Getting Started in Research

New Allegheny students often ask “How do I get started in research?”  While all Allegheny seniors are required to complete an independent research project, students may engage in research projects prior to the senior project.

590: Independent Study course

If you are interested in enrolling in an Independent Study course during the fall or spring semester, the first step is to find out what faculty research interests are from department web pages or to talk to faculty from whom you are taking classes.  If you find a faculty member who is willing to mentor you and if your schedule permits, you can sign up for a 590: Independent Study course. The description of the 590: Independent Study, as listed in the College Catalogue is:

An independent study or research experience. The student independently pursues a topic or project of interest with guidance from a faculty member. Students meet one-on-one with the faculty mentor on a regular basis and also complete independent readings, laboratory work, or comparable activities. Credit: One to four semester credit hours. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

Each department or program has specific descriptions of their Independent Study course.  In some cases, departments only allow upperclass students to enroll in Independent Study, while other deparments allow all students to engage in Independent Study.

Summer Research

With Allegheny Faculty

Students can get started in summer research as early as the summer after their first year at Allegheny. If you would like to work with an Allegheny faculty, visit faculty or department web pages to find faculty who have research areas that you find interesting.  Next, talk to faculty to determine whether they are interested in taking any summer research students. You should begin these conversations late in the fall semester.  Once you identify a faculty willing to supervise your summer research they will be able to help you with the application process for funds from the Dean of the College office.  Information about applying for summer internship funding is linked to the Dean of the College Office site. Generally, summer internships are for 10 weeks and students receive a stipend of $3,000 and up to $500 in funds for research supplies.

Off-Campus Summer Research

Students interested in conducting research off-campus will need to do some searching for research opportunities at other colleges and universities.  The deadline for these summer research internships generally range from Feburary 1st to early April.  Therefore, you need to do some searching over the winter break.  Before searching on the web, talk to Allegheny faculty or students who have participated in off-campus summer internships. On the web, look for summer internship databases that will focus your search to specific disciplines.  Several summer internship databases are listed under the tab “Funding and Other Resources”