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Assemble your research toolbox

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research toolbox illustration


Work with your faculty mentors to build your own research toolbox. While each academic discipline has certain customary expectations for what skills a contributor needs, each individual project will require a unique combination of skills and knowledge.

Some research tools, such as coursework, you will have to acquire yourself, while others, such as specific laboratory practices, will be provided or at least sharpened by your professor or labmates. Over time you will add more and more elements to your toolbox, which will allow you to take on more responsibility and larger-scale projects. 

Lab Skills and Artistic Techniques

  • Essential for broad categories of projects
  • Worth developing early

Readings, Methods Classes and Subject Classes

  • Existing scholarship is essential and the foundation for every project

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval 

  • Required for research involving Human Subjects
  • CITI training needs to be completed first 
  • Approval needed before starting project or receiving grant funding

Fieldwork Preparation

  • Essential for off-campus projects 
  • Locate sites and local contacts
  • Develop travel and safety plans

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