Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research Guidelines

updated 02/28/2018

 

FINDING A PROJECT

It is recommended that a student interested in research contact professors with a statement of interest, one-page resume, and an unofficial transcript. 

Faculty labs and research  opportunities are listed here: http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/Departments/Chemical-Petroleum/_Content/Undergraduate/Undergraduate-Research-Opportunities/

Research opportunities may also be found by utilizing PittSource, the University employment website: https://www.pittsource.com/

   

COMPENSATION AND CREDIT

Undergraduate students participating in research may be compensated with either credit hours or pay, not both.

In either case, the advisor should have regularly scheduled meetings with the student researcher throughout the term and provide substantive supervision and feedback to the student researcher.  

Students receiving credit must be assigned projects with substantial intellectual content and cannot be solely assigned to routine lab maintenance.

 

TRAINING

Anyone conducting research at the University of Pittsburgh is required to complete training prior to beginning the project. 

Training requirements vary based on the nature of the research. 

Training is available both in-person and online.


Online
Online training requires both an HS Connect account and a CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) account. Instructions for creating those accounts and loading classes can be found here:

http://www.irb.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/corpus/files/citi/CITI%20Instruction%20Sheet.pdf 

Students are responsible for providing proof-of-completion of the above to the undergraduate administrator. A screenshot of the completion certificate will be accepted via Pitt email. 

In-Person
Training schedules will be announced on the Environmental Health &Safety Department website: http://www.ehs.pitt.edu/workplace/training.html

Students participating in in-person training should contact EH&S at safety@ehs.pitt.edu to request proof of attendance and forward to the undergraduate administrator.


Training Modules Required
At minimum, student researchers must complete the following and submit documentation BEFORE beginning research:

  • Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Chemical Hygiene 

and possibly (if necessary, confirm with research advisor):

 

  • Blood Borne Pathogen

   

CHE/PETE 1097 REQUIREMENTS

  • A Research Experience for Academic Credit Form must be completed and the student registered for CHE/PETE1097 at the beginning of each term of research. Forms and class registration do not automatically continue into a new term, regardless of project status.
  • Students receiving credit for research may not also collect pay.
  • Students may register for 1-6 credit(s) and each credit requires 3hrs. work per week for the duration of the term.
  • Every 3 credits of a 1097 course can be counted as either a Professional or ChE elective.
  • Research should be paced such that a letter grade is earned each term. G-grades should not be considered except as a last-resort and require an action plan for course completion.
  • Students receiving credit must be assigned projects with substantial intellectual content and cannot be solely assigned to routine lab maintenance.
  • Students are to complete all University-required training for researchers and provide proof to the undergraduate administrator before beginning research.
  • Students are required to submit to the research advisor and to the undergraduate administrator proof-of-work each term.  Due to the individual nature of research, this may be a summary of work completed, a paper and/or project as determined by the advisor.
  • All students who have completed one or more CHE 1097 research courses must present a poster on their work at an approved conference or event at least one time prior to graduation.

 

PAID ASSIGNMENT REQUIREMENTS

Paid student research positions must be advertised and hired via PittSource posting, which is facilitated by the department payroll administrator. 

Student researchers may not begin work until officially hired via student employment procedures. There are no exceptions to this policy. 

Questions regarding employment can be directed to Adrian Starke.