Entering Research, Part I

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Students sharing their projects at the Undergraduate Research Symposium.
The Entering Research series helps you get the most out of your undergraduate scientific research experience. Cultivate a productive mentor/mentee relationship, design an experience to meet your research goals, and learn about scientific exchange.
Course Number: 
Students must identify a research mentor prior to the start of the semester
2020 Schedule: 

R 2:25–3:15

Integrated Science 260: Entering Research Part I

One-credit seminar for students engaging in research for the first time, to be taken alongside 1-3 independent research credits in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field. Students need to identify a research mentor prior to the start of the semester. Topics include navigating the mentoring relationship, research self-efficacy and identity, research ethics, diversity in STEM, science communication, and more. Learn more about the currciulum here.

If you are an undergraduate working in a research lab (or have a mentor already lined up), the Entering Research seminar series can help you get the most out of your research experience.

If you're just starting out and need help finding a mentor or want to learn more about how to get involved in undergraduate research, visit the Research section of biology.wisc.edu or stop by the BioCommons at Steenbock Library and talk with an Undergraduate Research Peer Mentor (see the BioCommons event schedule for drop-in hours).

Entering Research Part 1 will give you tools and skills to help you foster a successful mentor/mentee relationship and tailor your research experience to your interests and goals.   

  • Learn about the roles, responsibilities, and relationships that make for a successful research experience
  • Define an independent research project with your mentor
  • Share your research experience with your peers

Amber R. Smith

Associate Director of WISCIENCE & Director of Research Mentor and Mentee Training
Contact Info

(608) 265-0850


Room 118C

445 Henry Mall

Madison, WI 53706

I earned my PhD in Plant Breeding Plant Genetics from UW-Madison and continued my education with a postdoctoral experience centered on developing first-year transition programs for biology students. After working at the University of Michigan in the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, I joined the WISCIENCE staff as the Director of Mentor and Mentee Training.

I coordinate the Integrated Biological Sciences Summer Research Program, coordinate and instruct the Entering Mentoring and Entering Research courses, and oversee the research peer leadership students.

Outside of work, I love hanging out with family, cooking, and spending time outside.