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Q:

Can I conduct my own research as an undergrad in my field of choice (even if it's not STEM related)?

A: Jenny with crossed arms

Definitely! There are a ton of opportunities to get involved with research even in non-STEM fields. One popular program to secure a research position and funding is through the Sophomore and Junior Research Scholars program. In the information session I attended, they emphasized that non-STEM research is welcomed and many professors in such departments are looking for committed and enthusiastic undergraduates to help them on projects. 

One of my friends is working with a professor from a class we took together, Applied Multivariate Data Analysis. Throughout the term, the professor mentioned that he is open to working with students in his class and has published many papers with undergraduates. My friend decided to join his freshman spring and secured funding through the government department. 

I have another friend who is working in the political violence lab, which is made of researchers at Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Chicago, and Yale. She applied for the Presidential Scholars program, which students typically apply for after completing the terms of the Sophomore Scholars program. It's definitely not difficult to receive funding for research on-campus, and in my experience, professors are extremely open to new students joining, especially if they have worked with you through a class or you have shown a real interest in what they are studying. 

If students do find themselves struggling, they can always contact Undergraduate Advising and Research (UGAR), which helps students engage in research with Dartmouth faculty. Undergraduate advisors as well as informal advisors in the form of past professors in the department can certainly help too! 

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