uResearch website helps ASU students find research projects

November 19, 2009

By hammersmith

Nikolai De Vera, The State Press, sheydt@asu.edu

ASU students seeking research opportunities can now use uResearch, a new Web site designed to connect them with research positions for academic purposes, which officially launched this week.  The site, created by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Affairs, allows students to search for research opportunities on ASU’s four campuses.

A collaboration between the Office for Research and Economic Affairs and the Office of the Provost, the site has been undergoing testing for the last two weeks.  The URL is http://uresearch.asu.edu/

Patrick Krecker, computer science senior and programmer for the site, said uResearch has two purposes, including making the search for research opportunities easier for students.

Krecker, who has worked in programming for seven years, said although there are many different ASU Web sites where students can find research opportunities, there isn’t one place where they are listed in a consistent way.

The other purpose of the site, he said, is to get students interested in research.  “Most students are going to see this site and say ‘Big deal, research is boring and lame,’ but it’s not,” he said. “You can do some really exciting things with it, and we’re hoping researching will get some students more excited about their schoolwork.”

As a student in Barrett, the Honors College, Krecker is required to complete a thesis project. When he began his research, he said he could have used a Web site like this.  “I had a few leads [on how to get involved in research] but none of them were working out,” he said. “I ended up being really lucky by e-mailing a random professor who helped me, but this site would have sped up the process.”

Sheilah Britton, director of strategic communications in OVPREA, said uResearch is something her office has been working seriously on for about four months.

Students are able to share their research stories on the interactive site in both written form and video.  “I hope things like the personal stories will inspire students to think of how they can incorporate research into things they are interested in,” Britton said. “I think [the site] will make a huge difference for students looking to get involved in research.”

English literature senior Ginger Hanson has helped write some of the student stories for uResearch. She said she plans to use the function that lists which research opportunities are available every week. “It allows you to see what research is currently going on, and that way you can pick something that you’re interested in, or close to, on which campuses so you can pick the closest place to you,” Hanson said.

Britton and Krecker said having a research project makes students great candidates for opportunities such as graduate school and employment. “I have heard specifically from employers and professors that people want you to be able to research,” Krecker said. “If you engage in research and research projects, it could be extremely beneficial to your future.”

Source: uResearch website helps ASU students find research projects