Emailing departments for research assistant job?

  • Thread starter Simfish
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  • #1
Simfish
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I'm just curious - has anyone (with a BS or PhD) done this before? And has this ever been successful?

It doesn't need to be a postdoc job or anything - just research assistant.

I'm not intending to do this right now, but I may consider this option in the future.
 

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  • #2
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I'm just curious - has anyone (with a BS or PhD) done this before? And has this ever been successful?

I've never heard of someone getting a job via a cold call e-mail. I don't think it's very likely to work, because if they have money for a research assistant, they are going to give it to a graduate student that applies through the standard application process.

I have heard of undergraduates informally getting a job as a lab assistant, but this is with the university that they were already attending. I've also heard of people getting positions after they've sent an e-mail to someone after then have been informed through the grape vine that something was open. But even in these situations its was to confirm that there was something there, and they had to send over a standard application.

I'm not intending to do this right now, but I may consider this option in the future.

It doesn't seem promising to me. The trouble is that there aren't that many research positions, and what positions there are go to people that use the standard application process.
 
  • #3
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I cold emailed several PIs at DOD labs. I received 4 calls backs. One of them was 2 hours after I sent out the first email! I think I could have had offers from all four PIs but I jumped on the first offer. I was really worried about the economy and should have played it slower. It all really depends on the funding at the lab. The year I came in they had a ton of money for "extra" people. This year, not soo much because of the continuing resolution.
 
  • #4
6,814
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I cold emailed several PIs at DOD labs. I received 4 calls backs. One of them was 2 hours after I sent out the first email! I think I could have had offers from all four PIs but I jumped on the first offer. I was really worried about the economy and should have played it slower. It all really depends on the funding at the lab. The year I came in they had a ton of money for "extra" people. This year, not soo much because of the continuing resolution.

Cool.

Also, what I said before applies only to university departments. Among corporations, the way that you get a job is basically to spam e-mail the right people, and it looks like the same is true with DOD labs.

One thing about defense is that citizen/residency requirements eliminates a lot of people. If your parents are major Party officials in China, then your application to work in a US-defense industry is going to have problems.
 

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