Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry


CURRENT STUDENTS - Connect with an opportunity

There are several ways to connect with undergraduate research and artistry opportunities. Some paths may appeal to you more than others, so try those first (maybe even simultaneously!). If you are not finding a connection through one path, however, do not allow it to frustrate you. Instead, pursue another approach. If you become involved in research and artistry early in your undergraduate program, you might have more than one experience and even find those through different routes.

Dawn Mallette, Assistant Professor in the School of Education in the College of Health and Human Sciences interacting with students during class discussion
Dawn Mallette, Assistant Professor in the School of Education in the College of Health and Human Sciences interacting with students during class discussion

Many of your course instructors and department faculty have their own research or artistry pursuits. One way to find an opportunity is to connect with a faculty member directly. Sometimes professors (or graduate TAs) have opportunities available and will recruit directly from the classes they teach. Even if one of your faculty members doesn’t do this, you can approach them. It never hurts to ask. If you are enjoying certain courses, you may want to look at the professors’ webpages (on their department sites) for descriptions of their research or artistry. Also, maybe you are universally enjoying the courses your major has you taking, or maybe you declared your major with a particular interest in mind. In those cases, you can explore faculty pages to find potential matches. Our “5 steps to Undergraduate Research” describe how to connect with potential faculty mentors directly.  We also recommend a similar checklist produced by the Council for Undergraduate Research.

Are you wondering if there are any current undergraduate openings in research and artistry? Please check out the Connect page for tips.  In order to help you with your search, we have pulled all the positions from Handshake and gathered them all on our “Work” page.  Have a look and apply today.

Keep an eye on our “news and events” space for research and creative opportunities at CSU and beyond. Search the tag “Opportunity” to help filter out other posts. They will appear in reverse chronological order of when we hear about an opportunity. We will also post “Seminars”, “Networking”, and other opportunities to engage as they are brought to our attention.  Also follow us on social media for postings and opportunities.

We have compiled a list of summer research and internship opportunities (by College).  We will update this once a year in the fall.  Most application deadlines for summer opportunities are from November – February, so check out our list early.

If you aren’t certain about approaching a faculty member directly, and looking at faculty webpages increases your uncertainty, your academic advisor may be able to help. Academic advisors can describe the main areas of work in the department and narrow your interests, and then explain which faculty members conduct work in ththat area. They may also keep data on what a faculty member looks for in potential undergraduate research and artistry assistants. For instance, maybe you will need certain skills or prerequisite courses. Some advisors even keep data on what professors in your department have mentored students in the past, and what professors may be currently looking for student assistants.

Academic advisors may also be able to connect you with research or artistry internships that are outside CSU. Many of these may be summer opportunities, but some outside agencies can offer opportunities during “regular terms” as well.

Multicultural Undergraduate Research Art and Leadership Symposium (MURALS) is an undergraduate research symposium that reaches out to students of color in various disciplines to expose them to a variety of research opportunities. Mentoring, presenting scholarly work, networking, and learning about multicultural leadership are four main aspects of the program.  MURALS also organizes the First Year Scholars Academy program. The First Year Scholars Program affords first year students the opportunity to begin exploring academic areas of interest by selecting from a list of faculty designed programs tailored to help first year students thrive in an engaged hands-on environment

United in STEMM (UiS) is an initiative to institutionalize support, learn of students’ needs, and aid in the increase of persistence and graduation rates for nearly 3,000 undergraduate students of color in STEMM disciplines currently enrolled at CSU with multiple and intersecting identities.

This is a showcase of research, entrepreneurship, and creativity – a conference for graduate students to present their work and talents, but it is also a time for undergraduates to connect with the graduate students and faculty at CSU, and learn about research and other creative opportunities on campus. Each year we need volunteers (undergrad students) to serve as judges for the undergraduate choice award.  Sign up here.

Celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship at CSU Demo DayA premiere event that inspires and enriches the entrepreneurial community of CSU and Northern Colorado. 

Faculty, staff, and students, as well as alumni, business professionals, and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to engage with researchers and local emerging companies in and around our community. 

In many fields, there are courses that have research and artistry built into the curriculum. In STEM fields, you may be working with a team of students, be given a set of equipment and distributed some preliminary background. You might then be asked to develop hypotheses, investigate existing work further, then design and conduct a unique experiment, and eventually present your results. In the liberal arts, courses may have group-based projects that result in new creative work that can be presented to audiences, or courses may require you to create work that could contribute to an individual portfolio. In all these cases, the faculty teaching the course will be your mentor(s), so you will not need to search for your own. OURA is maintaining a list of CUREs, but if courses in your field are not listed, ask your advisor.

The Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry can help you prepare to navigate the above methods, but we also provide additional resources to students, both on-campus and off-campus.
On campus:
OURA can help you navigate the methods described above if you contact us, but we also have different structured opportunities for ongoing students. These include the TILT OURA Lab, CLA Undergraduate Research Academies, and the Mentored Research and Artistry Distinction (MRAD). We also partner on campus with organizations such as Wolves to Rams and United in STEMM.
Off campus:
OURA maintains a searchable excel file for reoccurring off-campus experiences. These experiences may be hosted at other campuses, national laboratories, notional or state political offices, national parks, municipal arts organizations, etc. Other opportunities may be found through Handshake, using the same instructions as before but expanding your search beyond CSU. More opportunities are available during summer terms, but some organizations or offices have opportunities during the school year as well, where you would need to coordinate with your advisor to take planned leave, and to make sure you understand how your course sequencing will be effected. If your field is not represented on our list, reach out to your academic advisor. The CSU Career Center is also willing to help students in any discipline match with opportunities.