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Advanced Research Skills Program Spring 2021: FAQs

A guide for participants in the Spring 2021 Advanced Research Skills Program

Eligibility

I’m graduating this spring. Can I still sign up for the program?

Absolutely! The program is open to all VT undergraduates. However, the program is likely to be of most benefit to students who are planning to complete undergraduate research programs while they’re students at VT.

I just graduated from VT/I work at VT/I’m in grad school at VT. Can I sign up for the program?

Sorry, but due to overwhelming interest, this program is open only to current VT undergraduate students. Graduate students interested in improving their research skills may be interested in GRAD 5124, an online credit-bearing course taught in the fall. We’re considering offering a program similar to the Advanced Research Skills Certificate especially for graduate students and staff - be on the lookout for more information in the future!

What’s the selection process like?

Good news - there isn’t one! The program is open to all current VT undergraduates - all you have to do is sign up!

What if I sign up for the program but later find that I'm no longer able to participate? 

No problem! Just email Amanda MacDonald (abmacdon@vt.edu) to let her know. 

Program Content

What can I expect to gain from this program?

This program is designed to increase participants’ proficiency in conducting research and introduce them to higher-level research topics, such as data management, citation managers, conference presentations, and poster presentations. You can expect to gain confidence in your research skills as well as an understanding of what it takes to share your research with the campus community and beyond.

I’m interested in learning more about geospatial data/neuroscience research/digital humanities, etc. Will that be covered?

The program is designed to be multidisciplinary, so we’re not able to cover topics that are relevant only to specific disciplines. Our focus is topics that are applicable to most or all researchers, so if you’re interested in learning about research in a particular discipline, we recommend checking with a faculty member in your major or checking out other library workshop opportunities.

Logistics

How much does the program cost?

It’s free!

How many credit hours is the program?

This program is a workshop series, not a class, so there are no credit hours offered, and signing up for the program will not add to your semester credit load.

What is the time commitment for this program?

Completion of the full program will require approximately 15 hours of your time.

What is the format for each of the in-person workshops?

The workshops will be led by a librarian or an expert faculty member and will involve a mixture of direct instruction and activities. After each session, an online component will be completed as follow-up. You’ll be working and interacting with other students in the program, but it won’t be like a group project.

Where will the workshops be held?

The workshops will be online via Canvas.

Program Benefits

How did the program help previous students achieve their academic and professional goals?

Students have praised the program for helping them understand what’s required of them as undergraduate researchers, and we at the library see it as excellent preparation for conducting formal undergraduate research projects.

What does successful completion of this program mean? Is it recognized by employers or other universities? Will it help me in my applications to grad school, medical school, etc.?

The program is a non-credit bearing workshop series and completion is not formally recognized by other universities or employers. However, we encourage you to add this to your resume or LinkedIn profile, and you can explain what you learned to potential employers or graduate schools. The real value lies in the kind of research it prepares you to do. Completion of an undergraduate research program is definitely a good addition to any resume or graduate school application. Speaking of undergraduate research...

Will I be given the chance to sign up for undergraduate research programs after completing this program?

Not exactly. You’ll be made aware of how undergraduate students at Virginia Tech find research projects to complete and how the Office of Undergraduate Research can help you, but we won’t match you with a program or a professor - that’s up to you!