Research Skills

Now that you’re started, find information on ethics and safety, presenting and publishing your work, and more–information that will be helpul as you mature as a researcher.

Ethics and Safety

All researchers, from students to faculty, must participate in safety and ethics training before engaging in research.

It is important, once you’ve identified your project, that you enroll in training appropriate to your field. In some sessions, you may learn about standard practices and safety measures. In others, you may be issued protective devices (i.e. a radiation safety badge) and informed on what your responsibilities include. Finally, if you work with humans or animals, more in-depth training will be provided.

The Office of Research Integrity and Assurance

The Office of Research Integrity and Assurance provides links to procedures, training, regulations, and resources through the Responsible Conduct of Research site.

Make sure to review

Additional Ethics and Safety Training Resources

Statistical Training

Statistics is an important skill for many research topics. Statistics classes are offered in many colleges at Cornell, and there is individual help offered for undergraduate researchers.

The Cornell Statistical Consulting Unit (CSCU)

CSCU helps faculty, students and staff with the application of statistical methods in their research. They assist researchers with the method section of grant proposals, the design of their experiments or surveys, the organization of the data, the planning and implementation of the statistical analysis, and the interpretation and write up of results. Statistical consultants at CSCU are available during walk-in hours or by appointment in Savage Hall (B07-B13). For hours and more information see the CSCU information page.

Research, Reference and Writing Guides

Helpful Resources

  • Librarians at Cornell are highly involved and helpful with undergraduates interested in research. Librarians write guides that can help students with research in most disciplines. Check them out.
  • Writing 2100 is a course offered in the spring that provides students with research tools in the humanities and humanisitic social sciences.
  • Knight Institute Walk-In Writing Service offers help with writing abstracts and research papers.

Presenting your Work

There are many venues for presenting your undergraduate research, here in Ithaca and in other locations.

Honors Research Presentations

Students graduating with honors in their major will present their research in the spring of each year in poster and oral sessions organized by their majors. Check with your major for the dates and times.

The Cornell Undergraduate Research Forums

The Cornell Undergraduate Research Board (CURB) is a student organization with members from all undergraduate colleges. CURB hosts several events each year, including annual Fall and Spring Forums, which spotlight undergraduate research projects. Students who do research abroad during the spring semester and students who did summer research are encouraged to present their work at the Fall Forum. In the spring, CURB also organizes the Humanities Research Showcase.

BioExpo

BioExpo is an annual symposium that highlights the work of Cornell undergraduates working in biological engineering labs.

Boom

Boom is an annual showcase of Cornell students work in digital technology.

SILS Undergraduate Research Symposium

Undergraduate from Cornell or another university and doing research in the life sciences during the summer are invited to give a talk on their projects. The symposium is held the second week in August in Ithaca.

Few students have precisely the same experience with their research projects. Spend time thinking about your research interests and the outcomes you’d like to achieve.

Presenting Your Research Off-Campus

Undergraduate Meetings

Council on Undergraduate Research

The Council on Undergraduate Research is a national organization of colleges and universities who support and promotes high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. Each year the Council organizes a spring undergraduate conference where students present their research in all fields.

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science – SACNAS

This society focuses on the work of underrepresented minority students and offers travel awards to presenters.

Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students – ABRCMS

This society focuses on the work of underrepresented minority students and offers travel awards to presenters.

Professional Meetings

Each year a number of Cornell students give talks at professional scientific and scholarly meetings, along with graduate students, post-docs and faculty.

Cornell students often present at:

  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Arachnological Society
  • Animal Behavior Society
  • Biomedical Engineering Society
  • Society for Neuroscience

Present as a Summer Program Participant

Summer is an excellent time to do research on another campus or at a professional school. Find links to summer opportunities on this site. Most summer programs will end with a symposium of talks or posters given by program participants.

The Leadership Alliance National Symposium

The Leadership Alliance is a consortium of research universities and minority serving institutions devoted to mentoring and training under-represented students aspiring to research careers. The Alliance offers summer research programs at 21 different universities. Students interested in all fields can find opportunities. The last weekend in July, all participants come together for a research symposium.

Publishing

In order to publish your research, you must have enough results to tell a complete story. For some students, their work will be included in a publication written by their research group. Some honors students will go on to publish their thesis work done at Cornell.

If publishing is a goal for you, ask your research advisor what his/her policies are about undergraduate authors on papers from the group.