Survey: What were your biggest problems with finding undergraduate research?

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New Member
Jan 27, 2018
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I'd like to know how the process of finding undergraduate research was/is for you.

Please fill out this short 2-minute survey:

1. What was/is the hardest part about declaring a research interest?
I have too many interests
I don't have any interests
I can't figure out what my interests are
No problems; I always had a well-formed research interest

2. What is the scariest part about finding an undergraduate research position?
Approaching professors or lead researchers
Not knowing enough about the group's research
Marketing myself effectively without past research experience
Other (please specify)

3. What is the hardest part about writing the application for a research position?
Answering "why this program"
Answering "what are your interests"
Answering "what are your long-term goals"
Answering "why research"
Other (please specify)

4. If you have undergraduate research experience, what are your biggest regrets? If you don't have undergraduate research experience, what are your biggest concerns?


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2017
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1) Getting a professor to respond to emails asking for an open lab position or even an appointment to meet with them.
2) a) Not knowing what to expect since research was new for me
b) getting a professor to respond to emails
3)a) Hardest part was finding a reason to do research sounding convincing enough.
b) Did i mention trying to get a professor to respond to emails.
4) I wish i had looked for a lab position earlier.
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kitty cat yin yang
Moderator Emeritus
5+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
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1. No problems. Never had any issues with finding an interest.
2. I personally don't find any of it scary. The biggest unknown is probably convincing someone to work with you or to let you work with them, but that's just selling yourself. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out.
3. I've never had to write an application.
4. If I had stayed with my first lab longer, I probably would have gotten a publication out of it. But I was going to school and working for one, and for two, I hated working with rats, so I moved on. But I don't regret it. That's maybe the only thing I would have done differently wrt research.

The Knife & Gun Club

5+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2015
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1). Getting a professor to be willing to train you...and also respond to emails lol.

2). Marketing without a doubt. I was also very scared I’d mess up the project, which I came very close to a couple times, but luckily the residents saved my ass.

3) long term goals...aka is this kid actually gonna stay for a couple years and put in the required effort

4) only regret is that I didn’t start earlier. I spent a whole year doing full time 40 hrs/WL research and wasn’t even able to get a pub until a year AFTER I left the lab.