For Students: Why UCARE?

What is UCARE?

The Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience (UCARE) program at UNL is a paid opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty research advisor in fields ranging from arts, education, engineering, and humanities to traditional sciences like chemistry, biology, and physics. Research projects vary from studying switchgrass plants grown for biofuel to identifying and cataloging the poems of Walt Whitman, from exploring the effects of background noise on productivity to creating textiles made from corn. Through UCARE, you'll work alongside world-class UNL faculty members conducting cutting-edge research that will shape the future of Nebraska and beyond.

student doing research

Is UCARE For You?

Before committing to research, consider your time constraints, interests, personal working style, and educational goals, ask yourself these questions:

What are your goals for undergraduate research?
Do you want to develop transferrable research skills? Gain in-depth understanding of your discipline? Build your collaboration skills? Explore developments in your field? Prepare for graduate school? Learn to effectively communicate research results?
How do you prefer to learn?
Is hands-on learning your preferred style? Do you work best alone or do you prefer working in groups? Can you manage a project independently?
What are the qualities and skills that make you a good researcher?
Ask any faculty mentor and you’ll learn that successful undergraduate researchers are motivated and persistent.

What other characteristics make a successful undergraduate researcher? Here are just a few:

  • Demonstrates responsibility
  • Sets realistic goals
  • Is flexible and open
  • Organizes time effectively
  • Likes challenges
  • Accepts feedback
  • Works well with others
  • Is honest
  • Thinks outside the box
  • Meets deadlines
  • Is curious about the field
  • Is interested in learning

If you have two or more of these qualities, then you have what it takes to be an undergraduate researcher. Why wait?

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