Colorado State University research opportunities

Emily Vavra

At a well-known public research University like CSU, there is no shortage of opportunities for students to get involved. Research opportunities are available in nearly every department.

“When folks think ‘research,’ they often think of chemistry or biology labs, microscopes or telescopes,” said Stephanie Moirera, associate director in the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry (OURA). “(But) every field has research. From art and creative writing to history and education to biomedical and exercise sciences, every field has their own way of doing research and engaging students in those fields.”

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OURA works to bring undergraduate students, faculty and industry mentors together.

“We provide tangible programs with workshops and as-needed assistance to students who are searching for opportunities,” Moirera said.

Interested students can get more information or set up a meeting by emailing TILT_OURA@mail.colostate.edu.

CSU freshman Jake Moore utilized the Honors Undergraduate Research Scholars program (HURS), run through OURA, to find his position as a research assistant for the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis (CDRA). Moore works on different projects relating to disasters and their effects on various populations across the world.

As an economics and history major with a minor in mathematics, a sociology research project may not be the most instinctual choice. However, Moore views his position as an excellent supplement to his education.

“Rather than learning from a book, research allows me to learn sociology first hand,” Moore said. “The opportunities in sociology and the applications it has to economics and history have been extraordinary.”

OURA is not the only way to find a research position at CSU. Sophomore Justin Hayungs came across his current position in an industrial and organizational psychology lab because he showed he was focused and dedicated to academics.

His hard-working, positive attitude paid off. An acquaintance recommended him for an open TA position that then turned into a research opportunity.

“Networking, talking and putting myself out there is what got me the position,” Hayungs said. “Showing that I was interested and passionate about what I want to study is another key factor.”

For students considering graduate school, undergraduate research is often an unspoken requirement.

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Moirera explained that at the undergraduate level, students are essentially guests assisting in a research setting who may not have much choice in the research type or topic.

“When we’re talking about undergraduate research, students should look at the experience for ‘transferable skills’ that will eventually lead them to research or do something that they’re intensely interested in,” Moirera said.

Students interested in undergraduate research can contact their academic advisor, talk with a professor or stop by OURA.

“There’s no wrong time to start getting involved with research,” Moirera said.

Collegian Reporter Emily Vavra can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @vivalavavra.