kogekao

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2008
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Fremont, CA
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Pharmacy Student
Hey, I'm a third-year undergrad right now and intend to apply to pharmacy school next year. I already have some experience--I work as a pharmacy clerk, I worked at a pharmaceutical company for a year as a lab assistant, I TAed one class last year, and I did research/volunteering at my school's VA Hospital --but under psychology back when I was a psych major my first year, so I'm not sure if that counts.
Anyway, I was thinking about asking a professor if I can help them with their research and work with them at their labs. I know a few people who did it but I'm not sure how to go about asking them. I'm taking an AIDS class next quarter with a bio professor and I'm pretty interested in the subject matter, so I was thinking about asking her.. but how should I do it? I tried looking up online to see what research she is doing but couldn't find anything recent. Should I just go to her office hours the first week and say, "I'm interested in doing research and I have prior experience, I was wondering if you had any open lab spots?"
Someone also told me today that I could go to the pharmacy section of the VA Hospital and ask for the staff pharmacist and ask them if I could volunteer there or help them in their research. He said that I'd be more likely to work there than if I went through the volunteering department at the hospital, because they get so many applications they don't really go through all of them.
So what do you guys think? Thanks a lot!
 

calisoca

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Aug 29, 2008
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I said something along the lines of...I am thoroughly intrigued by this material and wanted to know if there is any way I can become more involved in it. I really want to become a part of and contribute to a research team.

It's not hard to get involved in research and professors are usually willing to accept serious, hard working students.
 

ADN1226

Class of 2012!
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May 21, 2006
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You should def give research a try, i loved it during undergrad. I want to continue it in pharm school but haven't found time yet.

What I did in undergrad was look up different research labs and their specific research. My school had a whole building devoted to all types of cancer research and I was interested in that so I looked up professors - usually in their profile it says what their research is about. I would email a few (3-4) professors expressing my interest specifically toward their research and ask if they could take on student to help out. You should email a few people because usually most labs already have student volunteers or they don't want them... i only got 2 responses from these professors. 1 had a spot, the other didn't. Luckily I got to research at that lab in melanoma which was really fun & exciting.

I suggest you talk to that AIDs professor to see if there is a spot open, if not, email a few other professors on campus. Good luck!
 
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ccpharmd

10+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2008
47
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Pharmacy Student
Hm. First off don't be overly corny when contact professors. Email a few of those professors, tell them exactly why you want to join a lab. Every lab has a purpose/project, so I'm sure you'll be able to find some kind of info on that somewhere. Tie that into what you want to do, WHY you want to work in a lab in the first place (more research experience, interest in AIDS, etc). Back when I was a freshman I emailed a few professors and flat out told them I never got a great research experience when I was at other labs (during high school), and want to be able to work on my own in a lab on campus. I love the lab where I work at now, and the projects tie in perfectly with courses I'm taking right now.
 

Sparda29

En Taro Adun
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Mar 25, 2008
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I was working for a few weeks with my Organic Chem II professor, but he told me that it would be futile unless I was actually planning on doing Chemistry, otherwise I'd just be padding my resume (which he didn't want me to be doing). So I left.
 

mustang sally

10+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2007
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The middle of nowhere
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Pharmacist
Definitely just go talk to your professor or e-mail her about the possiblity of working in the lab. A lot of professors seem happy to take on hard-working undergrads.

If you can't find anything about her research online, you could try searching in pubmed by last name to find recent papers by your professor and read those to try to get some sense of her research (however, depending on your research experience, scientific papers could be hard to understand).:luck:
 
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