The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is well-known for its efforts to provide great information and insight to undergraduates on getting the most out of all their academic experiences, ESPECIALLY research. To that end, they have offered 5 essential skills EVERY undergraduate student needs to be successful in research:
- CREATIVITY – The first step in research is developing a topic or plan for exploring and issue or problem, and creativity is fundamental in this step. All researchers, not just undergraduate students, require creative thinking and process development to help them build on today’s knowledge.
- JUDGEMENT – From choosing a mentor, knowing when/if one should ask for help, to ethical delimans in research, it is important that undergraduate researchers use good judgment to aid in appropriate decision-making in their research.
- COMMUNICATION – It is extremely important for undergraduates to initiate positive communication with a faculty mentor during the early phases of the research process to develop and maintain an effective relationship throughout the duration of the project and beyond.
- ORGANIZATION – Most undergraduate researchers are involved in many other activities and will often be very busy. Proper organization is a key part of avoiding being overwhelmed and can help students avoid over-scheduling themselves, leading to greater success in all of their commitments. Continuing to do research will aid in developing this skill, therefore making students more equipped to not only handle larger projects, but to have a healthy personal/social life too!
- PERSISTENCE – Much too often, many students pass up great opportunities to do research if there is a chance they could fail. Mistakes should be embraced as a chance to learn, so students need not be discouraged when challenges arise. Be encouraged, stay motivated, and PUSH THROUGH!!
Want to know more about becoming a better researcher?
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