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Undergrad Research

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

The university I go to offers a lot of undergrad research opportunities and I am currently trying to get one. I read about every physics professor in the department that does research and then I read some of their papers and researched them some more. I narrowed it down to a group of about five professors, but I still plan on emailing majority of the department. My question is though, do I send them an email and tell them things about myself like a job resumé or what do I include in the email?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
RUber
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Your best bet is to email them asking for a time (15-30 mins) to meet face to face to discuss research opportunities.
If you want to add more, they will likely be interested in knowing what your goals are and how much time you plan on committing.
Most people I know would much rather discuss potential work/research relationships in person.
 
  • #3
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If I were you, I'd e-mail your five first, and then if none of those pan out, work on some others. E-mailing the entire department is maybe not a good idea.

When I was a freshman looking to do research, I e-mailed a professor who was apparently retired. He then forwarded my e-mail to the group I work with now, so it's possible that this may happen to you as well. I wouldn't personally recommend emailing more than one professor at a time, just in case the website isn't updated or some such.
 
  • #4
Choppy
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I agree with Dishsoap.

Spamming a department is not a way to make a good first impression. And what happens if you get five different professors emailing you back? Start by talking to one or two. Be upfront about what your interests are and ask them for advice. As Dishsoaop said that can often lead you to where you want to be.

As far as content of the initial email, I would keep it short and polite. Explain that you're an Nth year student and give them your program. Explain your interests and goals and that you're interested in that particular professor's research. A curriculum vitae (academic resume) helps.
 
  • #5
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He sounds like a first or second year student, he probably doesn't have anything to put on a CV except for maybe special projects.
 
  • #6
I am about to start my second year so I don't really have anything to put on an academic resume but I appreciate all the advice
 

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