Undergraduate Research

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Faculty Expectations

Faculty expectations will vary according to discipline and individual preferences. Here is a general list.

Commitment to Learning
Successful undergraduate researchers demonstrate a genuine desire to expand their own knowledge. Your intellectual curiosity may be your most important asset.

Successful undergraduate researchers demonstrate the ability to work independently. Your supervisor should not have to prompt you to show up for work or finish a project.

Good Communication Skills
It is your responsibility to report progress and seek guidance when you need it. If you encounter a problem or make a mistake, discuss it with your faculty supervisor right away.

Time Commitment
Some professors may require that you work regular hours each week or that you commit to multiple semesters of work. Be sure to discuss expectations about time and procedures for recording the hours you work.

Research Ethics
Whether you are working with human subjects or dealing with original documents, it is crucial that you familiarize yourself with the ethical conventions in your field. Information about research ethics is available through The University of Texas at Austin Revised Handbook of Operating Procedures.

Some professors may prefer to work with students who have completed a specific course or courses. Be sure to discuss coursework requirements with the professor you would like to work with.

Course Credit
Some professors may prefer that you pursue course credit for your research experience. If you register for independent study or research hours, you should inform yourself about the requirements. Learn more about UGS 310 and UGS 320.

From: Monte, Aaron. “Mentor Expectations and Student Responsibilities in Undergraduate Research.” Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly. December 2001.