3 Ways to Find Research Opportunities

Created by Giselle Burns, Kian Ravaei, Xinyi(Alex) Yan

This tutorial is excerpted from the Finding a Research Mentor or Project workshop. Check out the Entering Research Workshops for more tips on getting started with research!

Identify Your Research Interests

Before you look for a research opportunity, it’s important to think about what research areas you find interesting. If you want tips for identifying your research interests, try our Start with your Questions tutorial!

It’s also a good idea to think about whether you want to pursue a faculty- or student-led project.

  • A faculty-led project gives you the chance to help a faculty member on a research project that they lead.
  • A student-led project gives you the chance to pursue a project of your own design under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Check out the Research Logistics at UCLA workshop for more information on faculty- and student-led research!

1. Browse the Departmental Website

Browsing departmental websites and contacting faculty members with relevant interests can open the door to research opportunities!

2. Ask About Research Opportunities

You might not know it, but there are lots of people around you who do research! Talking to them is a great way to find research opportunities.

3. UCLA Undergraduate Research Portal

The UCLA Undergraduate Research Portal is a free online resource for UCLA students to find research opportunities, including paid and off-campus opportunities. Check out this video for more information!

What’s next?

Now that you know how to find research opportunities, make a list of at least 5 potential mentors and/or research projects you would like to pursue. Here are some things to consider!

  • How interested am I in the research topic?
  • How long is the project?
  • How many hours per week will I work?
  • Is the opportunity paid or unpaid? Will I receive course credit?


Have questions? Click here to get in touch with WI+RE!

Related Resources

About this tutorial

Awards and Recognition


Giselle Burns, Kian Ravaei, Xinyi(Alex) Yan


Janet Goins, Kelly Kistner, Doug Worsham, CIMER (Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research)

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify three strategies for finding research opportunities.

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