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how to request to work with a professor

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by AnesthesiaMD, May 15, 2007.

  1. AnesthesiaMD

    AnesthesiaMD 2+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2007
    To anyone who has worked in a professor's research lab, how did you go about getting in? I have written letters to a few professors at my school and am currently waiting for their reply...
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  3. koennen

    koennen Lend Me An Ear 10+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
    Letters are easy to ignore; phone calls aren't. Send an email expressing your interest and stating a date and time when you will call to follow up. Then call at the appointed time. You need to be a little more agressive than just writing letters and watching the mailbox in the hopes that someone responds.
  4. gsmithers68

    gsmithers68 2+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    When I got into a lab I remember sending out about 10-12 e-mails to people telling them I am interested in getting involved in bench work and that I needed to write a thesis for a requirement of mine.

    I got three responses within a week or so... just be patient. Maybe follow up once. I don't have the balls to call myself but that is another option. Good luck.
  5. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection Physician Faculty SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Inside the tesseract
    Before sending the e-mails, it helps to scan the abstracts of the professors' last few papers. You'll really pique their interest if you alude to some aspect of their research and how/why it really interests you. If you are invited to interview, read the last three or so full papers and be knowledgeable about them. Include the lab courses you've already taken in the e-mail, too.
  6. prionsRbad

    prionsRbad Mooooo 5+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2007
    I stopped by all the labs that I was interested in and just asked professors if they needed any help around the lab. You might want to volunteer your services for washing dishes and making solutions at first . . . then ask to be involved in some small projects.

    I did this during undergrad and ended up doing research (paid) for 2 years. Most professors are willing to give students a chance to do some research.

    Good luck! :D
  7. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Just went to my micro professor after the semester was almost done (and I was doing well) and told him I needed to do a capstone, and I was more interested in doing research. He thought that'd be great, and that was about it.

    I had also e-mailed another prof with a cover letter and my resume (I had gone to his website and read through it, and he said undergrads interested in working in his lab should send a cover letter), saying I was interested in working for him. He responded and said he'd get back to me, which he did, and said he'd like to meet with me at a certain date and time. I told him that was great, where was his lab? He e-mailed back and said he didn't want anyone in his lab that couldn't figure out where his lab was, goodbye. I was glad I didn't go join his lab :laugh: what a prick. Not like he might want me to go to his office or one of the SEVERAL labs in the biotech facility in that building.
  8. premedtool2


    May 8, 2007
    Would you mind volunteering first or would you prefer to start working right away? If you don't have research experience, volunteering is a good segue into a job in a research lab. I sent e-mails to several professors asking if any of them needed undergraduate volunteers, and they all responded pretty quickly. I didn't even include a resume or cover letter. I guess it's hard to say no to free labor.
  9. stanleycup

    stanleycup Guest

    May 11, 2007
    In your original inquirey do you think someone should explain things like I went to this school (if different from the school you are trying to work at). I graduated with a Bio degree. I am applying to medical school this summer. I am looking to gain more research experience. Things like that. Or should you just keep it to "I would like to work in your lab"?
  10. stanleycup

    stanleycup Guest

    May 11, 2007
    any answers? to the above questions?
  11. prionsRbad

    prionsRbad Mooooo 5+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2007
    I would be honest. Tell them you think their research is interesting and explain that you are interested in some research experience for medical school. There's nothing wrong with that. :D

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