If you didn’t have undergraduate researchers at your previous institution it might be difficult to outline duties and responsibilities for undergraduate researchers.
Overall, duties should be directly related to the deliverables of the project. If you need additional things for your UROP student to do, or if you are trying to add more to your project planning, we recommend considering the following categories of duties.
- Literature review: Any researcher needs to read the research in the field and keep up to date with it. Furthermore, reading academic literature is an important skill that takes time to develop. Having your UROP student read key papers and going over them together can be a great way to develop this skill.
- Trainings: Are there training sessions that might be helpful for your UROP student for their current UROP or within your field? Such as new equipment or software? Or EHS training through ATLAS
- Documentation: Documentation is an important part of any research! Instilling the value of good and proper documentation practices in your UROP students is extremely important.
- Analysis: Analysis of experimental data, techniques, and past results is another important part of research in which UROPs can take part. Can you have your UROP define new metrics for data you have? Write scripts and visualize the data?
- Experimental Support: How can your student support the experiments you are doing? Helping with setup and takedown? Helping document while it’s happening?
- New Tools: Is there software or a new tool you want to evaluate for your research but you don’t have time to? Can you provide research-related skills such as communication and presentation skills and opportunities? Consider letting the student present at a group meeting, keep a regular lab notebook, and/or write an end-of-term report.