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Getting Started: Step by Step Guide
Getting Started PDF

STEP 1 - DETERMINE YOUR ELIGIBILITY:

There is no minimum GPA or Honors Program status required to participate in CURO.

All undergraduates are eligible, provided you:

  1. are currently enrolled in, or have completed, HONS 1000H

    or

  2. have earned 15 residence (not transfer or AP) hours & have faculty approval* (as indicated by a signature on the application for a research course).
     

*Faculty may have their own requirements. CURO will not ask faculty members to amend their requirements.

STEP 2 – CHOOSE THE BEST STARTING POINT

  1. Make certain you are eligible.
  2. For eligible students who have not identified a mentor with whom to work, please see STEP 3.
  3. If you have identified and secured a mentor, please complete the CURO Research Course application.

STEP 3 – WHAT CAN I RESEARCH?

You may pursue research in any field! Each student should, however, carefully consider their interests, passions, and academic and career goals. Interests should lead you to mentors, and mentors should help you better understand how to explore those interests further.

STEP 4 – FIND A MENTOR (if you meet eligibility requirements)

To pursue research for academic credit through CURO, you MUST have a faculty mentor. We recommend using one or more of the following resources to identify potential mentors:

  • Search for a research topic on the UGA homepage. Use the search box and type in a department name, faculty member name, and/or research topic.
  • Review faculty profiles on departmental websites. Faculty members typically list their research interests (publications, lab page links, CVs, etc.) on their departmental web profiles.
  • If you are interested in research in the sciences, browse the interdisciplinary research clusters and research listing on the UGA Integrated Life Sciences page.

  • Search here for College of Engineering opportunities.

  • Look for opportunities advertised by faculty on the CURO Research Opportunities page.

  • Search the CURO Symposium Books of Abstracts. For each student who presented at a CURO Symposium, you will find:
    • the student’s name
    • the research mentor’s name and department
    • a 250-word abstract outlining the specifics of the student’s research
       
  • Search the CURO Summer Fellowships Books of Abstracts

    For each CURO Summer Research Fellow, you will find:
    • the student's name
    • the research mentor’s name and department
    • a 500-word abstract outlining the specifics of the student’s research

STEP 5 – CONTACT POTENTIAL MENTOR(S)

Email is a great—and perfectly acceptable way—to make initial contact with faculty members. We recommend using the following professional approach:

  • Use your UGAmail email account
  • Write an easily understandable subject line (i.e. "CURO mentorship meeting", etc.)
  • Include a professional salutation (i.e. “Professor or Dr._________”)
  • Clearly identify:
    • your name
    • your class year
    • why you are writing
    • your desire to meet with the mentor to discuss his/her research
    • a week’s worth of specific days and times when you can meet with the faculty member (be sure to check the faculty member’s posted office hours first)

Remember the goal of contacting any potential mentor is to schedule an appointment to meet (see STEP 6), not to exchange emails.

Be patient. Give faculty time to respond but be prepared to send a second (or third) email, and follow up as necessary.

STEP 6 – MEET WITH POTENTIAL MENTOR(S)

Once you have set up an appointment to meet with a potential mentor, be respectful of the faculty member's time. Should you need to cancel or reschedule the appointment, contact the faculty member as early as possible.

When you meet with a mentor, you should keep several things in mind:

  1. The best questions you can ask are: "What, in layman's terms, do you research?"; "How do you do that type of research?"; and "Why do you do this research?"
  2. You are there to listen as much as you are there to speak.
  3. Learning why a research mentor researches what they do, and how they do it, is as important as what they do.
  4. Be prepared to discuss your goals and ask how your involvement in the research can help you achieve those goals.
  5. When you meet with a potential mentor, be certain to ask, “Have you ever mentored undergraduate students pursuing research? If so, how would you describe your mentoring style?”
  6. Find out what the mentor's expectations are of those he or she mentors. What level of commitment would he or she expect from you?

STEP 7 – CURO RESEARCH = CURO RESEARCH COURSE

Once you have found a mentor, you should review the information provided regarding CURO Research Courses together. Only research pursued through a CURO Research or Thesis Course is "CURO research."

STEP 8 – PURSUING THE RESEARCH FOR ACADEMIC CREDIT

You can pursue your research for academic credit by submitting an application for a CURO Research Course.

Please review the application with your mentor.