Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of research experience and applied learning?

There are many benefits to being involved in REAL (Research Experience and Applied Learning) opportunites. Hands-on experience assists you in acquiring real-world skills, increasing your professional network, applying classroom knowledge in real-settings, building your resume, and more.

When can I start?

You can engage in REAL (Research Experience and Applied Learning) opportunites at any stage, freshman to senior. Students are encouraged to explore available opportunities as early as possible to plan ahead.

Can I get paid for research experience and applied learning opportunities?

Yes, if the REAL (Research Experience and Applied Learning) opportunity is a part-time job, paid internship, or work-study. Some opportunities provide stipends.

Where can I present the work that I have done?

There are various ways for you to present your work. Research conferences, on-line profiles, resumes, and portfolios are some examples. You can also ask your supervisor for ways to share your work with the team.

What type of experience should I look into?

Many opportunities are available for UC San Diego students. Depending on your professional and academic pursuits, the type of experience will vary. Are you available to study oversees? Would you like to volunteer for a community-based organization? Are you interested in conducting research in a faculty lab? These are some questions you can ask yourself to get started. Then figure out the type of opportunity, timeframe (sophomore year, year-round, summer), compensation method (paid, volunteer), location (on/off campus) and other details. You can visit the What is Research? and What is Applied Learning? of this website to get ideas and use the opportunities to find current opportunities.

What is the best way to approach a professor or an employer to get started on research experience or applied learning?

First, search for opportunities that are current on this portal, then apply using the method indicated within the posting. If you have a specific professor or a company in mind that is not actively offering an opportunity, then a succinct email indicating your interested in their work, your experience and capabilities is suggested. If you are approaching a professor, you may also visit during office hours. For companies, you many inquire about doing an informational interview.

Is funding available to support project costs and/or travel to conferences or competitions?