Need help on your research?

Written by: Amelia Kimball

Ever wanted some help with simple research tasks?  Ever wanted to mentor a new linguist?  Consider getting an undergraduate research assistant!

If you are working on a research project supervised by a faculty member AND you and the faculty member agree that there is part of your project that an undergrad could do that would provide her/him with valuable research experience, you can get an undergraduate research assistant.

The undergrad would sign up for Ling 290/490 (an individual study) with your faculty member.  They would be primarily supervised by you, the graduate student, and would get course credit for the work that they do.

If you’re interested, the first step is talking with a faculty member and asking her/him if your research project would be appropriate for undergraduate work and if the faculty member is willing to sponsor you.  The second step is finding an undergrad that is interested in your project.

Before you take on an undergrad RA, think about the following things:

  • What parts of my research are doable for a beginner linguist?
  • Does my IRB allow an assistant to look at my data?
  • How much time do I have to meet with a student?
  • How can I make the time most valuable for the student (provides new/useful skills and knowledge, not mind-numbingly dull)?
  • How can I make the time most valuable to me (most low-skill, high-priority research work done)?
  • How can I most clearly explain what needs to be done?