I am at a public high-ranked Canadian university where undergraduates are heavily encouraged to participate in research, and currently recruiting an assistant for myself (and my supervisor). While at this university both as an undergrad, undergraduate researcher, visiting lecturer, and graduate researcher I have seen a very large variance in undergraduate performance:
- A good number of students have great research potential, motivation, and creativity; these students typically contribute well to undergraduate research and go on to top graduate schools in their specialties.
- A good number of students are here just to prepare for a professional school (typically Med School, but sometimes Law). Typically these students are very hard working, but don't have a passion for research. They apply for research positions just to flesh out their CVs. They typically don't display great creativity and tend to be overworked and over-committed.
- The majority of students are hard to motivate, and seldom display great research potential or creativity. It is hard to get results from them on tasks that are not route/mechanical in nature.
Are there any tips and tricks to how to attract students of type 1. More importantly, how can I structure interviews to better recognize students of type 1? Is it impossible to attract type 1 students with high probability and I should just hope for the best, but plan for the worst? Is the division I observed artificial and it is my job as the supervisor to turn every student into type 1?