The first step to getting involved in research is to visit the faculty profiles page to see which lab groups have interests that align with your own. Next, contact a faculty member to arrange a meeting. They will be interested in hearing about your course background, what scientific questions interest you, and what previous experiences you have had. Ask them to describe current projects of the lab, and opportunities for qualified undergraduates. You should also discuss what level of commitment you are ready to make (how many hours per week) and what the faculty member is expecting.
Research Experience for Undergraduates
The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, working closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and in many cases assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An REU Site may be at either a U.S. or foreign location.
Want to spend your summer doing research and being paid for it? Apply early in February! Deadlines to apply are late February or early March of each year.