Aerial photo of outside of the Graduate School building on campus, home to the Office of Research.

FAQ for Students: 8 Steps to Discovering Research Experiences at Montclair State

Step 1 - Identify your interests

Explore different topics. Our University faculty researchers and staff engage in a wide range of leading-edge projects, including fruitful collaborations with colleagues from around the state, nation and world. Research areas of interest include but are not limited to:

Step 2 - Explore Montclair State Faculty Research

A great way to do this is to start by checking out Research with Montclair. This site has faculty and staff profiles outlining research areas. You can also visit department websites and see what faculty are doing wihin each department. Keep an open mind and even consider looking for research opportunities in other Colleges at Montclair State.

Step 3 - Make a shortlist of your top faculty researchers

Once you have spent some time deciding where your interests are and you have explored active research at Montclair State, then you are ready to make a shortlist. Limit this list to three to five research faculty.

Step 4 - Consider your expectations

Before you reach the next step, think about what your expectations are for research. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Will you be able to commit to working on research over the summer or for an entire year?
  • Do you have a few hours open in your schedule or will be you able to commit several days per week to research?

All commitment levels are acceptable but you should decide how much time you can put toward research activity upfront so that you can communicate that to the faculty member. You may also want to think about whether you prefer to be part of a research team or if you are OK working with a faculty member on your own.

Step 5 - Contact faculty and follow up as needed

Your initial contact should be in the form of an email or a visit during office hours. Let the faculty member know that you are looking for a research opportunity and what your expectations might be. Do not be discouraged if it does not work out with a particular faculty member. With such a wide variety of research topics and faculty members, there is likely a good match for you here, so keep going through your shortlist to find the best fit.

Step 6 - Set up a research plan

Come up with a plan for your research activity. Your faculty researcher should be a mentor and help facilitate your research experience.

Step 7 - Present and share your research with others

One of the most important aspects of research is getting the word out to the world and your colleagues. Consider at least presenting at the University Research Day (April 2020).

Step 8 - Talk about the research experience

We want you to be a role model for other students and tell them about your research experience. Evidence shows that being involved in a research activity will improve your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You might even decide to pursue research as a career path!