Getting Research Opportunities
Research is essential for many graduate programs or jobs, especially in science, and offers a great opportunity for studying one specific subject in depth. A research job can also become a wonderful summer project or form the basis of a senior thesis.
- Email a professor whose research you're interested in; ask him if you can work for free or whether he has any funding.
Dear Professor ____,
I'm an undergraduate in ___ and recently took a class exploring ____. This really awakened my interest in ____, which your lab seems to be actively researching at the moment. Are there any openings in your lab for an undergraduate researcher? If not, I would still appreciate the opportunity to speak with you further about your research if you have the time.
Thank you in advance!Sincerely,
Be patient; professors are busy and often can take a week or more to respond.
- Apply to the Science, Technology and Research Scholars (STARS) Program. See Dean Garcia, Maria Morena, or your own college dean about interest.
- Go to the fellowships office and tell them that you want to do scientific research and ask what fellowship opportunities are available. Alternatively, you can browse this online list of fellowships.
Choosing A Lab
- Be sure to choose a lab that is undergraduate friendly. A lab that is not might be overwhelming.
- Interview different professors about their research. See which one clicks. Also, don't feel badly if someone doesn't click - just move on to the next person!