Research Opportunities

Research is an important way to develop skills that help you hone your capacity to learn and begin to contribute to the generation of new knowledge in 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 to a health professions program. Research can be done in any field and can sometimes be paid or for credit. 

It can often feel overwhelming to connect to research on campus. There’s lots of research happening, but no structured way for students to become involved. We promote opportunities via our newsletter and social media, and many research opportunities are set up independently by students. On this page, we’ve gathered some resources to help you get started.

When you reach out to researchers, you can use this email template. Before you email, you will want to learn about their work. You can look up their most recent publications and read at least the abstracts for each. Read the whole article when you find it interesting. You do not need to be an expert on their work – you should just be able to say something about it and explain your interest in it.

Research in Your Major or Certificate

Many academic departments on campus offer research-related resources. If you are unfamiliar with these resources, check with your academic advisor.

You can also use to locate department websites and look at faculty research interests and contact information.  

Research Programs & Hubs

Explore these more-centralized campus resources to help you connect to research:

Undergrad Research Scholars (URS) If eligible, apply to participate in research for credit across academic disciplines in your first or second year or as an incoming transfer.

Wisconsin Institute for Science Education & Community Engagement (WISCIENCE) Attend WISCIENCE’s workshop series on finding a research mentor & browse their FAQs. They also provide recommendations on how to succeed in research and offer courses like INTEG SCI 150 and 260/261.

Research at UW-Madison – Search for researchers at UW Madison by name or research interests using the search bar in the top right or check out new Research at a Glance and Trending Research.

Student Job CenterLook for paid positions using the “UW Student Jobs” filter and selecting “Job Categories/Outcomes” of interest. Use keywords like “research” or “research assistant.”

McNair Scholars Program If eligible, apply to gain the knowledge, skills, and capacities needed to successfully navigate PhD studies, including research immersion and scholarly activities.

(Photo by Bryce Richter /UW-Madison)

Support for Research

Consider university fellowship programs or programs with research stipends to fund your research.