Appying to Summer Undergraduate Research

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tennisball80

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Many institutions that offer summer research opportunities for undergraduate students will soon open their application pools.

I have not taken any science course in my first semester of college. I do not have any previous research experience. However, I am planning to take General Biology I and General Chemistry I in the next semester.

How should I apply to these programs to maximum my chances of getting in?

Thanks for any input.:)

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Many institutions that offer summer research opportunities for undergraduate students will soon open their application pools.

I have not taken any science course in my first semester of college. I do not have any previous research experience. However, I am planning to take General Biology I and General Chemistry I in the next semester.

How should I apply to these programs to maximum my chances of getting in?

Thanks for any input.:)

My school is different than yours so remember it may not be the same. But, these programs can be competitive and Freshman usually end up on the underside of these fellowships and programs. That being said, they usually have a qualifying GPA, and sometimes the PI's interview before allowing into the programs, so if you can get an interview and prove that you will be a good researcher for them then you have a shot at getting in. But again, being a Freshman hinders you and having no lab experience also hinders you. I recommend at least taking a lab before the summer so you can have at least minimal experience.
 
Make sure to check the requirements. A lot of them require you to have completed your Sophomore year.
A lot also require 2 or so LOR that might be hard to get as a freshman.

You might want to try doing research on campus and not with one of the programs. Generally a lot of professors lose students as summer starts so they might have openings. You wouldn't have a stipend but it might allow you to continue into the school year. Then next year you can apply with experience and maybe even a LOR from the PI.
 
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I applied to a SURF program last summer. They wanted you to have taken Organic I & II and Physics with labs already. So I think most of these things are geared toward rising juniors or seniors.

I'd say you do what the poster above suggested and get some lab experience with some professors on campus. Then do some full-fledged research in one of these programs in the summer after your sophomore year.
 
- I did a REU at UCSF last summer through AMGEN, and I can say that the majority of people there had previous research experience (myself included), were rising seniors, although there were quite a few rising juniors I believe. These programs are very difficult to get into without previous research experience.

- I would definitely do research at my home institution first, get a solid letter of rec from the PI, then take a shot at a SURFs, SUREs, etc programs for the best chances of getting offered the research award.

- Otherwise personal statements and LORs are the most important aspects of an application. GPA is important as well, but I think if you have a 3.7 or above, that is adequate.
 
Many institutions that offer summer research opportunities for undergraduate students will soon open their application pools.

I have not taken any science course in my first semester of college. I do not have any previous research experience. However, I am planning to take General Biology I and General Chemistry I in the next semester.

How should I apply to these programs to maximum my chances of getting in?

Thanks for any input.:)


Based on your post it seems that you won't have much science background before the summer research. I would delay doing research. Based on my experience- in my soph. year I volunteered to do research (I only had up to ochem) in a genetics lab where the PI was harsh... she would continuously say that lab was not a class and that she cannot teach me the techniques (to a point I guess she is right). These techniques were taught in biochem and genetics courses I later took. So, if you are new to research I would recommend researching the PI- e-mail the people that work with the PI and ask them how the PI is in lab, go and tour their lab.. etc.. Learn about them... will they help you in the research... will they be a mentor... because not everyone is willing. Don't just try to get into a lab blindly or you will most likely regret it.
If you still want to get into the summer research, then you should volunteer in a lab until then and you would have a decent chance of getting in
 
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Thank you all.

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