Attempting to get undergraduate research position

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Attempting to get undergraduate research position

Postby Jubi » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:08 pm UTC

or internship, or apprenticeship however I have the snag of not having above a 3.0 GPA in addition to having no proof that I am worthy of interest. So I suppose my question is what can I do on the side and in my free time to make myself more attractive to these groups? Outside of academic achievement how do I show that I have ability and put myself into consideration. I'm not looking for information about a specific major(although examples would help) more like information on things I can do that I can use as evidence for myself when applying to situations such as this.

Like writing papers on the topic, conducting experiments at home and other things?
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Re: Attempting to get undergraduate research position

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:54 pm UTC

I think you need to give a bit more detail...

What program are you in? What year?
What country are you taking your studies? (Guessing United States by the GPA, but some other countries use that system)
What type of university are you in? Small liberal-artsy type? Community college? Tier-1 research?
What type of research do you want to do?
Do you have other skills that might be relevant? Computer programming is a nice one for low-level science jobs in all fields. If you've done mechanical work or know your way around a machine shop, that can help too.

The most general help I can give is that it helps a lot if you get to know a couple of your profs from your classes. Visit them in office hours when they're not busy (they're probably bored out of their skulls and would be happy for some company). Ask about coursework (but know your stuff... ask good questions or about things beyond what you've covered). Talk about your interests in the subject and ask questions about their research interests. Visit regularly enough that they can at least pick you out in a crowd.

I hate to add this, but also, I'd suggest being more careful with your spelling and grammar if you submit anything written to a professor.

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Re: Attempting to get undergraduate research position

Postby sikyon » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:53 pm UTC

If all else fails, do it for free. If you can't afford to do it over an entire summer for free, do it while you're studying and then try to roll it into a summer position.

Also, don't be afraid to just go ask profs. If they can't give you something ask them for another prof to go to who might.

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Re: Attempting to get undergraduate research position

Postby Sungura » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:18 am UTC

Most professors will accept free help, so I suggest you just ask around in your department. You can start to build your CV really easily this way. Of course, smaller universities tend to be more open to undergraduates in the lab in my experience, so you may have a harder time if you are at a larger university.

Also, I have to second LaserGuys' comment on watching grammar on things you do in writing when applying; your post was a bit hard to sift through.
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Re: Attempting to get undergraduate research position

Postby Hit3k » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:34 am UTC

Most Australian universities they offer "Summer Scholarships" where 2nd year+ students get to work on a research project for x number of weeks over the summer holidays and they get paid for it!
I recommend you just go and ask some professors if they need any help with their research maybe.
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Re: Attempting to get undergraduate research position

Postby RockoTDF » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:19 am UTC

Whatever it is for your field, if you have a basic skill that a prof needs they will probably let you work for free. If your GPA sucks and you are in your first year, you needn't worry because a lot of people screw up their first year. Some of us even go to grad school later :-)
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