Why do research?
Research allows you to pursue your interests, to learn something new, to hone your problem-solving skills and to challenge yourself in new ways. Working on a faculty-initiated research project gives you the opportunity work closely with a mentor–a faculty member or other experienced researcher. With a self-initiated research project, you leave Berkeley with a product that represents the distillation of your interests and studies, and possibly, a real contribution to knowledge.
Research is not just for scientists
Every field of study has its own research problems and methods. As a researcher you seek answers to questions of great interest to you. Your research problem could be aesthetic, social, political, scientific or technical. You choose the tools, gather and analyse the data .
What is it like to do research?
The research experience varies greatly. You might work alone, or in a large team. You could conduct your research in a library, a museum, a laboratory, or a community. For an introduction to the research experience, see these student profiles: