I am currently finishing up my final report on the independent research project I worked on this semester. Vanderbilt provides students lots of opportunities to work directly with faculty on a research project.
During the college search process, one of the criteria that was most important to me was the accessibility of professor. I have found that professors at Vanderbilt have all been extremely accessible and more than willing to help you. This semester, I needed to find a faculty to pair with for an honors research project. All of the faculty who I contacted were more than happy to talk with me about their research and find ways for me to get involved. Ultimately, I chose to work with the MIST project, through the Department of Teaching and Learning in the beautiful Wyatt Center. The MIST project researches more effective methods for teaching mathematics to middle school students.
This has been an extremely valuable experience for me. My faculty adviser gave me complete freedom in deciding what part of the project I wanted to work on, and helped me come up with a detailed plan. She was also always willing to help me when I got confused about the statistical procedures that I had to run. Working with this project also provided me the opportunity to meet other faculty who do research in the field that I am most interested in (education policy). I have become very passionate about the project that I worked with and am planning on working with them next semester on a different part of the project.
I highly recommend that any Vanderbilt student take advantage of the numerous research opportunities available on campus. Students can do research in a vast variety of disciplines and develop invaluable relationships with faculty.