How far in advance should I contact professors about available summer research opportunities? For example, should I wait until a few weeks before summer begins? Right now seems like it'd be way too early.
If you wanted to apply for an REU programs (research at another university), the applications would be due between January and Feb. Which means that's about the same time it would be good to start looking for a summer research opportunity. Waiting until the year is almost over does not make you look like a student who will be dedicated to the project. Remember, undergrads are not useful - you're asking the professor to give up a lot of their time to help you for little return on their part.
While applications are between January and February, it is never to early to let a professor (or the department secretary- they know more than anyone else in the department!) know that you are interested.
We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving