be a powerful complement to classroom learning.
As an undergrad, you can review declassified CIA documents for human rights cases, help preserve endangered languages, excavate a T-rex in Montana, identify gene mutations in fruit flies, search for signs of life in the universe, and much more.
Research opportunities abound, but finding the right fit for your interests may require some effort. Here are suggestions for starting your search:
Approach a professor whose research interests you. Faculty may be looking for a research assistant or aware of other opportunities. This could be a great conversation during office hours.
Consider a research-based course. Courses with research as a central focus can introduce research methods and help you assess your interest in a more long-term research project.
Talk to a department advisor. Department advisors often have knowledge of research opportunities. If you are an honors student, also ask about opportunities to pursue independent research through your department’s honors program.
Think beyond your own discipline. Be open to research opportunities outside of your major. Many students find research opportunities in other departments, colleges, or UW-affiliated centers.
Dedicate a summer to humanities research. In the UW’s Summer Institute in the Arts & Humanities, undergraduates engage in scholarly research with accomplished scholars and peers while earning full-time academic credit.
Explore the resources of the UW Undergraduate Research Program (URP). URP offers guidance on all aspects of undergraduate research.
- Through URP Advising, learn about finding a position, earning academic credit, identifying research funding, and more.
- The URP database includes several hundred undergraduate research opportunities. Be sure to check the database periodically, as new opportunities are continually added. (Interested in psychology research? Also visit the Department of Psychology Undergraduate Research Opportunities webpage.)
If your research involves human or animal subjects, URP’s Research Ethics page includes links to information about UW policy and federal regulatory requirements.
It was wonderful to take what I learned in class and apply it in the lab. Also, I was able to observe my own growth; I went from having no clue what I was doing to designing my own experiments!
Ongoing Projects Seeking Undergraduates
Many ongoing projects across the College of Arts & Sciences are fueled by undergraduate participation. A few examples:
Contribute to mathematical research while making it accessible to the public.
Join an international team producing digital editions of early Homeric texts.
A focus on transgender youth
My research…experience allowed me to apply the knowledge I had gained from both of my majors, and deepen my understanding of the areas I’m interested in.
Student Research Experiences
Darby Sherwood spent the past year developing a play, Mrs. Lenin, under the mentorship of a nationally recognized playwright.
Ryan Robinson spent two summers excavating at an archaeological site dating back 4500 years.
Discovery through internships
Another opportunity to apply what you’re learning is through an internship. As an intern for a nonprofit, government agency, health care provider, or other organization, you will experience firsthand how theory translates to practice. An internship may also help clarify whether a potential career is right for you. The UW Career & Internship Center offers a range of internship-related resources, from webinars on finding an internship to a database of opportunities. Your department may also have information about discipline-specific opportunities.