How to get involved in research

One of the great advantages of a science program at Memorial University is that undergraduate students can become involved in cutting edge research at a very early stage in their studies. However, many students are unaware of how to access the vast array of opportunities that are available and, unfortunately, do not take advantage of them. The information below is meant to help students find ways to obtain out-of-the classroom laboratory experiences that will help them discover their passion for research.

Talk to faculty/staff/lab instructors

Most of our full-time faculty are actively engaged in research. Browse web pages or approach one of your professors or lab instructors to ask about what research is being done in your department and who might have space available.

Before talking to a professor, do some preparation. Most of them would like to hear about your background, your skills, your goals and your academic qualifications. Be prepared to convince them that you are the best person for the position.

Talk to other students

All of the departments in Science have active student societies

Talk to students in your class or, better yet, students who are enrolled in the honours program in your department.

Attend research talks and events

The Gazette's events page lists a wide variety of public lectures. Don’t be shy—almost everything advertised there is open to everyone. If you’re interested, make the time to attend.

Some of our departments hold research fairs or mini-conferences for their graduate and/or honours students. They will be advertised on individual department web sites.

Apply for research funding

There are a great many sources for funding summer research projects, including NSERC USRA, SURA, USSIP summer research programs. Deadlines and application procedures vary from year to year. The announcements are generally provided in the fall of each year with applications due in January or February. Ask at the department’s main office for more information.

Get funding through a MUCEP research position

MUCEP stands for Memorial University Career Experience Program and is a student employment program that provides work experience and financial support. A portion of the MUCEP positions are dedicated specifically to research and are supported by the Office of the Vice-President (Research) as part of the Strategic Research Intensity Plan.

Think about an honours degree in your first or second year

All of our honours degrees require a research project that must be overseen by a faculty member. Students are responsible for making the initial approaches to potential supervisors and some supervisors have limited space in their laboratory. By volunteering to work in a lab before you enter the honours program, you already have a foot in the door!

Register for a field or research-oriented course

Most of our departments offer courses that specifically offer experience in research or field work.

Think about going to Harlow: the Biology courses taught at the Harlow campus are hands-on field courses

Get to know your library

Library Research Essentials (LRE) is an introductory tutorial, designed to help learners build basic library research skills and understand the foundational principles that will help them complete library research-based course assignments at Memorial University. The library also offers a wide range of short guides covering both general research skills, and specific information tools. 

Students who volunteer to work in the laboratory can be eligible for co-curricular credit. The work must involve the equivalent of 16 weeks of work. Please contact the Associate Dean of Science (Administration and Undergraduate) at afoster@mun.ca for the credit. 

Contact

Faculty of Science

230 Elizabeth Ave

St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 CANADA

Tel: (709) 864-2530

Fax: (709) 864-2552

becomestudent@mun.ca