Research Opportunities

Getting involved in research is an important way to develop skills and experiences that will help you hone your capacity to learn and to begin to contribute to the generation of new knowledge in burgeoning fields of inquiry. Working in a research lab also gives you the opportunity to cultivate relationships with faculty who can serve as letter writers when you apply. Most research opportunities are set up independently by students. Below are some resources to help you get started.

When you reach out to researchers, you can use this email template as a way to initiate the conversation. But before you email researchers, be sure to learn about their work. Look up some of their most recent publications and have a close look at the abstracts for each. Read the whole article when you find it interesting. You can use the Discovery Portal to develop a list of researchers you want to contact. Keep in mind that you do not need to be an expert on their work. You should just be able to say something about it, as well as about your interest in being involved with it.



WISCIENCE (Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement) provides a guide on undergraduate research. Learn how to get started in paid, volunteer, and course-related research.

Wisconsin Discovery Portal

The Discovery Portal is a database of faculty doing research at UW-Madison. Find information about them and their research in the Discovery Portal. Search by your area of interest.

UW Student Jobcenter

Look for lab positions on the Student Job Center in UW Student Jobs and STEM -- and for healthcare-related positions under Healthcare and Health Sciences, Child Development and Care, and more.

Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS)

URS is a program that connects first- and second-year students with opportunities to do research for academic credit with faculty on our campus in a variety of disciplines. Application required.

Office of the Provost

The Provost's office offers a list of university fellowship programs that support undergraduate research.

College and Departmental Resources

Both CALS and L&S offer resources for undergraduates interested in research. And both provide opportunities for research in their honors programs. Also, many departments offer research opportunities. Find them on their individual websites.