cmb81

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Finishing freshman year at VCU and id like to do some research this summer (im interested in cancer immunology). I have no prior research. How do i go about setting this up? Who do i email and what do i say? Do i just send the head of the oncology dept. an email and ask him if he'll supervise me in an independent research project?
 

JETER

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cmb81 said:
Finishing freshman year at VCU and id like to do some research this summer (im interested in cancer immunology). I have no prior research. How do i go about setting this up? Who do i email and what do i say? Do i just send the head of the oncology dept. an email and ask him if he'll supervise me in an independent research project?
Most likely, it won't be that easy. Independent projects usually will go to those students who have prior lab experience. You will need to find someone (PI) who has some funding for UG students in their lab. The best way to do this is to research the projects that the faculty have, and then ask PIs of these labs that interest you if they would accept you (via email or in person). When you begin, you will most likely learn how to run equipments and some data analysis. Again, it is unlikely that you will be given the ok for an independent project, because of both lack of experience and your freshman status. But you need to get your foot in the door, and the suggestion above is a good place to start.

Their are ways of obtaining your own funding. These are difficult (to an extent) to obtain, but it is possible. In this case, a PI will be much more willing to have you work in his lab on your 'own' project.

Good luck
 

beary

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Several (many?) institutions have summer undergraduate research programs where you can apply to the program and then they will set you up with a mentor that matches your interests. However, I think most of these programs are looking for upperclassmen, but you should check it out. It is great that you want to get involved in research so early - if you have a pre-med, pre-grad type advisor at your school they may be a good resource to set you up with somebody.
 
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cmb81

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Well, i emailed one PI and he wrote me back and said that they usually only accept students with prior research...so thats a bummer. Just emailed another PI in the pathology dept. and crossing my fingers.
 

dave613

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cmb81 said:
Well, i emailed one PI and he wrote me back and said that they usually only accept students with prior research...so thats a bummer. Just emailed another PI in the pathology dept. and crossing my fingers.
Send out emails to a lot of PIs. You never know where you land. I sent out emails, and I landed a spot in a certain lab, that many people would pay the PI to be in..lol

Have faith!
 
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cmb81

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dave613 said:
Send out emails to a lot of PIs. You never know where you land. I sent out emails, and I landed a spot in a certain lab, that many people would pay the PI to be in..lol

Have faith!
I guess im gonna send out a bunch of emails tomorrow...the second PI said his lab was already full for the summer.