So when did you start doing research?

<p>As some of you may know im an incoming bio major. I am just wondering when current/past bio majors began research? I have no prior research prior experience. I'm hoping to get a lab position doing basic stuff (washing beakers, recording data, etc). Should I email professors to learn about these sorts of positions or will they appear on the student employment website.</p>

<p>those sorts of positions you can get by emailing. usually you would even wait on those tasks until perhaps second semester of freshman year.
I started working in a lab (in the washing/recording capacity) at the start of sophomore year. I should be doing some kind of research of my own in the future but I haven't started that yet. there are still lots of benefits from being around more mature scientists.</p>

<p>would it be best to email profs one at a time or send out emails in batches?</p>

<p>you should send each professor his or her own individualized email. you can send emails to a few different professors on the same day, but don't copy them all on the same message or anything like that.</p>

<p>how individualized should it get? should i just mention that im interested in X field, have had a brief exposure to it in HS bio and am interested in learning more about it in the classroom and the lab, have no prior research but am willing to work significant hours as a lab assistant performing basic tasks</p>

<p>sorry i seem so dumbfounded its just that i have no idea of how to do this.</p>

<p>My understanding is that you should be looking at what type of research you want to be part of or conduct. For example, if you want to deal with Microbiology, look up the professor who's doing research in topics under Microbiology. In this case, there are many professors, such as Professor Alani.
R3</a> Group Research</p>

<p>Read up on their research (so you have an idea of what you are going to be getting yourself involved in), and inform them that you had read some of their work and wish to be part of it in some way.</p>

<p>ansar has it basically right. and it's really no issue having to ask a lot of questions because there is no time in your life before when you've done anything similar to this.
there is no need to mention that you are willing to work significant hours...or at least don't put it quite that way. emphasize that you're not heavily involved in any other activities at Cornell yet so you could easily devote a lot of time to the lab. most professors and the others in a typical lab (techs, postdocs, grad students) seem reasonably aware that your courses and homework/studying will be placing a high demand on your time as well.
also you don't need to even try to specify what kind of position you want, just say that you'd be willing to help in any capacity. they will likely train you to do whatever kinds of specific tasks that they need done at that any particular time, and what those tasks would be could vary from lab to lab.</p>

<p>thanks a lot for the insights faustarp</p>

<p>just one thing. should i start emailing profs now or wait until the academic year is a bit nearer?</p>

<p>i would wait until you actually get to school...its also good if youve taken a class with the professor before...</p>

<p>i disagree with feral24. you don't need to have taken a class with a professor to do research with him. in fact, the class you take will most likely be an intro course and not specific to his research</p>

<p>so would you say that its too early to email them (will they even be checking their email at this point)</p>

<p>My roommate from last year began emailing profs in the summer and had interviews lined up immediately when she came to campus and was working by mid-September. I say email when you're ready.</p>

<p>thank you blatoise. did your friend get a "real" research job right away or was it more like the stuff i described (relatively menial tasks, hopefully leading to advancement in the lab). did he/she already have research experience?</p>

<p>yay, somni disagrees with me again, whats new</p>

<p>She didn't have research experience and as far as I know, it's a real one. I remember her telling me that she does a lot of coding for her prof (apparently the guy they pay $50/hr can't do as good a job as her with her $8/hr checks). She might have started off small, but if that was the case, she quickly moved up the ladder.</p>

<p>It really depends on the lab. Of course, you don't need to have taken a class with the professor that you're going to be doing research with. Many professors never teach undergrads/intro level classes and the ones with truly good research may teach one class a year to upperclassmen or grad students. </p>

<p>I agree with the OPs that as long as you send good, personalized e-mails with a resume, and exhibit an honest passion and dedication to learning about research, then there are many professors that would be interested. I started doing research in a biomedical engineering lab during the spring of my freshman year. I e-mailed about 15 professors, whose research I was interested in, over winter break. Many didn't respond, and about 3 said they had room in their labs to train a new undergrad. I started doing substantial research into brain cancer on 3D polymer devices right off the bat. I would say this experience and my research advisor's recommendation letter was instrumental in helping me get into multiple MD/PhD programs this past spring. </p>

<p>Don't ask for jobs like washing beakers or menial tasks, but try and find something where you'll be conducting hypothesis driven research and discovering new things about the world around us. When you're doing the research, the washing glassware and stuff will come with it.</p>

<p>one thing meestasi rightly mentioned that I don't think has come up yet is attaching a resume! you have one of those mostly ready from applying to college (or you at least have all the information collected already). it's helpful to send along that extra information in such a familiar format.</p>

<p>thanks to all who posted. it worked out well</p>

<p>Is it okay to find professors after the school starts? Because right now I have
no idea what I want to do for research, the research projects professors do looked really
specific, but I only know I want to do something bio/chem related research.</p>