Call it a match game for students and faculty members who need to connect. Faculty members frequently need undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in working on a research project. Some students work for academic credit. Others are hired to work on a specific grant. Students get frontline research experience in an area that interests them and professors get the help they need. It should be a win-win.
The Office of the Vice President for Research has just launched the website and is trying to connect with as many faculty members and students as possible to make sure everyone knows about the service. Both faculty and students can sign up at: Research Match.
The purpose of this program is to encourage undergraduate students to engage in research during their college years, and to connect potential graduate students to research opportunities available to them at UNM. Many studies indicate that student’s research experience enhances their academic achievement and professional development. This database is also used as a recruitment tool for graduate students as prospective students often decide their graduate programs through research opportunities. Thus, this system has the potential to improve the retention rate and student population.
A quick glance at the website shows faculty members searching for students to help with everything from designing video games with privacy themes to examining data sets on Melanoma Epidemiology and the role of height in mortality. Other projects seek students to train young students about cyberbulling, or to analyze Chicana/Mexicana feminist literary works.
One entry offers a student an opportunity to learn about pulsed power, beams and the generation of high-power microwaves. UNM Gardner-Zemke Electrical and Computer Engineering Research Professor Edl Schamiloglu has just hired two undergraduate students to do machining, build electrical circuits and operate the experimental pulsers in the Plasma & Fusion Sciences Laboratory. The undergraduates will be supervised by graduate students as they prepare equipment for experiments. This is just an example of the kind of opportunities that are available.
UNM Vice President for Research Mike Dougher said, “At a flagship university like UNM, research and discovery is not just a critical part of our mission; it is inherent in the education process. We want to encourage students at all levels to get involved in the research and creativity process, and this Research Match system is one way to do that."