Research Exploration Connection

Short Research Opportunities for UNM Undergraduates

Sponsored by the Museum Research Trainee Program (MRT), the Undergraduate Research, Arts & Design Network, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Research Exploration Connection (REC) provides UNM undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in brief research projects led by Master’s and Doctoral students.  REC projects are available in multiple academic disciplines, and prioritize interdisciplinary research, collaboration and inclusive training and mentoring.  REC projects are offered each semester (fall and spring). REC projects are designed to introduce undergraduates to various research methods and approaches, and to provide potential pathways for undergraduate and graduate students to further partner on the research. Graduate students are encouraged to propose research projects that align with their own master’s or doctoral research.

Graduate students who lead REC projects first participate in a brief training program, where they learn foundational training, education and mentoring skills, and further refine their research project.  Graduate students receive between $800 and $3300 for participating in REC, with the actual amount depending on the time commitment involved in creating and leading their project.

Undergraduate students who participate in REC should expect to spend between 6 to 24 hours on their project and receive between $90 and $360 for participating, with the actual amount depending on the time commitment involved in participating on the project.

Graduate Student Engagement

Each semester, REC puts out a Call for Projects (CFP) to UNM Master’s and Doctoral students.  On the CFP, graduate students:

  • Provide a brief description of their research
  • List the academic discipline(s) that are engaged in or relevant to their research
  • Provide contact information for their faculty mentor
  • Describe how they intend to engage undergraduate students in their research, for the duration of the proposed project
  • Describe any pre-requisite knowledge that undergraduate students should bring to the project, or any academic discipline requirements for participation. REC is especially interested in funding projects that have require no or minimal pre-requisite knowledge.
  • Describe any products that undergraduate students will produce on the project (i.e., reflective papers, essays, summaries, videos, podcasts, datasets, etc)
  • Describe the time scale for their project, including a proposed starting date and ending date, the number of hours undergraduate students should expect to spend on the project, and any set dates/times when undergraduates would be required to participate.
  • Provide a range for the number of undergraduate students who can engage on the project

After the CFP deadline, REC leaders will select which projects will be funded for the following semester, and will begin recruiting undergraduate students to participate.

To help graduate students think through their projects before submission, REC leaders will host open planning meetings to answer questions and help with project design.

REC Graduate Students will participate in a summer training program to help prepare them to educate and mentor undergraduate students.  Summer training sessions will be virtual, with no sessions face-to-face.  Zoom-based training sessions will be scheduled around graduate student availability.

The CFP website, CFP deadline, and dates/links for the open planning sessions are in the column to the right.

Undergraduate Student Engagement

Each semester, REC puts out a list of funded projects for undergraduate students to consider.  Each project description includes the qualifications for participation, as well as the expected time commitments and stipend amounts.  Each description also includes contact information for the graduate student leading the project, so that undergraduates may email them in advance with any questions.  Each REC project graduate leader also hosts one information session prior to the undergraduate student application deadline. 

REC projects will be posted on this website as soon as they become available.

For more information, please contact REC leaders at 

Undergraduate Research Advising


2023-24 REC Timeline

CFP Deadline for Graduate Students: April 21, 2023 
Fall 2023 Project Selection and Notification: April 28, 2023
Training for Graduate Students, Summer 2023
Fall 2023 Undergraduate Student Application Deadline: Rolling, starting September 29, 2023
(Deadlines vary by project)
Project Participation Timeframes: October 16, 2023 through November 30, 2023, and January 26, 2024 through April 26, 2024

Submit Graduate Proposal Here 

2023 Graduate Student CFP Open Information and Planning Sessions

April 7, 2:00 pm, by zoom
April 11, 11:00, by zoom
April 17, 4:00 pm, by zoom

2023-24 Undergraduate Student Information

2023-24 Full List of Projects … Coming Soon