Grad-Undergrad Research Connections
Grad students, do you remember what it was like to be an undergrad curious about research and grad school? Did you have access to experiences and people to help you understand what it’s like and how to get involved? Many undergrads at UC do not, so we have created Grad-Undergrad Research Connections to help them get the guidance they seek.
The program is open to graduate students with at least one semester of research experience.
Primary Way to Participate
As a grad student, you agree to meet with one to three undergraduate students per semester to talk to them about their research activity and life as a grad student.
We expect most meetings will be one-on-one, but group meetings are possible. If more than three students per semester are interested in talking with you, we will contact you about the possibility of meeting with a larger group.
Benefits to You as a Grad Student
The ability to convey your research in a way that people unfamiliar with your work can understand and appreciate is a highly valued skill! As long as you are intentional about improving your communication skills, the more you practice, the better you get. Better communication skills will benefit you as a presenter, educator, grant writer and author.
Optional, Additional Ways to Participate
The degree to which you engage with undergrads beyond the initial meeting is up to you and your research advisor. For example, you may do any or all of the following:
- Invite the undergraduate student to attend lab meetings or paper discussions.
- Allow the student to shadow you while you work.
- Train the student in one or more of your research methods.
- Mentor the student through a research project that supports your thesis or dissertation. Research Mentor Training is required, and interested students can select a training date when they fill out the interest form.
In addition to improved communication skills, teaching someone about your work through paper discussions, shadowing, and training in research methods deepens your understanding of what you are doing and why. It also will also inform your teaching or mentoring philosophy, both of which are important aspects of your professional portfolio. Those who mentor a student through a research project that supports their thesis or dissertation will benefit from increased productivity, increased publishing potential, and participation in an activity that future employers value.