Research is a journey and an ongoing process that allows for lifelong learning. It starts with curiosity, with asking why and just by being here on the CURN site you have already started!
If you are here, then you are ready to start your journey, give yourself a high-five and keep being curious! Remember, all journeys are different. If you want to explore some stories of getting started with research from our very own Research Ambassadors, head over to the Research Journey section.
There are many topics that research can be based on however, as someone trying to get into the vast expanses of research, the first step is knowing what general direction you would like your research to go in. When this is decided, then it is time to familiarize yourself with the existing literature and see what interests you. Giving you the chance to narrow down the information to the topics you are interested in.
When you have selected your topics of interest, it is time to start looking for opportunities to participate in research. Most students approach their professors to ask for opportunities. Before approaching any potential supervisor, ensure that you do your homework. Go through their past works and make sure that their work resonates with your interests. When it is time to have a conversation with them about getting into research under their supervision, present what aspects of their research interest you so that they can be able to assist you in your research journey. Although a lot of students approach professors as supervisors, community members that participate in research are also potential supervisors. Community-based research projects are also an important way to get into research. These ones require looking around in different establishments for any research positions that they may have open.
Looking on LinkedIn or asking around on campus may be one of the ways you are able to network and get connected to people that are willing to guide you in your research journey. For information on how to contact potential supervisors, check out some Critical Connections. Another way to start looking into research is to participate in a project. During such projects, the researchers usually explain to participants what is being done: what data is being collected, what happens to the data during and after analysis and what the objective of the study is. These opportunities are a great chance to observe the research process.
You can find opportunities in different places. Everyone’s research journey is different but finding the opportunities that would benefit you as a person and a researcher is very important. The most common way for students to find research is by approaching their professors for any open positions they may have available in their labs. Here at TRU, there are multiple opportunities to get into research. On top of opportunities presented by professors, there are funded research positions that take students doing a variety of research topics. These opportunities are open to students at all levels in their degree. Every institute has its own unique opportunities, for more information about on-campus research opportunities at Thompson Rivers University head over to explore some here!