The iSchool is at the forefront of innovation, distinguished by leading academic programs and groundbreaking research. Our researchers enjoy a track record of success, securing grants from some of the nation's most prestigious funders. We collaborate with scholars around the world on interdisciplinary projects, and our vibrant research centers serve as incubators for emerging areas of research. iSchool Research Website
iSchool Undergraduate Research Opportunities
iSchool students will email research opportunities within faculty and research centers/labs as they are available by email to students. Additional information is posted on this page below.
iSchool Research Opportunities Website
Are you interested in gaining research experience? iSchool Research Services and Student Affairs are excited to announce a new resource for identifying research opportunities with iSchool faculty. This website may be accessed by all iSchool students, and includes opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
Access Page: https://go.ischool.illinois.edu/studentresearch
These opportunities will be either paid or for course credit. We believe that students should receive something of value for any work they do. As such, these research opportunities do not allow for volunteers. Students should work with faculty to determine if they will earn credit or be paid for the work they do.
It is important that you read descriptions closely to make sure you are eligible and qualified before applying and follow the instructions provided for each opportunity to apply.
To find research opportunities outside of the iSchool, you can always search Handshake or The Office of Undergraduate Research listings.
iSchool/Informatics Research Projects
Prior to each semester iSchool students will be emailed research opportunities offered by iSchool/Informatics faculty. These are not paid positions, but students are able to sign up for Independent Study credit. Students in BSIS may count one independent study (189/389) or one practicum (IS 249) towards a 100-200 level IS elective course. Once the closing deadline has passed, applications will be forwarded to the project leads for further evaluation and to determine who to interview and choose for their project. The goal is to bring students on board as soon as possible and to make sure that students get registered by the 10th day of the semester. Please do not contact the project leaders/faculty directly. Applications should be submitted using the form.
Fall 2021 Projects will be emailed over the summer
Past Projects (gain an idea of previous opportunities):
Independent Study (with iSchool Faculty) IS 189/389
Independent Study enables the intermediate or advanced student opportunity to undertake the study of a topic not otherwise offered in the curriculum, and pursue a topic beyond or in greater depth than is possible within the context of a regular course. Independent Study should be a rigorous investigation of a highly specific topic, calling for student initiative, and requiring the formal structure. Independent Study is not available as an alternative version of a course otherwise offered on a regular basis by the School.
Enroll: Students who have secured an Independent Study with iSchool Faculty should work with the faculty member to complete the Request to Enroll in Independent Study Form (instructions listed on the form~ please complete student information, secure faculty signature, and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org). If adding after the deadline, please see below.
Late Add: Independent Study courses are full-semester courses. If you add after the deadline, you must complete the Late Section Change/Add process for your college (please consult your college's website or speak with someone in your college to ensure you use the proper form). The Late Add Form should accompany the Independent Study form above when sent to our office.
Undergraduate Course Assistant (CA)
School of Information Sciences
Independent Study Course Credit (IS 189 or IS 389); Unpaid
The below are recommendations for CAs in the School of Information Sciences (iSchool).
Course Assistant Description
iSchool Course Assistants (CAs) are current undergraduate students who work with School of Information Sciences (iSchool) instructors to support undergraduate courses and receive independent study credit (IS 189 or 389).
Information Sciences Instructors coordinate CAs for their own courses. The instructor is responsible for determining the activities, responsibilities, expectations, grading, and coordination, as well as reaching out and communicating with students. The iSchool Undergraduate Affairs Office (email@example.com) is happy to assist in promoting the opportunity and will assist with student registration in the course (see section below), although it is recommended instructors reach out to former students they feel would be good CAs for their course.
Hours Per Week (determined by the instructor for the course)
The number of hours spent as a CA may vary by instructor, course, and by week of instruction.
Location (customized by the instructor for the course)
In-person, remote, or combination
Examples of CA Activities (customized by the instructor for the course)
- Attend class sessions
- Offer “office” hours (may be in the student success center in the new building when complete at coordinated times)
- Assist in the classroom
- Provide academic support
- Coordinate study sessions
- Assist student groups (meet, monitor progress, etc.)
- Regular meetings with the instructor/TAs/other CAs
- Develop lesson plans
- Present lesson(s)
- Lead classroom activities
- Provide website support
- Create content (tutorials, examples)
- Answer student questions (course message board, in-person, email, etc.)
- Create student guides and resources
- Develop practice examples and/or study guides
- Tally attendance/participation
- Mark completion
- Student outreach/involvement/engagement
- Review postings
- Provide feedback on assignments and projects
Outcome/Grading (determined by the instructor for the course)
- IS 189/389 may be completed for a letter grade or S/U grading (grading method noted on the form when registering for the course)
Assessment method determined by Instructor and shared with student. Examples of possible assessment items:
- Attendance/Participating in class meetings and/or ‘office hours’
- Completion of a project (examples: course website with general information and content, study guides, practice exams, example class projects, short lessons, etc.)
- Completion of student activities
- Class feedback
- CA may notbe currently enrolled in the course they are an assistant for, and must not plan on taking the course in the future (it is preferred they have already completed the course with a high grade)
- CAs should not have access to student grades nor should they be entering grades
- It is recommended that CAs either do not assist with grading, or only assist with grading in the below instances (preferably more than one of the below):
- Student information is not identifiable
- More than one CA/TA/Instructor are also providing grading feedback
- Checking for submitted assignment, content, and/or marking as complete
- Attendance/Participation (tally)
Recommendations on Qualifications (up to the instructor)
- A/A+ in the IS course assisting on, or approval by the instructor
- 50 or above GPA (both for IS/INFO course GPA, Illinois GPA, and Overall GPA)
- Preference given to School of Information Sciences students
- Completion of at least 30 credit hours, and one full-time semester at Illinois
IS 189/389 Course Credit
Undergraduate CAs will register for either IS 189 (Freshman/Sophomores) or IS 389 (Juniors/Seniors) as long as they are working with iSchool instructors. Any major may enroll in these courses (they should check with their advisor to determine if this will work in their course plan).
Enroll: Students who have secured an Independent Study with iSchool Faculty should work with the faculty member to complete the ‘Request to Enroll in Independent Study Form’ https://go.ischool.illinois.edu/BSISIndependentStudyForm
(instructions listed on the form ~ please complete student information, secure faculty signature, and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org). If adding after the deadline, please see below.
*Student should add course prior to 10-day for full semester (or add deadline for full semester).
Credit Hours: The amount of credit a student receives for an independent study is approved by the overseeing faculty member, determined by the approximate number of hours the student is expected to work on the independent study weekly. The below are just general guidelines, but would be based on the faculty assessment of the work comparable to the amount of hours a student would spend attending and completing work within a course with the same number of hours. Scheduled meetings, check-ins, events, reports, and other items associated with the independent study should be included in the estimation of hours.
Typically, the hours spent per week in an independent study is around 2-3 times the number of credit hours (note: there is overlap on the suggested hours below). Faculty should discuss with students any expectations on work during campus holidays/breaks, as well as deadlines.
- 0 hours– Must be S/U grading. Student will do about 1 hour of work per week (or they are only working for part of the semester). Students may do this if they do not need the credit hours, but would like to have an official Independent Study listed on their transcript and a formalized experience. Some students may opt for 0 credits, even if they are working more as it may put them over the maximum number of hours, or they may wish to pay less tuition (if during the summer or they are part-time).
- 1 hour– 2-4 hours of work per week (approximately)
- 2 hours– 4-6 hours of work per week (approximately)
- 3 hours – 6-10 hours per week (approximately)
Qualifications (may be adapted by faculty)
Must be current undergraduate student registered for courses during the term. Applicants must be enthusiastic, personable, and dependable. Experience teaching or tutoring formally or informally is helpful, but not necessary. Applicants must posses a genuine interest in encouraging students to study information sciences, exhibit maturity and a positive attitude, and be willing to serve as a role model for students. Students must have experience taking Information Sciences courses at UIUC, and specific course experience may be required.
Other Campus Research Opportunities
Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR)
OUR is guided by the philosophy that all Illinois undergraduate students should learn about current disciplinary research, take part in research discussions, and be exposed to research experiences in their regular coursework. Furthermore, where practical, an advanced research experience should be among the capstone options in all major programs of study. Undergraduate research opportunities should be designed to support the pedagogical goals and the research mission of the university. Visit the OUT Website: http://undergradresearch.illinois.edu/
The NCSA Spin program provides Illinois undergraduates with a paid opportunity to participate in hands-on research and contribute to interdisciplinary projects covering focus research areas in Culture and Society, Earth and Environment, Bioinformatics and Health Sciences, Material and Manufacturing, Data and Computational Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, and Digital Agriculture. The program spans over the summer. (http://spin.ncsa.illinois.edu/)
Faculty and research centers across campus post additional opportunities on Handshake
IHSI: Community–Academic Scholars Initiative
IHSI’s Community-Academic Scholars Initiative matches University of Illinois undergraduate students with community-based research projects for a supportive 10-week summer research experience.
The Community–Academic Scholars Initiative is seeking faculty research project submissions for summer 2021. Eligible projects will involve a community partner and address a need in the areas of health, poverty, or social inequity. If you would like to explore the opportunity for an undergraduate scholar to help accelerate your work, please submit your project here: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/640494752
More information about the program available: https://healthinstitute.illinois.edu/research-support-translation/community-academic-partnerships-health/community-academic-scholars
Deadline: December 1, 2020
Pathways to Science Research Experiences
Programs and professional development resources for current and prospective undergraduate students -- research experiences for undergraduates (REU), scholarships, and travel and research opportunities. Undergraduate scholarships and tips on applying: https://pathwaystoscience.org/Undergrads.aspx
Video tutorial on how to use our advanced search page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxKsAGk8dAw&t=16s