Research Assistant Program

Overview

View past projects by clicking here.

The Aresty Research Assistant (RA) Program enables students to gain their first authentic research experiences by supporting faculty research projects during the academic year. RAs learn valuable research skills by working side by side with professors on forefront research projects, while professors benefit from a structured program to recruit and train the next generation of researchers. Students selected for the program do five hours of research per week (or more by arrangement with their professor). Selected students also attend peer group meetings with other undergraduate researchers to practice scholarly communication, explore research ethics, design posters, and discuss research methodology.

Aresty Research Assistants are expected to:

  • Work on the project for at least five hours per week.
  • Attend five peer discussion group (biweekly) meetings per semester to discuss their progress and learn essential research skills.
  • Learn to effectively communicate the importance of their research in the fall semester.
  • Create and present a poster based on their research in the spring semester.
  • Participate in the university-wide Undergraduate Research Symposium.
  • Receive 3-credits (P/NC) for the year. For SAS students, these are general credits. In SEBS, the Aresty RA program fulfills experiential learning requirements; in SOE, the credits count as a technical elective. Students selected for the program will receive a special permission number from the Aresty Center. Students will earn 1.5 credits per semester, except in SOE, where students will receive all three credits in the spring semester.
  • Passing grades are determined by contributions to research and by active participation in the Aresty Center peer discussion groups.

Eligibility and Requirements

The Research Assistant Program is open to any Rutgers-New Brunswick undergraduate. Previous experience conducting research with a professor at Rutgers is not required. Students already established in labs or seeking a new project in the same field are not eligible for this program, i.e., Summer Science Program participants.

Potential faculty mentors evaluate applicants and select candidates based on academic records, their interest in developing research skills and a mentoring relationship, and compatibility of their interests with faculty projects. The most important criterion is an interest in research. Other skills and coursework requirements vary from position to position. There is no general GPA requirement for the RA program, but professors have the discretion to set GPA requirements for specific projects.

Please note: SAS students are not permitted to enroll in more than 20.5 credits per semester.

How to Apply

The database of new research projects for the 2019-2020 Aresty RA program will open on March 1st, 2019. Search by key, department, or subject to find opportunities that match your interests. You will need to submit the following materials online to complete your application:

  • A single-spaced, 1-2 page essay describing your interest in the project and your qualifications. The essay should also include your post-undergraduate and career plans if you know them.
  • A resume, which should include information about employment history, internships, relevant courses, research skills, and any organizations and/or activities you have partaken in at Rutgers.
  • Your most recent transcript (automatically uploaded; you do not need to order this).
  • Students may apply to up to three projects.

Participating faculty will arrange interviews with top candidates before April. Not all applicants will receive an interview. Please refrain from contacting professors with questions or requests to discuss their research projects during the application period. You may direct all inquiries to the Aresty Center at aresty@echo.rutgers.edu.