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Research Project

mhouse21mhouse21 0 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4 New Member
Does anybody have any tips on how to get involved with a research project at a university?
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Replies to: Research Project

  • GoatGirl19GoatGirl19 282 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 286 Junior Member
    Are you a college student looking to join/volunteer in a PI's lab? What year are you? Most professors are unlikely to take on incoming freshmen with no background.

    Here are some general tips if you're a rising sophomore+: look for a PI whose research seems really interesting to you, that you have the background for; hopefully you have someone in mind already and they know who you are. If you're at a small to medium sized university, send the PI an email letting them know that you would like to volunteer in their lab and tell them how much time you can commit each week (8-10 hours a week was pretty typical for undergrads at my school). Attach a copy of your resume that has been looked at by your school's career center for formatting and content. If you feel fairly confident that they are looking to take on undergrads, you can also suggest times you are available the next week for a meeting. Otherwise, wait for them to respond. They might not respond (if you don't hear anything after a week they probably aren't interested and you should move on), or they may say that they aren't interested in taking on undergrads at this time--this may mean that you don't have the background they are looking for, but it could also mean that there is literally no space in the room or they don't have a grad student with enough free time to mentor you or with enough work for you to do. If they respond wanting to meet, be prompt with arranging a time and arrive 5 minutes early for the meeting. Listen carefully as they explain what the lab does, and ask questions. PI's and grad student mentors like to have undergrads who are reliable and engaged. If you are given options for what you'd like to work on, realize it is totally up to you and your interests, but also think about the fact that each option is probably a grad student's thesis work and you'll mostly be spending your work time with them--so make sure you get along with them.

    P.S. I would do this around August if you are looking to start next school year doing research. Research groups are probably full up for the summer at this point.

    I hope this is what you were looking for! Good luck!
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  • bopperbopper 13872 replies98 discussionsForum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,970 Forum Champion
    1) Does your university have an office that helps match students to professors for research?

    2) Does your major have classes in research?
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