Choosing a Topic and Finding a Faculty Mentor

 
Choosing a topic and identifying a faculty mentor to guide you through your research experience is the most important aspect of the process and also one of the most challenging tasks for many students.  Choosing a mentor is an important decision, so take the time necessary to find someone who feels like a good match for your research interests, learning style and personality.  A well-chosen mentor can also help you narrow you choose a topic for your research.  Below you will find some tips that could help.
  • Narrow your interests down before you begin looking for a mentor.  Your mentor can help you narrow your focus further and set you on a research path if they know what most interests you.
    • Try writing a few questions you'd like to answer.  Research projects start with a question, and the methodology follows.
  • Visit your college department/program webpage and investigate faculty research interests.
  • Explore some of the major university research initiatives to find out if you can join an existing project.
  • Talk to the department head, advisor or college coordinator in the field in which you want to work.
  • Visit the Office of Scholar Development & Undergraduate Research (334 Student Union, 405.744.7313).
Once you have identified a faculty member you may want to work with, drop by during his/her office hours or ask to make an appointment.  You can find contact information on the faculty member’s website or in the OSU Directory. 
 
It’s best to call or email to set up the initial appointment.
 
You and your mentor should work together to establish a research plan and timeline that will accommodate both of your schedules.