Research Research and Data Analysis

Learn to find and use appropriate research methods and apply standards for responsible conduct in order to make an original contribution to advanced knowledge.

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Research skills & steps you can take to develop them *

Steps You Can Take


Take On-Campus Courses

Many departments offer formal training in the qualitative and quantitative research methods associated with their discipline, allowing students to experiment with different approaches to answering the research questions they have formulated.

Participate in Lab Rotations

Many lab-based disciplines have formal programs of lab rotations that allow you to explore a potential research area, while developing practical skills.

Serve as a Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)

Participating in research projects as a GSR involves creating and using advanced knowledge in a discipline.

Participate in Internships

An internship is a temporary professional position that enables you to explore a potential career, while developing practical skills in a discipline and applying advanced knowledge.

Write a Research Prospectus
Write a Grant Proposal

Steps You Can Take


Write a Research Prospectus

Doctoral students may be required by their programs to prepare a formal research prospectus. A research prospectus, like a grant proposal, shows that you know how to define the scope of a project, the steps needed to complete it, and the kind and scale of resources needed, which are all skills valuable in academic and non-academic careers.

Write a Grant Proposal

Graduate students at Berkeley often write proposals in support of their research to Research Centers and Institutes, and for external sponsors of research such as the Fulbright-Hays, National Science Foundation (NSF), Social Science Research Council (SSRC), or National Institutes of Health (NIH). The act of writing a grant proposal, even if it is ultimately unsuccessful, demonstrates research skills valued in many careers.

Complete Training in Responsible Conduct of Research

Research may require you to protect the privacy of human subjects; to observe standards for research using animals; and to respect the rights of others to be recognized as contributors through proper citation, co-authorship, and granting of permissions for use of material covered by copyright. Online courses, workshops, and staff in the Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) can help you learn about these subjects, and more.

Serve as a Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)

Participating in research projects as a GSR allows you to develop and demonstrate specific research skills or competence in research in particular topics.

Complete a Master’s Project

Completion of a master’s project develops and demonstrates skills in research and mastery of advanced knowledge in a discipline that are valued in multiple career paths.

Steps You Can Take


Take Research Methods Courses in Another Academic Unit
Regularly Review Scholarly Publications to Get an Overview of Research Approaches
Attend Research Talks, Colloquia, and Seminars in Other Disciplines and Fields

Steps You Can Take


Deliver a Paper at a Professional Conference

Writing and presenting papers can be important not only in academic employment, but in other careers where the ability to analyze information, synthesize concepts, and present them clearly is valued. Annual campus, state, national, and international conferences provide regular opportunities to practice these skills.

Present a Research Poster at a Professional Conference
Publish a Paper in a Professional Journal

Opportunities to publish occur throughout graduate school, not just after the dissertation or thesis is complete. Assess your course-related writing at regular intervals and identify contributions that might be ready for submission to journals in your field or in related interdisciplinary journals. A publication is a strong indicator that your research skills are ready for multiple career paths.

* Some skills serve in the development of more than one competency. Some skills may apply more to one discipline than to another. Keep in mind that the list of skills and steps you can take to develop these competencies is not exhaustive.

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Research skill-building workshops & events

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Selected resources to help deepen your Research skills

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