The search for a research mentor

In summary, the individual is looking for a summer research position at their university and wants to focus on developing efficient water filters for developing countries. They are unsure of which field to approach for a professor and are considering chemical engineering, but are open to suggestions. They are seeking advice on finding a professor who may have experience or interest in projects related to outreach and development.
  • #1
Melawrghk
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So my university apparently gives out summer research positions to undergrad students. I'm in engineering and for about a year now I've been thinking about efficient easy-to-make water filters for developing countries. The whole idea originated from a science competition in high school, but that's besides the point.

So I figured I could try to get a position by developing my idea further. Now my problem is that I have to find a professor willing to take me as a summer research person.

Which field should I look for professors in? I was thinking chemical engineering, but I think that might be a little off. Soooo.. I don't quite know. Help is appreciated :)
 
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  • #2
You may want to look and see if any of the science or engineering faculty has ever been involved in "Engineers without Borders" or similar outreach... therefore even if they have no ongoing work relating to your project, they might be sympathetic and be willing to take on the role of adviser.
 
  • #3


I applaud your interest in using your engineering skills to address a pressing global issue like access to clean water in developing countries. Finding a research mentor can be a challenging task, but it is an important step towards achieving your goals.

Firstly, I would suggest looking for professors in fields related to your idea, such as environmental engineering or water resources engineering. These professors may have expertise and experience that aligns with your research interests and can provide valuable guidance and support.

Additionally, consider reaching out to professors in other departments or disciplines that may have an interest in your project. For example, a professor in the chemistry department may have knowledge about water treatment processes, while a professor in the social sciences may have insights on the cultural and societal aspects of implementing water filters in developing countries.

It is also important to reach out to potential mentors with a clear and concise research proposal outlining your idea and how you plan to develop it further. This will show your dedication and commitment to the project and make you a more attractive candidate for the position.

In your search for a research mentor, don't be discouraged if you face rejections or delays. Keep reaching out to professors and networking within your university to find the right fit for your project. I wish you all the best in your search and hope you find a mentor who will guide you towards making a positive impact in the world.
 

1. How do I find a research mentor?

There are a few ways to find a research mentor. First, you can reach out to professors or researchers in your field of interest and inquire about potential mentorship opportunities. You can also attend conferences or networking events to meet potential mentors. Additionally, your university may have a mentorship program that can connect you with a mentor.

2. What qualities should I look for in a research mentor?

Some important qualities to look for in a research mentor include expertise in your field of interest, good communication skills, availability and willingness to provide guidance, and a positive and supportive attitude. It is also important to find a mentor who shares similar research interests and approaches.

3. How do I approach a potential research mentor?

When approaching a potential research mentor, it is important to be professional and respectful. Introduce yourself and explain your research interests and goals. Ask if they would be interested in discussing potential mentorship opportunities and if they have any availability. Be prepared to provide your CV or resume and any relevant research experience or coursework.

4. What is expected of me as a mentee?

As a mentee, it is expected that you will be dedicated, motivated, and respectful of your mentor's time and expertise. You should be open to feedback and willing to learn and grow as a researcher. It is also important to communicate effectively and keep your mentor updated on your progress and any challenges you may be facing.

5. What if I am not satisfied with my research mentor?

If you are not satisfied with your research mentor, it is important to address the issue directly and professionally. Schedule a meeting to discuss your concerns and try to find a solution. If the issue cannot be resolved, you may consider looking for a new mentor. However, it is important to carefully consider the reasons for your dissatisfaction and ensure that the issue is not with your own expectations or performance as a mentee.

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