- Log in to the site through the link in the top right hand corner of the page, using your netid.
- You’ll be asked to create a profile. The basic info required includes your name, email, and role (e.g., PI of the X Lab, Prof of Y. in Weinberg). You can edit this again at any time in the future from here.
- Note: whoever creates the webpage for your lab is the person who has to update it in the future. So if you are a postdoc or graduate student creating this page for your PI and you leave the lab in the future, someone else will need to create a copy of the page under their own netid to keep it in the database.
- Click on the menu icon (three small lines in the top right hand corner) to see your options.
- We recommend you explore the database a little first, to get an idea of how students will be using the search functions and therefore what you can do to make sure your lab’s page shows up.
How To Create a Successful Entry For Your Lab in the Database
To list your lab on the database you will create a new “Opportunity” page. The guiding philosophy when writing your page should be providing enough information to ensure you are get more requests from qualified students, that arrive in a format that’s useful for you.
This works both ways. You want to reach qualified and enthusiastic students who might not otherwise know about you, so your page should well-written and designed properly so it shows up in filtered searches. But you also want to avoid being inundated with requests from students who are not qualified, so need to be clear what your expectations are.
Whether you are looking for undergraduates or grad students, therefore, the most important information to convey through this page are:
- What your lab does, written in an accessible and straight-forward manner.
- What opportunities there are in your lab for undergraduates/grad-students. Be specific about what current or potential students are able or expected to do.
- Which students are qualified and how you want them to contact you. This is particularly important if you are looking to work with undergraduates. If you only want students with specific backgrounds or courses, be very clear about this. Equally, be explicit about who the contact person is and what students should send to this person. E.g., “Initial contact should be an email to [named postdoc] and should include a resume.”
A good example to model is the page for the Tyo Lab, which you can view here.
Step-by-step Guide to Creating Your Entry
Once you’re ready, you can start creating your listing in the database.
- Login to the site and navigate to the menu in the top right hand corner of the screen.
- Click on the “Submit” button. This will take you to the “Create Opportunity” page.
On the “Basic Info” page:
- List the name of your lab as the “Opportunity Title”.
- In the “Opportunity Description” box, make sure to include the three points listed about. I.e., what does your lab do, what can undergraduates/grad students do when they work or volunteer for you, and what qualifications do they need/how should they contact you? Be as detailed and explicit as you can.
- If your lab has a webpage or you have a personal webpage for your research, include it in the “Opportunity Website” link. If you don’t have either of these, include a link to your Northwestern Scholars page. This helps students find your recent publications so they can get more info about your work before they write to you.
The remaining options to work through from the list on the left-hand side help students find your lab when they are running a filtered search of the database. For instance, when a student initiates a search through the “Opportunities Index” page linked from the main page, they are likely to tick off options that appear in the left hand column. It is therefore very important that you go through and check off each of these options, to ensure your lab shows up in searches.
On the “Sponsors and Partners” Page:
- Check the box for “Northwestern Run Opportunity” if you are a Northwestern faculty member. This is important! This option is there because the database also includes external opportunities, such as study-abroad programs or projects run by other universities. Students will always start a search by looking for opportunities that are already within the university, so if you click this box, your lab will be right at the top of the list of research opportunities they are shown (rather than not included at all)! Bear in mind that international students who only have permission to work on campus will also use this filter when searching for opportunities.
- List the schools you are affiliated with. Pre-med students, for instance, will likely filter based on whether a lab has an affiliation with Fienberg.
On the “Categorization” page:
- Keywords with autocomplete, but you can also create new keywords. Keywords are important for when students start their search right from the main page, using the initial “What are you interested in?” search box.
- Make sure you include “Subject Areas” and “Opportunity Type” (i.e., are you offering only volunteer positions or also paid employment?) as these are popular filters students use when searching the database.
- “Location” and “Timeframe” should be self-evident. Be sure to list your location (i.e., “North American”, “Evanston Campus”) so that your page shows up when students search for campus-based opportunities through the map visualization.
On the “Eligibility” page:
- You can select the kinds of students you are looking for from the “participants” field. This will directly affect whether your page appears when students do filtered searches.
- In the “Other limits on Participation” text box, include a longer description of your requirements. This will probably duplicate what you have already written in the main description on the “Basic Info” page – but it’s worth repeating yourself here to make sure you are being very clear about what you expect from students before they contact you.
- “Language” should be self-evident, as should “Funding/Course Credit”. Select the appropriate options. The latter is an important filter that students use when searching for opportunities.
- The final two pages give you the option of listing related opportunities (e.g., if you have an affiliation with another lab, or another lab in your department does similar work and you’d like to direct interested students their way); and the option to check if you offer students Elective opportunities.
- Once you are done, click “Preview” then “Save”. You will then receive a confirmation email that includes a link to your page in case you need to edit it (see below). The page won’t appear immediately on the database – it will appear once it has been approved by a site administrator. Which hopefully will be very soon!
Editing Your Entry
Immediately after you’ve created your page and clicked “Save”, but before your page is officially approved and posted to the database, you will have the option to edit it:
- Click the “Edit Draft” button in the top left.
- Please note: once you navigate away from this page, it can be hard to find it again. If you need to make additional edits before your page has been officially approved, use the link in your confirmation email.
Once your page has been approved and posted to the database by the site administrators, it will be very easy for you to find and edit it through the main menu:
- Click on the main menu icon – the three lines in the top right-hand corner.
- Choose “My Opportunities”. You’ll see a list of your live entries in the database.
- Click on the title to view your entry. Click on the “edit” button on the right to make changes.
- When you are done, click “Preview” and “Save”.
- You also have the option here to delete your page entirely, if you need to.
Keeping Your Page Updated
After your page has been up for a year you will receive an automatic email reminder to check your listing is still accurate. Please make sure you keep your page updated, and in particular the name and email address of the contact person. Pages that are not updated and obviously appear to be out-of-date after a year will be deleted by the website administrators.
Additional Questions? Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research