FAQ – For Students
What is Research Connections?
In its fourth year, this event grew out of a Learning Community program intended to help first and second year students engage in early and meaningful interactions with the undergraduate research culture at UConn. Through faculty, staff, corporate partner, graduate student and peer conversations and activities, students will be able to learn more about research and how to engage with it in many different forms as a UConn student.
What happens at Research Connections?
Here are some things you can expect:
- The first 100 students to arrive and check in will get a FREE Research Connections 2018 t-shirt!
- Student research table presentations and demos from programs like IDEA and McNair Scholars
- Activities and interactions with key offices like the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Center for Career Development
- Round table discussions with researchers where you can ask questions and have rewarding conversations with faculty, staff, and other researchers
- Activities and presentations in the Learning Community Innovation Zone
What kind of researchers will be at the event?
Researchers from every discipline and area of campus were invited to participate. Check out our program for a full list of the 75+ faculty, staff, graduate students and peers you'll be able to talk with at the event.
We strongly encourage you to attend the event with an open mind. Step outside your comfort zone and talk to researchers outside what you think are your areas of interest or your major. You never know what connections you might make or new opportunities you might learn about!
Do I need to stay the whole time?
While we hope you will try to make the most of the event and participate in as many opportunities as possible, no, you can attend this event at any time and for as long as you like.
How do I sign up to attend?
You can RSVP for Research Connections on UConntact any time, but you can also register when you arrive at the event if you forget to sign up in advance.
What do I wear, and what do I bring?
This isn't a job fair, nor is it a formal program. However, we encourage you to dress business casual and bring something you can use to take notes and collect researcher information.
I'm nervous about talking to faculty, staff and other researchers. What do I say?
Don't worry! The researchers attending know most of the students coming are early career UConn students who want to learn and grow.
Some good tips are:
- Make good eye contact, have a strong handshake, smile, be polite, genuine, and enthusiastic
- Start with your name, major, and year
- Briefly discuss your research/creative interests, your future goals/plans, any past research experience, and what you are hoping to learn/gain from the conversation
Sample Questions to Ask:
- What research projects are you currently pursuing?
- How did you get interested in your research topic(s)?
- How did you first get started in research?
- How has your research focus changed or shifted over time?
- What are some of the challenges you have encountered in research?
- Are undergraduates involved in the research you conduct? Do you have undergraduate positions available?
- What do you typically look for in an apprentice or research assistant?
- What skills should I develop to prepare me to engage in research or creative projects in this field?
- What courses or other learning experiences would you recommend in order to develop those skills?
FAQ – For Researchers
What is the purpose of this event, and who is the primary audience attending Research Connections?
The Office of First Year Programs & Learning Communities is committed to providing early career UConn students with an intellectual and co-curricular push during their first year or two at the University. As a Research 1 institution, we believe it's important for first and second year students to witness and engage with the rich academic culture in which they can get involved in a myriad of ways. By encouraging early career students to attend this event, we believe it will motivate them to seek additional opportunities to engage with faculty, staff & graduate students, and research, outside the classroom.
What are the benefits to participating researchers?
- Making early connections with students eager for opportunities to learn about your work in formal and informal capacities as they proceed in their undergraduate careers
- A valuable professional development opportunity for your staff/team to gain recognition and awareness with a captive audience
- Exposing a wider range of students to your courses, particularly those aligned with your research
- A complimentary networking dinner before the event; an opportunity to meet researchers from across campus from many disciplines and levels of leadership/affiliation at UConn
Do I need to be hiring research assistants or student employees to participate?
No! This is not a job fair. Research Connections is an informational event where students will be encouraged to ask questions and learn about all the ways they can engage with you, not just through formal positions. This is a great opportunity for first and second year students to be exposed to the rich research culture at UConn, and the more diverse the disciplinary representation, the better the student turnout and experience.
What are the expectations for participating researchers?
We will have an optional networking dinner for researchers at 4:30pm, with the formal program starting at 5:30pm.
Attending researchers can contribute in multiple ways, and we can help you determine the most appropriate option if needed! You can choose from the following options on the Interest Form, and we will work with you to coordinate your needs closer to the event date:
- Activity/Workshop (Classrooms with A/V available)
- Collaboration with the Learning Community Innovation Zone (Makerspace on-site)
- Demo (Could be done at a table or in a classroom)
- Round Table Discussion (Table with 7-8 available seats, students can come speak with you. A/V capability available)
- Table/Booth Presentation (Standing at a table sharing with students who come up to you.)
If I cannot attend, can I send another representative?
Absolutely; you are welcome to send a colleague, graduate student, or other representative in your place. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to be considered for inclusion in this event.
What if I have more questions?
No problem! You can contact 860-486-3637 or email@example.com if you'd like to talk to someone in more detail about this event.
Research Connections is an event intended to expose first and second year students to undergraduate research through engaging in meaningful interactions with faculty, staff, graduate students, peers and other key partners. This is an informational networking program involving offices, departments and initiatives from across campus, spanning any discipline or area of study.