Undergraduate Research

Participating in research is an exciting way to build your professional skills and network while exploring your interests and goals. The possibilities are endless: You could analyze data, perform experiments in a lab, create a work of art or help produce a film. You could work on campus, in the community or in another country. We even have a program just for those new to research.

You can get paid or receive academic credit for your research. You’ll also benefit from opportunities to:

  • Build relationships with faculty and apply knowledge to real-world situations
  • Attend and present research at national conferences
  • Be more competitive when applying for awards, graduate school and fellowships
  • Become a research ambassador

To learn more, attend a workshop or read our frequently asked questions. If you have any questions, contact us at ugresearch@niu.edu.

Getting Started

To get involved with research at NIU, follow these steps:

  • 1

    Reflect and Plan

    Identify topics, ideas or activities that interest you. Ask yourself what you liked about past research experiences and what skills/knowledge you want to gain. Consider how you’ll make time in your schedule for your project.

  • 2

    Explore Faculty Research

    Visit NIU college and department websites to read faculty profiles and learn about their research interests and projects. Make a list of projects that appeal to you.

  • 3

    Contact Faculty

    Select a few faculty members to contact. You can write them a brief email or visit them during their office hours. Tell them your year, major and why you’re interested in their research.

    To participate in a summer or fall program, contact faculty in the spring semester or earlier. For a spring program, contact them early in the fall semester.

  • 4

    Follow Up

    If you don’t hear back from a faculty member right away, don’t worry. Faculty are busy and have many messages to answer.

    If you haven’t heard back from them in a week or so, send them an email to follow up and show your interest in their project. Be brief and polite.

See a more in-depth student guide to getting involved in undergraduate research.

Contact Us

Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning
Holmes Student Center 264-266
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