Frequently Asked Questions

Why use Muser?

How does the student side of the website work?


How does the mentor side of the site work?

When do rounds happen?

Generally, Muser rounds tend to coincide with the Duke academic calendar for when undergraduate students will register for the next semester classes or when there is a drop/add period. At the moment we offer four rounds: a Fall round for Fall projects (August), a late Fall round for Spring projects (October/November), Spring round for Summer projects (February/March), and a Spring round for Fall projects (March/April). 

Is there a difference between MUSER and Muser?

Muser is the new name for MUSER.  Muser serves all disciplines and research areas at Duke, so the previous acronyms no longer apply.  Muser's first iteration was CUBR (Connecting Undergraduates to Biology Research), then it expanded to MUSER (Matching Undergraduates to Science and Engineering Research), and now the program serves all of Duke using the new name, Muser.  

Why are there project "rounds"?

For most students, there is not an obvious time of the year to search for research positions.  Right now, Muser runs three rounds per year.  Two rounds are timed with bookbagging for students interested in planning out their next semester ahead of time.  One round is timed for the start of the academic year (late August).  With timed rounds, students can feel confident that they can look for projects at specific time periods and not worry about constantly searching throughout the year.  Do you wish there were more rounds at particular times of the year?  Contact Muser staff (using the Contact form once you are logged in to the site) to make suggestions.

Why are there application limits?

The application limit is designed to encourage students to really think about the projects they're interested in, rather than just applying to all of them. To help with strategizing, Muser provides a cool feature with which students can see how many students have applied to a project and how many spots are available in that project.  That way, students can both apply for “dream” projects that may be particularly competitive as well as projects with fewer applicants and better odds.

I'm an undergraduate and I have been accepted to more than one Muser project, what should I do?

Muser does not restrict the number of projects to which a single student can be accepted.  The student must navigate "offers" of positions and communicate directly with mentors about availability.  In some cases, it is possible to accept more than one Muser project offer, because the time commitments vary considerably - from one hour per week to 9+ hours per week.

What’s that gold star?

New mentors and previous mentors who have a track record of fully reviewing and making decisions on their applicants have a gold star next their name on the public project listings page.  This is a great indicator for students when they are applying for projects.  A gold star means that the mentor fully reviewed all of their applicants the last time they posted a project.

I'm a mentor and I don't see a project category that works for my field, what should I do?

Contact Muser staff (using the Contact form once you are logged in to the site) to make suggestion for category options that match your field of research.

Why can’t a project be both a paid position and provide independent study credit?

This isn’t a weird Muser thing - it’s actually the law!  It simply isn’t allowed for a student to be paid to take a class (i.e., get course credit for an independent study class), so this designation in Muser is how it works at any university and across Duke.

I'm a mentor and did not receive enough applications or I did not find a good match for my project, what should I do?

It happens!  Just move any applicants over to the decision area of your application portal and your project will be closed without accepting students.  If you did not receive enough applications, keep working on posting projects that engage undergraduates. Undergraduates have a lot of options here at Duke, and the way the project is presented can make a big difference.

The text on my browser looks all jumbled - what can I do?

Try out and update your browser.  The Muser site is designed to work on only currently available and supported browsers.

How do I contact Muser staff?

Once users have logged in, Muser staff can be contacted by clicking Contact at the base of any page on the site.