biophysicianai

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do NOT just accost a prof after a lecture and sputter "uh so I'm premed, and I think that means that I'm like supposed to do research or something. So, can I like research in your lab where you do research on science?"

Organize yourself presentably:

Make sure you can state good reasons why you want to do research.
Read a bit about some of the research the professors at your school do.
Approach some of them, and tell them why you want to work for them, showing interest in their projects.
Don't get discouraged if some or most of them reject you.




remember, long term commitments are the best thing possible. When you find a good lab to work in with a prof who will be willing to let you learn under his/her guidance, STICK WITH THEM. Don't do a bunch of tiny projects here and there.
 

236116

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Ask your advisor.

Poke someone in bio.
 
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katarina90

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I found out about research through my school website, on the department webpage. Usually there is a list of projects along with contact info. Find one you're interested in, look into it so you know what its about, then email the director of it just stating that you would like to get involved.

If there isn't info on the website, then I would go to the department offices and ask for a list of research projects that are currently ongoing and need research assistants. If you can't find one in bio that you're interested in, often the chem, physics, or even psychology departments have some fascinating research you could get involved in. Good luck! : )
 

fish89

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Mass email 50 professors with a CV and cover letter stating your interest in working in their lab. You can usually find their name, contact info, and subject of research on the department website. Choose from those who respond (try to get a lab with a nice work environment/ culture). It's hit and miss; some profs love undergrads, some hate them, some need them, some don't, so it's best to contact a few. When you interview, make sure to read a few of their papers ahead of time so you can say why you want to work with them, what interests you about them, etc.
 
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135892

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Mass email 50 professors with a CV and cover letter stating your interest in working in their lab. You can usually find their name, contact info, and subject of research on the department website. Choose from those who respond (try to get a lab with a nice work environment/ culture). It's hit and miss; some profs love undergrads, some hate them, some need them, some don't, so it's best to contact a few. When you interview, make sure to read a few of their papers ahead of time so you can say why you want to work with them, what interests you about them, etc.
50 may be a little excessive, but yeah, this sounds like a good plan :xf:
 

RevivedPreMed

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My school has it's own medical school so I went to the main page and contacted doctors in all the specialties I had interest in. I basically asked if they are currently conducting research and if they were would they let me participate. Even if they don't have the spot, they'll know of someone who's looking.

I landed the most amazing position this way. You'd be surprised how many students don't even try asking and then complain how hard it is to do research.
 

captain bhangra

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is it necessary to have taken all the prereqs before looking for research? or does it depend on the research?

thanks
 

RevivedPreMed

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is it necessary to have taken all the prereqs before looking for research? or does it depend on the research?

thanks
Every PI will have their own expectations. Some PI's are willing to teach you everything you have to know, others will look for people with experiences or knowledge they could utilize (ex. knowing how to use certain statistical programs). For the most part, you really don't need your prerequisites because if you do medical research, everything you'll learn/need to know will come out of journals because you won't learn them in the classroom.
 

captain bhangra

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so since i am a transfer, when i transfer next year, should i just approach bio professors, or researchers that i can find and ask them?

sorry for stealing your thread:D
 

RevivedPreMed

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so since i am a transfer, when i transfer next year, should i just approach bio professors, or researchers that i can find and ask them?

sorry for stealing your thread:D
Yes you should. I would do some background research if you can in order to show that you are interested in their specific field of research. It's much more impressive. You can equate it to research a medical school's programs and curriculum in order to answer the "why [insert med school here]" question.
 

captain bhangra

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thanks mate, one last question, what is the difference between signing up for research through registration, and talking to a professor about it?
 

fish89

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is it necessary to have taken all the prereqs before looking for research? or does it depend on the research?

thanks
undergrads aren't expected to know much. after all, if they "really" needed someone with a whole bunch of technical skill, they would hire a grad student, a postdoc, or an actual professor to help out. if they're willing to take you on, they already know that you don't know much - you're an undergrad. so how many classes you've taken really doesn't matter. just find someone who wants to take you on. nothing else matters - how much you know them - where you come from - if you go to that school - it doesn't matter. if they let you in, you're in. all they want is your enthusiasm, motivation, and commitment.
 

captain bhangra

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since im at a community college, im going to contact professors at the local university about research. what should i say in my emails?
" im a student at blah blah college and am looking for research" ?

im new to all this so im a little confused
thanks
 

RevivedPreMed

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thanks mate, one last question, what is the difference between signing up for research through registration, and talking to a professor about it?
Usually you can only sign up for research credits if you already have a mentor on board who can sign off on your form (usually you have to give all their info as well as write a statement as to what is expected of you by the end of the semester).
 

RevivedPreMed

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since im at a community college, im going to contact professors at the local university about research. what should i say in my emails?
" im a student at blah blah college and am looking for research" ?

im new to all this so im a little confused
thanks
When I did it, I really did not know what I was doing so it was really short and to the point (which may be a good thing since these people are super busy and get tons of emails a day). I just sent emails saying my name, year in college, major, future goals, and that I was interested in research and if they had an opportunity for me.
 

silverlining1

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Mass email 50 professors with a CV and cover letter stating your interest in working in their lab. You can usually find their name, contact info, and subject of research on the department website. Choose from those who respond (try to get a lab with a nice work environment/ culture). It's hit and miss; some profs love undergrads, some hate them, some need them, some don't, so it's best to contact a few. When you interview, make sure to read a few of their papers ahead of time so you can say why you want to work with them, what interests you about them, etc.
Absolutely. Well, I only chose 15 professors to contact, based on their faculty profiles and research interests (don't do research that doesn't interest you!!!). I told them that I was a sophomore interested in their research and I wanted to know more about what they did with the possibility of getting involved. About 5 contacted me back, and I met with them in person to discuss their lab. Some things to talk about:


  • What will my role be? Am I going to be cleaning glassware, pipetting, talking to patients, doing surgery, data analysis, what?
  • What will the time commitment be like?
  • Who will I be working with on a day to day basis? You (the PI), a postdoc, no one?
  • What can I expect to get out of this experience? Can I have my own independent project down the line?
I had NO research experience going into this, and it was fine. Many labs will be happy to train you from the ground up in their style.

I actually did developmental psych research before I got into neurosurgery research; don't think that you absolutely have to do basic science research.
 

captain bhangra

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so i just emailed around 8 professors saying my name, year and college and that i was interested in their research and was hoping to get involved. but does it matter that my major is econ? i mean, i really do enjoy biology, and the research they do sounded really interesting, but will they ask me why do i want to do research when im an economics major?
 

katarina90

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so i just emailed around 8 professors saying my name, year and college and that i was interested in their research and was hoping to get involved. but does it matter that my major is econ? i mean, i really do enjoy biology, and the research they do sounded really interesting, but will they ask me why do i want to do research when im an economics major?
They might, and you should have a reason why. I was asked why I wanted to do psychology research when I was a biology major. I explained that I was interested in psychology, and went on to explain that I want to be a psychiatrist and therefore would benefit from having experience in the particular opportunity that I was interviewing for (a neurology-perception lab).

If you're worried about them rejecting you because you're an economics major, I don't think that will happen. You just want to explain (in a specific and honest way) why you want that research position and what it will mean for you. They want to know that you will use what you learn in the future, that you're sincere and motivated. So explain what the experience will mean to you, and what your expectations are.
 
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