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Aggie Research Scholars Program and Aggie Research Leadership Program

FAQs

For further questions about the program, feel free to email us at aggieresearch@tamu.edu.

 

FAQs for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows:

What is the difference between the Aggie Research Scholars Program and the Aggie Research Leadership Program?
These two programs work together. The Aggie Research Scholars Program is designed for undergraduates to gain research experience. Undergraduates work with a team leader and a faculty mentor. The Aggie Research Leadership Program is designed to provide mentoring and management experience for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

Must I be in a science or engineering discipline to participate?
No! The Aggie Research Leadership Program supports research teams in any discipline. Because of the history of the programs, there is currently an overrepresentation of projects in the life sciences.

How long does the Aggie Research Leadership Program last?
The Aggie Research Leadership Program (ARLP) runs year-round. Team Leaders use the program to start their team-based research projects, and they are supported by the resources offered through the program. As a result, the length of any one participant’s involvement is ultimately their decision, as long as there is continuing support from the faculty mentor.

Do I pick my own team members?
Yes. The ARLP is designed to be an authentic leadership experience. As a result, Team Leaders address challenges associated with all stages of the team-development process, from candidate recruitment and screening, to mentoring and managing your team. Your faculty mentor must approve your team members.

Must I have a faculty mentor prior to registering with the program?
Yes. Faculty mentors ensure research compliance, provide guidance to team leaders, and are a source of inspiration for undergraduates in your team.

Will I have to create a separate or special project just for my undergraduate team?
No. Team leaders have often included teams in in their ongoing research projects to increase their productivity.

What are Team Leader Meetings?
Team Leader meetings are one of the most important resources the Aggie Research Leadership Program has to offer for Team Leaders. As Team Leaders mentor balance mentoring and managing their teams, they will inevitably encounter challenges, just as managers in industry and faculty in academia. The Team Leader meetings are where participants discuss common challenges, debate solutions, and identify best practices.

What kind of questions or information will I be asked to submit in the weekly progress reports?

You will need to provide information about time spent with your team, problems you identified with team, and feedback for the program.  Weekly progress reports are designed to take less than 10 minutes.

What is a "Best Practices" report?
Balancing mentoring and management or research teams often requires decisions to be made quickly with limited guidance from your personal experiences or from more experienced peers. Some challenges you will face as a team leader rigorous approaches to not only plan interventions, but to honestly evaluate their effectiveness. Rigorously documenting a “best practice” you have improvised, tested and refined also provides 1) evidence of excellence in leadership to earn certification as an Aggie Research Leader, 2) material that can be disseminated to peers and 3) archival material for future letters of reference attesting to your abilities as a leader and value to the program.

FAQs for Undergraduates:

What is the difference between the Aggie Research Scholars Program and the Aggie Research Leadership Program?
These two programs work together. The Aggie Research Scholars Program is designed for undergraduates to gain research experience. Undergraduates work with a team leader and a faculty mentor. The Aggie Research Leadership Program is designed to provide mentoring and management experience for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

Must I have a high GPA to become involved?
The Aggie Research Scholars Program (ARSP) itself does not have any requirements for prvious experience, classification, or minimum  GPA. However, each team may develop its own set of qulifications. In general, students prove their potential to do research by joining the team. Those who show potential are asked to return in following semesters.

How do I join a team?
Once you find a research project that you are interested in, contact the team leader and inquire about available positions. If selected as a new team member, you will be notified by email and will be sent a registration form. Team Leaders may accept you into their teams at any point in the school year, although most students join well before the start of a semester.

How do I get faculty approval to join a team?
Contact a potential Team Leader directly. Once a team leader accepts you to their research team they will seek faculty approval for you.
When can I submit an application to join a team?
You may join a team at any point in the school year. Once you join a team, you will receive a registration form from Aggie Research Scholars Program via email. Because joining a team is a mutual decision between you, the Team Leader, and the Faculty Mentor, you merely "register" with the program.

Do I have to be a student in a science or engineering field?
No! In fact, the Aggie Research Scholars Program (ARSP) encourages non-STEM students to get involved in undergraduate research, even if the project they wish to join is outside of their course of study. While the requirements for participation vary for each team, non-STEM students are encouraged to reach out to the Team Leaders of projects they find interesting.

Will I have the opportunity to obtain letters of recommendation?
The Aggie Research Scholars Program to partner with faculty in a meaningful way that allows them to  write meaningful recommendations. This is an opportunity to prove yourself outside of the classroom. Of course, it is wise to ask for recommendations well before a deadline!

Are undergraduate researchers paid?
The Aggie Research Leadership Program does not provide paid research opportunities to  participants. It is possible that your faculty mentor will provide you with an opportunity for a paid position. The opportunity for registration of undergraduate research for course credit will fir into most course programs.

How many hours per week will I have to dedicate to research?
Each project has a different hour requirement, set by the Team Leader and Faculty Mentor. Please contact the team leader of the project of interest for more information on time expectations.

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