One of the best parts of going to school at the University of Minnesota is being in such close proximity to the amazing research going on here every day. As an undergraduate you are encouraged to participate in research in whatever area you are passionate about. Doing research lets you get to know professors and graduate students better and gives you a real taste for what it's like to be part of the scientific community. The work that students do is original and answers real questions facing the plant sciences, and can lead to posters, presentations, and even publications.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
The U of M's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) is the most common way undergraduate students get involved in research. It provides a stipend to undergraduates for special research, scholarly, or creative projects done with a faculty member. You must apply and be accepted into the UROP program. Starting a research project is simple. To apply, you'll develop your own research proposal based on your interests, usually in partnership or with the permission of a faculty member. You may have to talk to a few professors to find one whose interest areas match yours. Applications are accepted twice a year. They're judged on the quality of the proposed project, and on the educational benefit to the student.
Interested in doing a UROP, but not sure on what? CFANS sends out a list of possible projects every semester that faculty members think are appropriate for undergraduates. Here is a PDF of the potential projects for Spring 2016. If you have an idea of what you'd like to do or a research area you're interested, find a faculty member that fits that area and get in touch by using the links to the right.
Visit the UROP website to find everything you could want to know about UROP. If you have any questions about UROP, contact UROP Coordinator Vicky Munro at 612-625-3853.
The Research Apprenticeship Program is a 2-year program that provides an early opportunity for students to develop their interests in formal research through faculty mentorship. This is supported by an action-oriented programmatic model encompassing the research experience from beginning to end. This experience is meant to stimulate minds, broaden perspectives, and strengthen connections in the University and global community. Learn more about the program on the CFANS website.
The Theodora and Arnold Johnson Undergraduate Research Program is designed to provide students with an internship opportunity to work with a faculty member on a research topic pertaining to sustainable agriculture such as agricultural production, the environment, food science and nutrition, social impacts of farming systems, or economics of agriculture. Students must be full-time CFANS students in good academic standing. See the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture website for more information.
Work in a Lab
If you're looking for a flexible, on-campus job, many professors hire students to help with research projects or to work in their labs. Wages are competitive. These positions allow you to work closely with graduate students and professors. Some lab jobs are posted on the U of M's Student Employment site or on GoldPASS. Other times professors will tell their students about lab positions during class, or notice will only be given through email. Feel free to ask around to see if anything might be coming up.