Stuck in your search for a practicum project?
You are in the right place. Here, you will find tips and tools that you can utilize to enhance your search for a practicum mentor/project. Please reach out to the GDB advising team via firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions or concerns regarding your practicum project.
What inspires you?
It can be helpful to first understand your true academic and career passions/goals/interests before conducting a search for a research project. Maybe you took a psychology class where you studied human behavior and you’re interested in learning more about some aspect of how human behavior impacts our health. Or, one of your professors mentioned their research project, and you want to learn more about it. Maybe you know that you want to pursue a job in the Public Health sector, and you would like to do a project related to your career aspirations. Take a look at this worksheet, and spend some time reflecting on what inspires you! Try to come up with 3-5 potential research areas that you would be interested in pursuing.
Types of Research
There are many different methodologies and settings that research projects could be conducted by depending on what the study is aiming to accomplish. For the Global Disease Biology practicum project, students are expected to conduct a research project where data will be collected and analyzed in an effort to answer a research question. Below are a few common types of research you may choose to utilize for your practicum project.
For more information about the differences between research methods, please visit this website.
Methods for Finding Research
The GDB advising department sends out a weekly newsletter via email that includes new research positions for undergraduates in a variety of fields/departments. Keep an eye out for those! We also post current research opportunities available for students on our website as well as other useful resources for finding research under the "Resources and Opportunities" tab.
It can never hurt to reach out to your professors or other faculty members with a simple email that describes who you are, why you are interested in their research, and if they would be able to set up a meeting to discuss what research opportunities they may have for you in their lab. Below, you will see that each faculty member at UC Davis has a profile on their department's faculty directory website that lists their contact information, research focuses, past publications, and possibly their lab’s website. Use this information to your advantage in your search for a practicum mentor/project! Here is some more info about contacting faculty members via email.
Many students in the past have found their practicum projects and mentors simply by Googling their research interests and then including “UC Davis” in their search. We suggest that you try broad and narrow Google searches (e.g. “respiratory virus research UC Davis” and “H1N1 influenza virus research UC Davis”). See the graphic below for how you may find a lab that you would like to be a part of via a Google search:
In this major required class, you will learn much more about the different types of research, how to find research, and how to conduct research. It is offered every quarter in the academic year, and it is suggested that GDB students take it as early as sophomore year to get a head start on searching for a practicum project/research experience! If you would like to meet with a GDB peer advisor to adjust your academic plan to take GDB 187 at a sooner time, please follow the directions that are posted here for scheduling an appointment.
You ‘N Research First Year Aggie Connection
As a new student at UC Davis, you have the opportunity to enroll in First Year Aggie Connections (FYAC), which are designed to create an engaging and encouraging community around a particular topic. The GDB advising department offers a FYAC called “You ‘N Research” every fall quarter, and we highly suggest that new (and current!) GDB students join the once a week sessions! You will gain valuable tools and resources for finding and participating in research at UC Davis. In FYAC, the GDB Advising Team will help you to locate research positions, narrow them down according to your interests, and practice resume and interview skills!
Tune in to listen to your fellow GDB peers speak about their practicum experience on the GDB Department's own podcast, Practicum Pods! Here, you can connect with other students conducting research and gain inspiration from the wide variety of research projects that our GDB students choose to participate in for their practicum project.