The research process at UH can be more efficient
Students need research because education is about applying the material, not just memorizing it.
Research enhances students’ critical thinking skills and connects the material applied to material covered in other subjects, fostering an environment for indirect interdisciplinary learning and a distinctive perspective, according to an article in the International Journal of Exercise Science.
The process of getting a research position at a lab, however, is a maze. From finding a research project students are passionate about to getting in contact with the lead professor, the process isn’t easy. One way to simplify this overcomplicated process is to have a single web page listing all the research faculty for each college and department.
Each professor can have the department name, the lab research topics and a short synopsis of the main project in the lab. This more organized manner would allow students to view all their options at once. Hence, this website would help students find desired research projects.
Another aspect of the web page can be to include student input. In other words, registered students working in that specific lab can post their experiences of working there. Moreover, students should be able to have an idea portal with submitted ideas not visible to the public for future research projects to consider.
The website could also include student input, allowing students conducting research in that lab to post about their experiences. In addition, students could have an idea portal, featuring proposals for future research projects.
Students don’t, however, need to work directly with a professor to conduct research at UH.
With the free workshops at MD Anderson Library in various different subjects, students can gain a creative outlet to do research on their own. Although this is not considered official research, students can experiment to satisfy their curiosity.
This solution also benefits professors. If more students encounter their lab, then more students apply. Therefore, the professor will get more applications and may find a student that is better qualified than ones he already knows, making research a competitive and rigorous extracurricular at UH.
Professors that do not conduct research can further their students’ learning with individual project-based assignments. The same concept from research of gaining a deeper knowledge is relevant for project-based assignments, and students may become inspired to pursue the particular topic even when the assignment is over.
Another side effect of research is it promotes better teaching. The professors interact with new students and are able to realize the way some students analyze problems and reach conclusions. It also provides professors with more opportunity to integrate new research technologies into their curriculum.
Since students with research experience learn the subject matter with a deeper understanding, the University can elevate the students’ education experience through research. This can be accomplished by better connecting the students to research opportunities and professors, which will in turn benefit student curiosity and classroom methods.
Opinion columnist Maryam Baldwani is a biology sophomore and can be reached at [email protected].