NTC Research Network Increases Access and Opportunities for Students and Faculty Alike

Hunter Jones

Getting involved with research as an undergraduate has never been easier for Tulane students than it is now with the NTC Research Network. This innovative resource, created by Newcomb-Tulane College and maintained by the Office of Undergraduate Research, provides students and faculty access to a convenient, searchable database of research opportunities across a diverse spectrum of topics ranging from art history, to poetry, to biology, to digital animation, to climate change and beyond. “Newcomb-Tulane College is committed to helping students connect with meaningful academic opportunities, such as pursuing research with our faculty,” said Lee Skinner, Dean of Newcomb-Tulane College, “we’re also committed to ensuring equity of access to those academic opportunities. The Research Network is a marvelous resource for faculty and students alike and helps strengthen our intellectual community.”

“Tulane University is one of the top research universities in the country,” said Andrew Squitiro, Program Manager, Office of Undergraduate Research, “and we built this resource to further increase access to research opportunities. Previously, students had to find opportunities on their own, often searching for weeks at a time through countless external sources, applying for positions and then never hearing back. The Research Network eliminates those issues by giving students a ‘one-stop shop’ for all things research-related, while also benefitting faculty and community members who want to hire Tulane students as research assistants. Research is a collaborative endeavor that thrives when the entire community is involved, and we encourage students and faculty from all disciplines to use the Research Network.”

For students, the process is simple. Select a category or type in a keyword, and you’ll be greeted with a list of projects that match your specific interests. All projects have a detailed description, requirements for the position, a research outcome and compensation information. “This was one of the best experiences I had applying for an internship in a long time,” said senior School of Public Health student Calvin Belton, “the process of applying was simple, I was contacted quickly afterward, and I've met some amazing people through the experience.”

Students aren’t the only group finding success with the Research Network; faculty members are posting their projects to easily find and hire research-minded students. “I relied primarily on the Research Network to recruit undergraduates to apply for my Sexualities and Sexual Cultures Internship,” said Dr. Lisa Wade, Associate Professor of Sociology & Gender and Sexuality Studies, “I left the application up for one week and received almost 30 applicants. Undoubtedly, I was able to reach students that I wouldn't have otherwise, and likewise, they were able to find me! I brought eight students on to the team and we're working together well. I highly recommend the process. It's a wonderful way for students and faculty to connect.”

Recognizing the significant value of meaningful research opportunities for undergraduate students, current Tulane parents Drs. Iris Drey and Tomi Prvulovic provided startup funding for the Research Network.

"As a physician and owning my own practice, I recognize the skills that students acquire by participating in first rate academic research,” said Dr. Tomi Prvulovic, “They learn skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, persistence, data analysis, among others – all advanced skills that prepare students to be successful not only as students, but in their future careers.”