Research Readiness

CBS Research Readiness

The CBS Research Readiness resource on Courselink is developed for undergraduate students who are enrolled in majors offered by the College of Biological Science (CBS) and who are curious about research as a component of their academic program, and beyond. 

The aim of this resource is to help increase awareness of, and access to, research opportunities available to all undergraduate students in CBS, to help prepare students to engage in these opportunities and, ultimately, to help students refine their career aspirations.  

All undergraduate students in CBS majors are automatically enrolled in the CBS Research Readiness resource. The resource is available 24/7/365 for all enrollees to access through their CouresLink accounts, under the Resource tab.  

Modules on the CBS Research Readiness website include the following topics:

The Basics about Research

  • What is research? 
  • What does it mean to be a researcher?
  • Benefits of engaging in undergraduate research
  • What are the skills and attributes of a researcher?
  • Who’s who in a research group?
  • Undergraduate activities in research 
Undergraduate Research Opportunities in CBS
  • Course options to build research skills
  • Research course options
Preparing to Apply for Research
  • Planning your application
  • Types of research conducted in CBS
  • Writing effective resumes and CVs
  • Translating coursework skills to research readiness skills on a resume 
Applying for a Research Position
  • Ways to apply for research courses and volunteer positions
  • The Senior Research Project Course Matching Program 

Matching Program for Senior Research Project Courses 

The Matching Program is one mechanism by which students can apply for research projects in CBS.

With respect to students, the goals of this program are:

  • To raise awareness of the various research projects that are available to undergraduate students in CBS
  • To provide a more equitable and accessible system by which undergraduate students can apply for senior course-based research positions

With respect to faculty members, this system:

  • Is more equitable and accessible
  • Allows each faculty member to compare a pool of applicants, thereby allowing them to identify students with the best aptitudes, engagement, and skill sets for their specific research program

The Matching Program follows prescribed parameters and a phased schedule to organize and optimize matching of students who wish to enroll in senior research project courses with faculty members who have undergraduate research positions available for the subsequent semesters -- typically during the following academic year.

Phases and Parameters of the Matching Program

  • Advertisement Phase – December/January – Faculty members with placements in their research programs for senior students advertise their project proposals on the CBS Research Readiness Matching Process platform on CourseLink. All students have access to this platform and are free to review any and all advertisements
  • Application Phase - January - Students may apply to a specified number of faculty members during the specified application window 
  • Interviewing/Ranking Phases - Late January/Early February – Faculty members review applications to their research programs that they have received in the CourseLink dropbox, invite select applicants to attend interiews, and rank their preferred applicants. Concurrently, students attend interviews to which they’ve been invited and rank their preferred faculty members.
  • Matching Phase - Late February/Early March - Ranking data from applicants and faculty members are inputted into an algorithm which matches best fits for the advertised research projects.

The course options vary, with a range of research formats that include literature review, discovery research in a lab, fieldwork, and biology education research. In addition, courses may span either one or two semesters, depending on the course description. For more about these course-related opportunities, visit Undergraduate Research Opportunities in CBS on the CBS Research Readiness website. 

To get started, visit the CBS Research Readiness resource on CourseLink.