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Help on email for undergraduate research mentor

  1. Apr 28, 2010 #1
    Hello all,
    I am currently emailing a professor asking if he would be willing to mentor me and take me under as an intern. Unfortunately I do not know what is etiquette to state in an email such as this. Ultimately I am asking to meet and discuss the matter but I am unsure how to propose the question in a decent and appealing way. Any help on the matter will be greatly appreciated so thank you to any who provide input.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2010 #2
    Does he teach at your school? If so, stopping by his office during office hours is far more effective. Otherwise, look up professional business letter/cover letter format. That's basically it.

    Dear Prof. X,
    I am a [freshman/sophomore/junior/senior] at university A, studying B. I am very interested in the work you are doing in C and would love to do an REU/research with you. Do you have any positions open for (unpaid) undergrad research students?

    Basically, keep it short, simple, and to the point.
  4. Apr 29, 2010 #3
    Do you already know this professor? Have you taken a class with them previously?

    My personal feeling about this is that it should be done in person. When I was an undergrad, I was in a very similar position as you are. I sent an email to each professor I was interested in working with, asking to meet with them to discuss their research. I eventually (after a somewhat comical case of mistaken identity) did some research with a professor for credit, ended up with a co-authorship of an article and set me up nicely for my graduate work.

    Good luck.
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