Faculty Resources for Undergraduate Research

Are you interested in mentoring undergraduate researchers? Here are some tips and suggestions on how you can get started.

How can faculty help undergraduates get involved in scholarly research or creative projects?

Undergraduates Can Earn Course Credit for Research

There are several path students can take to earn credit for doing research.

  1. Internship courses: Students can enroll in internship courses, some of which include research components.
  2. Two and four credit course options for students working on faculty-led research. Faculty can supervise students enrolled in courses numbered 93 (for four credits, the equivalent of a full semester course) or courses numbered 95 (for two credits, the equivalent of a half a semester course).
  3. Independent Study and Senior Thesis: If students are juniors or seniors, they can consider an independent study course (listed in the course guide as a 98a or 98b in most departments and programs) or a senior thesis (listed in the course guide as a 99a, 99b, or 99d in most departments and programs). Academic Advising has information for students about senior honors thesis requirements. Read about some recent thesis writers and their projects.

Undergraduates Can Receive a Stipend or Earn Pay for Research

  1. Students can apply for their own grants and fellowships to support research projects. These awards can include funding for a student stipend and/or support research-related costs such as travel, materials or supplies. Two flagship undergraduate research programs are the Jerome Schiff Undergraduate Fellows Program and the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fund. Some of these require an undergraduate-faculty partnership. Usually these are student-initiated and focused projects.
  2. Faculty can hire students as Research Assistants to work on their own research projects. Faculty can apply for internal funding from Brandeis University, including Norman Funds, Tomberg Research Funds, Provost Research Awards, or other sources. Faculty can also hire undergraduates to do research using external grant funding if the grant terms permit this type of use. Follow these links to begin to explore external sources of funding.

    All students conducting paid work on an hourly basis must be hired through Workday. To list a position and hire a student faculty should work with their academic administrators who should contact Laura Woolf (lwoolf@brandeis.edu) for detailed instructions.

Questions or suggestions?

Reach out to Margaret Lynch, Director of Undergraduate-Faculty Research Partnerships.

Additional Resources for Mentors of Undergraduate Researchers

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) has supported undergraduate-faculty research partnerships since 1978. This organization offers travel awards on a competitive basis to undergraduate researchers who wish to present their social sciences research at a professional conference. Brandeis University has an institutional membership to CUR, which qualifies Brandeis faculty and students for these awards.