I’m a transfer student going into my third year of undergrad as a biochemistry major. My intent was to pursue research the moment I stepped onto my new university campus, however, of course, thanks to the pandemic relevant labs are not operating as usual and I simply cannot find anywhere/anyone that will let me in, paid or otherwise. It doesn’t help that a lot of the research going on is time-sensitive. Not to mention the many other students facing the exact same dilemma who make the very few lab spots incredibly more competitive than usual (and lots of the students who’ve spent the past years getting to know people in the department will most likely have a better chance of getting in than me, a stranger).
Additionally, since I’m new to the school, I cannot make personal connections with faculty where they get to know me enough to give me a good letter of recommendation.
What am I supposed to do? I have three quarters before applying to grad school and I’ll have nothing to show for except a GPA and a resume that got me into my current Bachelor’s program. Hardly impressive enough for the grad schools I am interested in applying to. What will PhD programs be looking for since, surely, they cannot expect applications to be at the same caliber as prior years?
I have also briefly considered to not attend grad school immediately after getting my BS degree, but finding relevant research opportunities around my state after graduation to build the strength of my application seems hopeless.
EDIT: I should also mention that a few of the programs I’m looking into do not even consider GRE scores