Frequently Asked Questions
Research is “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline” (Council on Undergraduate Research). You can do research in any academic subject or conduct interdisciplinary research that spans several academic subject areas. “Research” is a commonly used term for inquiry-based or analytical investigations, whereas “creative collaborations” includes novel contributions in the creative arts and performance-based disciplines.
Both options are possible! Research can take many different forms, and what constitutes research and creative collaborations is defined by each academic discipline. Each discipline also has its own norms on how research is conducted. Depending on your preparation for research, interests, previous research experiences, and time, you might participate in an ongoing project or develop your own.
Take a foundational course in a subject area or creative discipline that interests you. For some disciplines, you are encouraged to complete a research methods course before starting an independent project. In these courses, you learn about standard research methods and techniques used in that academic subject.
Sign up for one or more workshops at the library to develop research skills and knowledge used by your field of interest’s practitioners. You can ask a faculty member or a subject librarian which workshops are best for you.
Both options are possible, as is volunteering. Research assistants for a faculty project, which are advertised through Brandeis Workday, earn an hourly wage. Fellowship awards can support semester-based or summer projects. Also available are cohort-based summer research programs, which may provide a stipend, funds for research materials or travel, or summer housing. To earn course credit, students can enroll in a 90-level research for credit course. For information about specific course options, visit the list of Majors and Minors.
Students will either earn course credit OR be awarded a fellowship to conduct research for a specific project, but not both simultaneously for the same project.
The time requirement depends on how you are engaging in research. Paid research assistants may spend five hours weekly on a research project, while students doing research for course credit may spend 12 or more hours weekly on research. In the summer, some students conduct research full time, especially if they are participating in a structured research opportunity.
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Contact For More Information
Margaret Lynch, PhD
Director of Undergraduate-Faculty Research Partnerships