We are building a Research Opportunity Catalog to help historically underrepresented students find research assistantships at UW-Madison.
The catalog is a living document containing lab availabilities and application tips that affinity groups and other campus organizations can share with their students. There are plenty of labs on campus, but many students don't know 1) which ones are currently looking for research assistants, 2) how to play the "application game", or 3) why working in a lab is a valuable experience. We're planning to change that.
Are you part of a campus group that serves underrepresented students in the Madison area? Feel free to distribute the catalog however you wish.
More information about the catalog
Why this catalog is important:
Students report that working in a lab gives them a sense of belonging and helps them form their science identities.
Additionally, students report being frustrated that it's hard to know which labs are recruiting undergraduate research assistants any given semester. Students who don't know how to "play the application game" are disproportionately kept out of labs by this barrier.
Moreover, many students don't know how to apply to labs, or don't know how to weigh the long-term benefit of working in a lab against higher-paying opportunities (like a campus job).
Information about individual labs is inconsistent and often vague. Not knowing what application materials are required or how work is compensated might keep students from applying.
How this Research opportunity catalog is unique:
It is a living document that will be updated on a semester basis.
It is interdisciplinary across the life sciences.
It shows the availability of labs that are specifically excited to recruit research assistants from underrepresented backgrounds.
It will be distributed specifically to affinity groups, learning communities, and other student groups that will be able to reach students of underrepresented backgrounds that might not know about lab opportunities.