I'll be finishing up my freshman year shortly and want to get involved in research as early as possible, in order to establish relationships/connections and to make myself a more appealing grad school candidate in the future. My question is: Is it acceptable to simply contact a researcher at my university and offer him/her my services, or is this likely to get me ignored? I would make it clear that I am volunteering to work entirely without charge, and am prepared to do whatever slave-work they happen to assign me, however petty or tedious. The work experience is all I'm after. Is this likely to get me a position? Any other words of advice? EDIT: I should note that of the researchers I am considering approaching, I am familiar with and genuinely interested in their work, having read some of their publications.