Your Undergrad Research Career Awaits

-written by Daijha J. Copeland

With the fall semester nearing its end many Carolina students realize that while this is a cause for celebration there are still measures to be taken to prepare for the spring and summer.  Along with creating the perfect schedule for the spring semester, avoiding the dreadful 3:00 p.m. Friday class, it is time to think about applying for summer fellowships and internships. Application deadlines, occurring between January and early March, can easily sneak up on you once we return from winter break.  I found myself extensively Google searching or searching through every department for fellowships that appealed to me. It was not until later in my undergraduate career that I found about funding databases that listed tons of research opportunities for undergraduates. Two such databases are listed below. Please utilize them and save yourself a lot of time in your search for an opportunity that appeals to you.

The Odum Institute  Computing Lab

The Odum Institute
Computing Lab

Carolina Internal Funding Database

Carolina Center for Public Service funding database

Maybe you are unsure of your interest in conducting and/or are qualified to conduct an individual research project. Or maybe you have already received a fellowship/internship and are looking for help in carrying out your project whether it be data collection, data analysis, or publishing results.  The Odum Institute, located on the second floor of Davis Library, is one such resource that offers numerous services to aid the undergraduate researcher, particularly in the social sciences, in aspects of the research process.  A large number of workshops and short courses ranging in various topics dealing with research methods and related software tools are open to all students and are great for those wanting to acquire these skills before diving into an independent project. Several full-time staff members are available for consulting on survey research methods, qualitative methods, and quantitative methods.  An open computing lab staffed by advanced graduate students is provided for help and support with the computers, software, finding data, basic statistical consulting, etc. for the undergraduate researcher in the heart of their project.

The Health Sciences Library

The Health Sciences Library


The Health Sciences Library provides services for the undergraduate researcher despite this notion that the library only serves degree holding individuals well into their career.  A variety of instructional sessions on research related topics are offered by the Heatlh Sciences Library that are open to anyone. Over a 130 self-help research guides and tutorials for every aspect of the research process are offered. Students can use email, chat, phone to ask questions or set up a one-on-one consultation for help with their research by using the Ask a Librarian page.  Most Librarians specialize in certain fields thus choosing the right person to contact via the Ask a Librarian page is essential. More information about each librarian and their special expertise is listed on the Meet Your Librarian page.

The Odum Institute and the Health Sciences Library offer resources for the undergraduate researcher beyond what is offered at the Davis Library or the Undergraduate Library.  Many of us forget that these buildings exist for our usage and many are even unaware that these services exist. No matter what point in your research career, there are resources accessible to make you more knowledgeable in aspects of conducting research making your project proceed smoothly. So don’t procrastinate in any regard to your undergraduate research career as summer will be here before you know it.