September 08, 2010

Fall semester has begun, but some students have been busy conducting academic research for months

inquiring minds

 

While many Hamline students are heading back to class as fall semester begins, others have been hard at work for the past several months exploring questions and making discoveries through academic research.

Collaborative research is an opportunity that Hamline students can pursue over the summer. Research projects are typically self-styled, but require a great deal of time and commitment. The program offers a stipend and free housing, as well as the opportunity to gain relevant job experience.

“There is fantastic professor-student interaction,” junior Wyatt Andersen said. “It speaks to the quality of professors we have. They’re volunteering, coming to Hamline over the summer. They’re here all day working with students for the sake of the students, helping them gain experience. We’re very fortunate."

In some academic areas, applying for collaborative research may require that students propose projects and explain why those projects merit research.

“It is sort of a competitive process to have your project selected,” Anderson explained. “You want to make sure that you have some good sources, a good outline, a timeline, explain your research method, and make sure that you’re committed to the work.”

Students can also receive hands-on experience assisting with the research projects of faculty members.

“In the physics department, you can just talk to your professors and let them know you’re interested in their projects,” senior Dan Shuman explained. “If they can use help over the summer, they’ll contact the students they think will do the best job. Collaborative research is a really cool experience."

Regardless of the project or academic area, undergraduate research opportunities are truly collaborative processes. Students are not assistants, but leaders and partners in projects. The results of their work are often so distinctive that students are asked to present their findings both at Hamline and at prestigious conferences around the country.