One of the great parts of Dartmouth is the opportunities for research. Though Dartmouth is a small liberal arts college, students still have access to research resources in all different disciplines and different forms. Whether it’s your first year or your last year, you can do research. Whether it’s working in an off-campus lab at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center or assisting a professor on their academic research or working closely with a faculty member to develop your own project, it is possible to do research throughout your time at Dartmouth. If you seek out the opportunities and want to get involved, you can!
Here are two ways I’ve participated in research at Dartmouth.
1. WISP- Women in Science Project (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~wisp/): This program allows freshmen and sophomore women students interested in Math, Sciences, and Engineering to work on research projects as a paid internship for two quarters. At the end of the internship, students present at a symposium. The program also provides mentoring and additional academic resources to help students succeed in these fields. As a pre-engineering student freshmen year, this program was a dream. I worked at CRREL (Cold Regions Research Engineering Lab) on a snow modeling project in the Northeast. It allowed me to gain hands on experience and develop important academic skills. How many first year college students can say that they had a research opportunity?…Dartmouth students can.
2. Thesis Research- My love for research and more academic engagement in a specific topic area is culminating this year through my senior thesis in the Anthropology department. My project (Race and Socioeconomic Class in Dartmouth Off-Campus programs) allows me to work closely with a faculty advisor, Dartmouth administrators, alumni, and current students. I am loving my work and excited for completing my project this Spring. During my winter off-term exactly a year ago, I was collecting my thoughts and proposing ideas to my potential faculty advisor. After narrowing down my interest, I did an Independent Study (many students do an Independent Study to further engage in a topic of great interest to them) last Spring which allowed me to delve deeper into the subject and gain a better understanding of the thesis process. Since then, research has gone well and I’ve felt very well supported by department faculty members and external resources.
Other Resources you should be aware of:
Dartmouth Undergraduate Research- http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ugar/undergrad/ - For all things about research procedures, grants, and funding!
First Year Research In Engineering Program- http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/academics/undergraduate/ab/first-year-research/
The John Sloan Dickey Center- http://dickey.dartmouth.edu/global-engagement/funding-opportunities
The Nelson Rockefeller Center for Public Policy- http://rockefeller.dartmouth.edu/
Here are some links to get your exploration started, but remember if you don’t know where to start ask a professor in the field you are interested in. If they don’t have any student opportunities in their research, they typically know somebody who does. Don’t be afraid to ask. For you, here at Dartmouth- Research is possible.
Til next time,