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Week of Activities Highlights Undergraduate Research Opportunities, Examples of Best Work

Dr. Jason Slinker and Anthony Phung

Anthony Phung, recipient of Undergraduate Research Scholar Award for 2012-2013, is pictured with his instructor Dr. Jason Slinker, assistant professor of physics.

Undergraduate students conduct research all across the UT Dallas campus, earning the experience that helps propel them to success in their careers and graduate or professional programs.

But they’re gaining more than just another item on their resumes.

“Learning how to communicate effectively with faculty and other members of a research group, as well as how to independently manage assigned tasks, are important skills students develop through research,” said Dr. Andrew Blanchard, dean of Undergraduate Education and the Mary McDermott Cook Distinguished Chair for Undergraduate Education and Research at UT Dallas. 

In addition, faculty members can become assets to undergraduates outside of classrooms and research settings, said Courtney Brecheen, assistant dean in the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Dr. Roozbeh Jafari and Thomas J. Broadfoot

Thomas J. Broadfoot was able to do research under Dr. Roozbeh Jafari.

“Once a student connects with a faculty member through research, in most cases, the undergraduate also receives valuable mentoring, which often includes advice about their academic and professional career paths,” she said. “The ultimate goal is for the relationships between faculty members and students to be mutually beneficial – the contributions a student makes to a faculty member’s research should assist the faculty member as much as the mentoring and research experience benefit the student.”

The Office of Undergraduate Education and the Office of Research will host the 2014 Exhibition of Excellence in Undergraduate Research April 8-11, during which students can learn about research opportunities on campus, get advice from current undergraduate researchers, and learn how to craft a science/research-oriented resume.

“Undergraduate research is a competitive edge for UT Dallas,” Brecheen said. “While several institutions provide undergraduate research opportunities, our programs span across all disciplines, from humanities and social sciences to STEM fields, and are offered to students as early as the summer before their freshman year.”

Brecheen added that the University’s undergraduate research opportunities also stand out because they are not limited to campus.

“The Office of Undergraduate Education, Office of Research and individual schools make sure our students have every possible chance to gain research experience either on campus or externally with prestigious institutions like UT Southwestern,” she said.

Dr. Beth Lange, chief scientific officer at Mary Kay, learned about Tyler Hurst's research during last year's poster contest.2014 Exhibition of Excellence in Undergraduate Research

Activities are open to all UT Dallas students. For more information, see the online schedule.

UndergraduateStudent Research PanelTues., April 812:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.,Davidson Auditorium, JSOM 1.118A panel of undergraduate researchers will take questions about their research experiences and provide tips to students about how to obtain a research position that fits their interests.

Research Resume WorkshopWed., April 9, 5 p.m.,Residence Hall South Classroom, RHS 1.001Students can get advice on preparing a scientific/research-oriented resume. The workshop also will cover best practices and tips for interviewing with faculty members during Match Day.

Match DayThurs., April 10, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., Visitor Center AtriumLike speed dating for science, Match Day facilitates the pairing of motivated students with faculty members who have active research projects. Dress professionally and come prepared with copies of your resume, as well as informed questions to ask of researchers.

The Exley LuncheonFri., April 11, noon – 2 p.m.,Visitor Center AtriumCelebrate the latest issue of UT Dallas’s undergraduate research publication, The Exley. Current contributors will be recognized. Attendees also will learn how to get published in the journal and receive a copy of the new issue.

Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards and Poster ContestFri., April 11, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.,Visitor Center AtriumSee what undergraduate researchers have been working on as they present their work at a poster exhibition. These students are recipients of Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards, given by the Office of the Vice President for Research. A panel of UT Dallas judges will determine which top posters and presenters will go on to the final competition on April 23.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

Tagged: research