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Finding a research position.

  1. Mar 16, 2006 #1


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    Well, I missed the NSERC deadline to try and get a grant to do research during the summer. I thought the grants were only available for natural sciences, so I didn't bother. Little do I know, I can get it and my professor recommended that I try.

    Anyways, I'm thinking of trying to get a research position without a grant. Professors usually hire students who have received grants because it is easier to pay them (since they already got money). So, it is still possible to get a research position as long as the professor can find the money.

    It may be a long shot, but I think I should try anyways.

    So, my question is how may I go about finding a position?

    I'm thinking about e-mailing professors that are in fields of my interest, and just e-mailing them directly about the possibility of getting a position. Of course, I'd have to send them my transcripts and resume if such a position is available.

    Is that fine?

    Note: I'm looking into Pure Math.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2006 #2
    If possible go see them personally. It leaves a better impression and you get a by far better opportunity to market yourself and your skills.
  4. Mar 17, 2006 #3
    I'll echo that sentiment. I've noticed that many professors aren't very good at promptly responding to e-mail, so by the time that you set up a meeting time, it might already be too late. Just go and talk to them during their office hours.
  5. Mar 17, 2006 #4


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    Well, the university I'm looking at is an hour away.

    I wouldn't say it is practical to show up randomly during their office hours.

    The math faculty at my university is too small to find research positions and they lack the funds. This other university has a much larger faculty, and definitely has some funds.
  6. Mar 17, 2006 #5
    Yeah I missed the NSERC application deadline in my first year(11.0/12.0 GPA). I was mad cuz our sci.dept screwed up the posting and gave use like 2 days to apply

    email the profs your interested in and ask if they are interested and willing to discuss possiblities...like the above you will have to go see them personelly to discuss stuff.

    but for your email include your overall GPA, possible reserach topics/projects, courses you taken. Then bring your resume/transcript
    and projects if you've done any. A reference might help to.
  7. Mar 17, 2006 #6


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    I don't think including my GPA in my opening e-mail as beneficial. If the possibility is there he will say so, my GPA won't change that.

    Yes, I agree that I will meet up with him/her afterwards. That's just common sense.
  8. Mar 17, 2006 #7
    I went and spoke with the head of the Physics department at the university I attend today and he has agreed to give me a research position without a grant.

    I too missed a deadline for my application and my uni doesn`t have the funds to pay me but i stressed how i wanted the experiance of doing some research and didn`t mind if i wasn`t paid.

    I would recommend making a phone call to the department where you are applying to, over sending an email, if the location of the uni is a problem. I find emails to impersonal and you can better responde to a negative reply from the department, during a phone call.
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