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Peer Research Consultants

Peer Research Consultants (PRCs) are students with both strong academic records and writing skills, trained to help you with your research papers or assignments. PRCs can also help you get started with faculty-sponsored research.

The PRC service will resume online appointments Fall Semester, 2021. In-person consultations remain paused.

For immediate help with library research, chat with a librarian 24x7.

For immediate assistance with faculty-sponsored research (like UROP), please contact the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Make an appointment (fall and spring semesters only)

About the program

Peer Research Consultants help you:

  • Choose good keywords and databases for searching
  • Find and evaluate scholarly articles
  • Narrow down your paper topic and create research questions
  • Navigate the Libraries website
  • Explore undergraduate research opportunities and provide tips for finding a research mentor

Meet with a Peer Research Consultant (PRC) when you have a research paper or assignment for class and need help with it. It is best to meet earlier than later.

All PRCs have completed the WRIT 1301 course (or similar) with a grade of B or higher. The PRCs also train to develop their information literacy, tutoring, and cultural competency skills. 

Any student is encouraged to meet with a PRC to improve their research skills. The program targets:

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Appointments

One-on-one online appointments with a PRC are available starting week 1 of the semester.

PRCs will invite you to either a Google Meet (Hangouts) or a Zoom meeting through their UMN accounts. Please test your computer before the appointment so everything goes smoothly: Google Hangouts/Meet  |  Zoom.

What to expect

Before the session

  • For online consultations: PRCs will invite you to a meeting using Google Hangouts or Zoom.        
  • Learn what your assignment includes and what the instructor expects.
  • Come with ideas about what topics or research areas interest you.
  • Think of the questions that you have about your research project/paper. This allows for a smoother consultation.
  • Bring the assignment, any completed work, and the course syllabus.

During the session

  • If meeting in-person, PRCs have table signs - find your PRC!
  • If meeting online, login to your UMN email and wait for an invite. Be prepared to share your screen so the PRC can help with your research.
  • The consultation: discussion of your assignment and where you are in the process. The PRC can help brainstorm ideas, find resources offered by the Libraries’ web page, or demonstrate ways to navigate databases effectively. You decide what to cover and talk about with the PRC. The meeting is relaxed.        
    • In-person consultations are typically 30 minutes.
    • Online appointments are 30 minutes.

After the session

  • The PRC sends a summary email listing databases, articles, or resources discussed during the consultation.
  • The email includes a request for evaluation.

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Meet the PRCs

Ananya

Hi! I'm a senior majoring in Music Therapy and minoring in Neuroscience. I have been a research assistant with Dr. Silverman, the Director of the Music Therapy program on campus, and I will be conducting a research study with him about undergraduate music therapy students and their sleep habits this year. On campus, I'm the president of MTSA (Music Therapy Student Association) and am the Music Director of Urban Sound, an acapella ensemble! In my free time, I enjoy playing around with my guitar, watching Netflix, singing, and spending time with my family and friends. I look forward to meeting you and assisting you with your research!

Jessica

Hey there, I am a senior studying Physics and Astrophysics with a minor in Computer Science. I do gravitational wave research with the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) group. On campus, I'm involved with the Science and Engineering Student Board as the Academic Affairs committee director. I'm also President of CSE Ambassadors and Gopher Racquetball Club. In my free time, I enjoy playing more racquetball and watching Netflix. When I'm not doing any of the above, you'll likely find me working as a Peer Research Consultant (PRC). If you'd like a helping hand with navigating the Libraries' databases, locating literature, or exploring research opportunities, feel free to schedule a visit with me or my fellow PRC's!

Muchen

Hi! I am a senior majoring in psychology, and minoring in statistics and neuroscience. I started my research experience in a neurology lab in the summer after my freshman year. I volunteered as a research assistant in DeYoung’s Personality Lab since my sophomore year and currently running several projects in the lab. I appreciated all the help and opportunities that led me to this point. I cherish every step of the research process which is leading us to the truth. In my free time, photography, biking, and scale model are my major hobbies. Moreover, if I get enough time, traveling is also my favorites. All in all, I really enjoy all of my research experience and I can’t wait to share my experience and knowledge in research with others as a PRC! Looking forward to seeing you during my appointments or drop-in hours!

Natalie

Hello! I am a junior majoring in computer science and human physiology. Most of my time outside of class is dedicated to running a student group on campus (Days for Girls) and participating in BME research. Since freshman year, I've been working alongside Dr. Salzwedel to develop an immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer using mice models. My hobbies include playing with makeup, enjoying time outside, and watching k-dramas. I've had a very positive experience with the research community on campus and I look forward to assisting others to achieve the same. I'm happy to help!

Shreya

Hi! I’m a sophomore majoring in Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering, and minoring in Chemistry. I’m currently working on a research project on biomaterials, with professor Shri Ramaswamy of BBE department. I am also a part of the Academic Affairs committee in the Science and Engineering Student Board. In my free time, I like to paint, play video games, and go hiking! I’m excited to learn what people are interested in researching, and to help you with your research!

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Program goals

Provide academic support for University of Minnesota undergraduates and to support the University of Minnesota's Student Learning Outcomes, specifically:

  • identify, define, and solve problems
  • locate and critically evaluate information

Support the vision developed by the Office for Equity and Diversity. The priority areas identified for this program are:

  • improve campus climate for diverse students, faculty, staff and visitors
  • engage internal and external communities in looking at strategies for the retention and success of diverse students

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For questions about the PRC program

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