Undergraduate research teaches you about a field you are interested in and helps you define your interests. There is no one reason for doing research: if asked, students will tell you a myriad of answers.
Involvement in undergraduate research has many benefits:
- Learn in a unique way. You will gain practical hands-on knowledge as you develop a good research question, experimental or research design and interpretation and presentation of results. You will develop critical and creative thinking skills and develop ownership of your research project.
- Work closely with a faculty member and other research team members. Along the way, you will find mentors, friends, and perhaps even future professional colleagues. You will discover that teamwork often makes for successful research. Some undergraduate researchers even have opportunities to meet alumni, or other industry professionals, who support their work and can offer practical advice and assistance as students search for a job after graduation. Many Cornell students eventually become authors on research publications that include their work.
- Access to state of the art lab equipment and technology not usually available in classes.
- Become familiar with techniques and knowledge that will transfer beyond Cornell, and perfect your effective reading and quantitative analysis skills.
- Be surrounded by people who are passionate about their interests and learning.
- Learn teamwork in a world-class research group.
- Undergraduate research may confirm your career decisions, or may lead you to an entirely new life plan!