With a bundle of high hopes, millions of students enter their college classrooms every year. Some think of changing the world while others swear to change themselves and acquire the skills which boundaries of school life did not allow. Be it History or Psychology, English or Metallurgy, students show a high interest in their subjects for the first few days of college but this fire dies out the second they are faced with long reading lists and a cumbersome syllabus to cram. Our University does not provide the option of an in depth academic exposure to a subject in the undergrad level. Thus, undergraduate research still remains that big elephant whom the system has failed to tame.
Undergraduate Research provides an exposure for students to explore the academic boundaries of the subject of their choice. They are told to choose a project under a supervisor (researcher) and under his/her guidance, learn to do a research. It includes their introduction to research methodology and various research tools that are used by researchers around the world. This academic exposure not only gives them an edge over the traditional Bachelor’s degree but also a preference over others while applying for a graduate school abroad.
The projects that are chosen by or provided to the candidates are mentored and supervised by a professor with a good background in the chosen subject of research. This in turn, builds a better rapport between students and professors and often helps the students to get good recommendations from their supervisors. Having worked with the student closely, the professor also gets to know him/her better which later becomes useful in filling out the recommendation letters of those applying for admissions abroad.
The research work that a student does can be presented at various conferences, paper presentations and even poster presentations in colleges of their parent university or other universities. This helps them form meaningful connections with other research scholars, working in the same field at an early stage.
Even though a majority of the students lack an in depth knowledge of their subject at this level, it is their curiosity to learn which becomes valuable to the research. Sometimes, their exploratory minds come up with incredibly breakthrough ideas or observations which tend to become a matter of further study.
In fact, nowadays, even employers across several hiring platforms look for candidates who can brilliantly take a lead in various projects for their companies. A successful undergraduate research spanning for a couple of months in summer or an experience of an yearlong research would be like an icing on the cake for all the students in search of employment opportunities after college.
Therefore, students in India can explore the opportunity of Undergraduate Research at various Universities like IITs, IIMs and other Universities. Delhi University offers the option of Undergraduate research in form of various Innovation projects to its students.
Image Credits: www.shutterstock.com