Peer Research Consultants

Peer Research Consultants (PRCs) are students trained to help you with your research papers or assignments. PRCs can also help you get started with faculty-sponsored research.

Make an appointment

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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What to expect

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.

Before, during, and after a consultation

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

Lila

I'm a junior double-majoring in Family Social Science and Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance. I love dogs, true crime, and scuba diving.

 

 

Natalie

Hello! I am a senior majoring in computer science. Most of my time outside of class is dedicated to running a student group on campus (Days for Girls) and participating in BME research. For two years I worked to develop an immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer using mice models. Now I am using computer models to study cell migration and assisting in a medical device study. My hobbies include traveling whenever possible and trying out new restaurants. 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!

Natasha

Hi there! I’m a senior majoring in music therapy and minoring in gender, women, & sexuality studies. My junior year, I collaborated with Dr. Silverman, the director of the music therapy program, on a research project about anti-oppressive music therapy practice. I will continue to work with Dr. Silverman during my senior year as I conduct research for my thesis about music therapists’ identities. My extracurricular involvements include being the president of the Music Therapy Student Association and the president of the Wesley Foundation (a campus ministry). Outside of school, I love to write songs, practice calligraphy, watch movies, and spend too much time on TikTok. I look forward to assisting you and learning alongside you during your research journey!

Shreya

Hi! I’m a junior majoring in Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering. Since my freshman year, I have been working on research related to biomaterials with professor Shri Ramaswamy of the BBE department. I am investigating the diffusivity properties of biomaterials to help determine the best use and application for these materials. Besides research, I am the director 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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