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How to approach Prof. for research (undergrad)

  1. May 5, 2007 #1
    So, I’m wrapping up my junior-ish (looks like I’m on the 4.5 year program) year at UCD majoring in Mech/Aero engineering. I’m starting to think about grad school applications due this November and wanting to get into some research to boost my chances of acceptance.

    - My question is how do i approach a prof and ask for a research position?

    I'm a transfer student so i don't know a lot of the profs as well as most people do. But i have generated some sort of relationship with a few of my favs.

    Any comments are helpful,

  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2007 #2


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    Just pick up the phone or stop by their office and ask. If you have a particular interest in mind, let them know. I've had students come to me and ask about research positions, and sometimes their interests don't match mine or I don't have any room in the lab for another student, but I can point them toward people who do have positions available or who are doing work more relevant to their interests.

    You may find it harder to get a position if you're already entering your senior year, so I'd suggest you try to look now to see if anyone has an opening over the summer so you can be more useful during your senior year. The reason I say that is that it's a lot of work to train a new student only to have them leave as soon as they start to get good at a few things in the lab. It happens, but if someone has a choice between a student entering their junior year or their senior year, they'll likely choose the junior and hope they'll stick around two years instead of just one.
  4. May 5, 2007 #3
    Thanks moonbear,

    I wish i'd asked earlier then. I figured my lack of basic UD classes (dynamics, thermo...) would eliminate me from useful work. Good to know now though.
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