There are many threads that talk about the importance of Undergraduate Research (for Grad school apps), but I just have a few questions, that maybe someone with experience could answer. 1.) What use is an undergrad to a professor? To me I don't see what we could do for them that they couldn't just do themselves or get one of their grad students to do... If you have worked with a professor as an undergrad what did he expect of you? Did you just twiddle your thumbs and get in the way? (I am really afraid of this happening). 2.) What skills would maximize a professors desire (or perhaps minimize his frustration) with taking on an Undergrad? Programming ability? Would being handy with your um. hands help in a lab setting? 3.) How should one approach or e-mail a professor? Tips? Words of advice? 4.) Are there any research areas, specifically, that are conducive to a lot of grunt work? All of these of course vary from one professor to another, but just some general help to reduce my apprehension with approaching professors :) Thanks for any replies!