Dr. Anne Donnelly, the director of the Center for Undergraduate Research, was recently interviewed for the article “Doing Undergrad Research in the Time of COVID“. Published by inChemistry, an American Chemistry Society student member magazine, Dr. Donnelly highlights the importance of getting involved in research during your undergraduate career. We’ve included an excerpt of the article below:
“If a student says: ‘I’m not looking for research opportunities because I don’t think I’ll get any,’ I say: ‘Why are you not trying?’,” says Anne Donnelly, director of the University of Florida’s Center for Undergraduate Research. Fear of failure is common, but it’s an important hurdle to overcome. You certainly won’t find new opportunities without leaving your comfort zone. Failure is just part of the process (as well as part of research).
The benefits of undergraduate research are worth the effort. “The upsides are so, so many in terms of professional development,” Donnelly says. Independent research has been shown to sharpen technical, problem-solving, and communication skills, she adds. Donnelly, who earned a Presidential Award in 2015 from President Barack Obama for her science, math, and engineering mentorship, also finds students have more fun learning chemistry with research than with class.
Regardless of whether you go on to graduate school, research helps you decide what you want to do with your life, she adds. You might not really even know what a professional chemist does until you hang out with one. Or you might find out that lab research isn’t for you. “Let’s say you find out that you absolutely hate research. That’s a good thing to learn before you get into graduate school, right?”
To read the rest of the article, click here.