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First Steps

Step One: Identify Areas of Interest

You may already have a specific research topic in mind. However, if that’s not the case for you, don’t worry. There are many ways for you to identify potential topics or research areas and get a sense of the student research already taking place on campus:

  • Talk to professors you’re interested in working with to see if they have research you can help with, or explore opportunities in your department or college.
  • Browse student stories for topic ideas and talk to past student researchers who were involved in research areas that interest you.
  • Attend Celebration of Scholarship and read Oshkosh Scholar to get a sense of the research students have conducted at UW Oshkosh.


Step Two: Find a Faculty Mentor

You can look at the department websites (College of Letters and Science Departments, College of Education and Human Services Departments,College of Business Departments, College of Nursing) to find faculty members who need student researchers. If you have your topic and just need a faculty mentor, you can contact a faculty member you would feel comfortable working with, or just contact the department of your research topic and ask to see if anyone would be interested in pairing up on your research project.

Faculty mentors have varying expectations of their students, but they are all looking for:

  • high-interest level
  • genuine effort
  • commitment
  • positive attitude
  • self-motivation
  • cooperation
  • someone who wants to succeed and won’t give up trying


In return, your faculty mentor will be there to answer your questions and guide you through the research process. It is not your mentor’s responsibility to push you to complete your project—you will only get as much out of your research experience as the effort you put in.


Step Three: Explore Opportunities and Resources

Once you have a mentor and topic in mind, check out grant opportunities and research resources. UW Oshkosh provides opportunities for students to get paid to do research through student/faculty collaborative grant programs. In addition to these internal grants, you can explore external grant opportunities. Don’t forget to check out research and writing resources, and sample proposals.

If your research involves human or animal subjects, or uses biohazardous materials, you must abide by federal regulations. Please see IRB (human subjects), IACUC (animal subjects) and IBC (biohazardous materials) regulations for more information on whether your research is subject to IRB, IACUC or IBC approval, regulations for such research and submitting an application for review.

Office of Student Research and Creative Activity

Dempsey Hall 317
(920) 424-1195