How to get engaged in undergrad research?

<p>I am a freshmen interested in getting started with undergraduate research. I have already looked at the undergraduate research website but I was wondering what would be the best way to get started? Is it best to go through official channels or just contact people directly who are doing (in my opinion) the most interesting research?</p>

<p>And to mention, I'm just curious as to how to get started; not going on a research rampage XD</p>

<p>Go ahead and contact whatever professor you are interested in researching under. You may have to interview (depending on the professor). If asking professors doesn’t get you anywhere, I would then go to the office of undergraduate research and see if they can help you find a research opportunity.</p>

<p>Keep in mind that you’re interviewing the professor and the lab as much as they’re interviewing you. Ask lots of questions about how many hours the prof wants you to work, the culture of the lab, how often you will meet with the prof, etc. Last year I started getting involved with a lab, and the prof told me 2 weeks later that I would be expected to work in the lab 10hrs a week, plus a weekly meeting with the prof, plus the 2hr weekly group meeting. While this may be completely reasonable for some students, this was not at ALL what I was expecting and I ended up backing out. Happy ending: I work in a different lab now and absolutely love it! But you can bet I asked lots of questions before I committed again!</p>

<p>Wow thanks for the great responses guys! I really appreciate it!</p>