School Launches Online Student Research Portal

Feb 13 2013

Columbia Engineering students now have a more direct path than ever before to finding research projects to get involved with on and off campus.

students working with professor in the lab

The School launched the Student Research Involvement Portal this month in response to student requests for a streamlined version of the Undergraduate Research Involvement Program (URIP). Although not replacing the URIP, this new site will make it easier for students to obtain current information on available research projects and will constantly contain up-to-date information on open opportunities. The searchable site—open to both undergraduate and graduate students—is only accessible by UNI and password.

The portal increases the visibility of the research opportunities available to our students, says Leora Brovman, the School’s assistant dean of Undergraduate Student Affairs and Global Programs.

“The main goal of creating this portal was to encourage student interest in research and to collect research opportunities under one umbrella,” she says. “It was also designed in an interactive and user-friendly way so that faculty and departments can easily enter their project information and keep it updated, and students are able to apply through an online process.”

Faculty members began posting their research projects on the portal in December and have been supportive of the effort, Brovman notes. Members of the faculty have access to the portal to add or modify positions at any time and can also review student applications online.

“Although the current number of listings is definitely more limited than the opportunities that we know already exist in the Engineering School, we expect the list will grow as more faculty begin using the portal, and as students utilize it as a way of learning about the large number of research possibilities within and outside of the school, as well as applying through the portal,” says Brovman. “In time, we expect that the portal will be the central location for SEAS students to identify and select relevant research opportunities and through the portal we will see an increase in students engaging in research.”

The portal already has a fan in Ioannis (John) Kymissis, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering.

"I highly recommend that students interested in research search out lab experiences,” he says. “This system will simplify matching students to projects and reduce barriers for both students and faculty."