Students can use GW Student Research Commons to find research positions and other opportunities across disciplines.
A new George Washington University website launched Monday that aims to connect students with research opportunities. GW Student Research Commons provides students with a one-stop resource to help them build valuable skills and foster cross-disciplinary collaboration.
The website is geared toward the university’s undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows across all disciplines. Students and trainees will be able to use the website to find paid research positions, fellowships, databases of scholarships and other funding opportunities, research internships and other for-credit or volunteer opportunities. The website also hosts information about upcoming on-campus research events.
“GW Student Research Commons will make it easier for students to find the research opportunities that can enrich their educational experience,” said Vice President for Research Robert H. Miller. “The site was developed and launched in response to student feedback as well as goals set by the university’s strategic initiatives related to research and the student experience. It exemplifies the sorts of innovations that are only possible through close collaboration between the research and academic enterprises.”
GW Student Research Commons is a university-wide collaboration between the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Office of the Provost, GW Libraries and Academic Innovation, University Career Services and the Office for Student Success.
“The introduction of the Research Commons website will enable our students to more easily discover and engage in substantive research opportunities with our world-class faculty,” said Geneva Henry, dean of Libraries and Academic Innovation. “This tool significantly improves the ability of faculty to connect with potential student researchers, removing a roadblock to student success.”
The new GW Student Research Commons website is geared toward the university’s undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows across all disciplines.
GW faculty are able to post for-credit and other volunteer research opportunities directly to the GW Student Research Commons. This helps faculty reach a broad audience of student candidates beyond their classrooms. It also will allow faculty to personalize how they would like to receive applications and track metrics on student engagement.
"We anticipate the number of posted opportunities will grow as faculty become aware of the site and use it to publicize for-credit and volunteer positions,” Dr. Miller added.
Student researchers were instrumental in the creation of GW Student Research Commons and advocated for their desire to have a one-stop, easy-to-use tool. Students who participate in faculty-mentored research projects build valuable skills that can be applied throughout their academic and professional careers.
Maggie Steiner, a senior majoring in applied mathematics, a 2019 Goldwater Scholar and a founding member of the GW Undergraduate Review, was involved in early brainstorming sessions with OVPR about how a research database tool could be best designed to help students. Ms. Steiner said finding research opportunities has historically been daunting for students.
“I got involved in a lab pretty early on, and I did that through a lot of my own initiative. I went to faculty talks to hear about research and reached out to a professor on my own, but I know that is a pretty intimidating process for a lot of students,” she said. “I think having all this information in one place would take a lot of the stress off of the students from having to figure out what to do.”
Having information on hand about research scholarships and fellowships also will help students work toward the goal of applying for those early on, Ms. Steiner said.