I'm a 4th-year science student planning to do undergraduate research for credit during the summer. I completed an engineering course the previous semester and discussed research opportunities with the professor a handful of times. From what I gathered during our discussions, he is willing to have me do research with him and his other students; he wants to work out the details shortly before the summer starts.

My department allows me to receive research credit from other departments. However, there are some extra hoops to jump through, and the undergraduate adviser recommended that I find a professor who may be adjunct in my department to enroll me for research credit.

I brought this up to my engineering professor, who mentioned the name of a professor in my department that shares similar equipment for their respective projects. I have never met this other professor before, nor have I enrolled in a class with them.

Would it be appropriate to approach this professor and ask them to supervise the research I'm doing with my engineering professor? They wouldn't even have to actually supervise me; the bottom line is I'm wondering if they would be willing to enroll me for research credit within the department.

3 Answers 3


It is a bad idea for a professor in your department to enroll you for research credit under his supervision without actually supervising. This is taking all the responsibility without any control, contribution to educating the student, or simply a pleasure doing the research.

However, you probably should connect those professors from different departments, so that they determine their shared interest and responsibilities in this project. Between them (and probably the undergraduate advisor) they might determine the formalities to follow department's & programs's regulations; but if somebody's name appears as an advisor of a work, he must actually do some part of advising.


My department allows me to receive research credit from other departments. However, there are some extra hoops to jump through

I'd suggest just jumping through those hoops; since it is allowed, these don't seem like insurmountable hoops (and good on your department for foreseeing this issue and preparing for it by constructing some procedures), and it makes more sense to do this rather than stretch the rules.


Absolutely appropriate and in fact, you can use your first and third paragraph almost verbatim to approach the professor who'd be your official supervisor.

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