Science Research Fellows From a Student’s Perspective

Akane Inoue is a freshman at DePauw that was drawn to our college for many different reasons. One of them is the Science Research Fellows (SRF) program, which gives undergraduate students a unique opportunity to learn about and conduct research. I had the opportunity to speak with Akane to get a student’s insight into the program. 

Her Campus: What is SRF? Are you taking extra classes, and what do you learn in those classes?

Akane Inoue: Science Research Fellows is program for students interested in research. As part of the program, we need to take an extra 0.5 credit class in which we learn about different research methods, how to find different research papers, and how to read those research papers.

HC: Do you find the class difficult?

AI: The class is not that difficult; however, the reading can be a little challenging if you are not familiar with the subject. I personally have trouble reading biology papers because I am not familiar with the vocabulary and often encounter words I don’t understand. Nevertheless, you can understand the idea of the paper, even if you don’t understand every word.

HC: Are you doing the same thing in the years to come? Do you guys do research over the summer as well?

AI: We are taking another class next semester, which is the continuation of this class. I know we’re doing research in class in our sophomore year as well as individual research, which is usually done during summer after sophomore year. In our senior year, we are required to do a presentation on the research we did.

HC: Why did you decide to do SRF?

AI: I have always had an interest in science. What I find especially appealing about it is research. I like the idea of picking a topic of your choice and constructing an experiment. I also felt that SRF would prepare me for doing research in the future.

HC: How did you hear about it? Was SRF part of your decision to come to DePauw?

AI: When I was applying to DePauw, I looked into different programs that are offered here. I especially like SRF and the Honors program (which I am also a part of). They were the main reason why I decided to come to DePauw – especially a program like SRF was not offered anywhere else. It’s extremely hard to get research as an undergraduate student and with SRF, research opportunities are guaranteed.

HC: What are you majoring in? Does your major correlate with SRF?

AI: I am majoring in either chemistry or physics. I know that a lot of research is offered through SRF in the field of chemistry, and there are also projects in nuclear and astrophysics, which I find fascinating.

HC: Are you interested in pursuing research as part of your future career?

AI: Yes, if I decided to pursue a career in science, I would like to be a researcher.

HC: What part of SRF are you most excited about?

AI: I am most excited about doing summer research. There is no other schoolwork, and you can fully focus on the research project. And you get to work with faculty, which is amazing.