Can undergraduates work with professors on research?
Because Yale-NUS is an undergraduate institution only, if the students didn’t help the professors, the professors would have had no help. As a result, students get plenty of opportunities to work with professors on research, and frequently do, often traveling overseas to help with field work and whatnot.
This collaboration takes two basic forms: students may work as student associates with professor during class time, for which they get paid per hour. Different professors post up listings for associates throughout the year. Depending on the role, it can be pretty good work experience, but it could also be on the menial side.
Alternatively, there are opportunities for students to do more in-depth and intensive research with professors during the spring and summer holidays for weekly payment. If research is conducted in Singapore, they also receive free accommodation at the school. However, some faculty-led research is done abroad, so students are given additional payment to cover these fees. These projects are more involved and take up more time, so students get quite a good grip on the research process in whatever field they’re working on.
To be honest, I would advocate doing this kind of work over working with larger institutions, because be one of a small amount of assistants allows you to engage in a more diverse set of roles. Institutions with a bigger staff tend to give research assistants, especially undergrads, rather basic and very narrow roles and responsibilities. However, if you’re so inclined, the same portal through which students apply for summer research will also feature other summer research and internship opportunities for which students can apply.
If you’re not sure that you want to do research, I would suggest that you consider getting at least some kind of research experience. This is because whatever your major in, your capstone is likely to involve some data collection, research, and maybe even experimentation. In fact, many students opt to do independent research over the summer in order to get experience for their capstone or even collect data that can be incorporated into their capstone research.
For information on the summer research program, please see this page on the school website: https://cipe.yale-nus.edu.sg/summer-opportunities/summer-research-programme/
For more general information about research, including student-led research, please see this page: http://admissions.yale-nus.edu.sg/research/