Prince:Applying for a Research Position

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Undergraduates have the distinct opportunity to participate in meaningful research at BYU, and it can be wonderful or painful depending on how good a fit you are for the research position.

How to go about securing a research position:

  1. Learn about some professors and their research
    • Ask some students in the lab what they work on.
    • Read the professor's web site.
    • Read/skim some papers from the lab.
    • Does the lab have good funding (if you are very interested in paid positions)?
    • Does this topic area interest me?
    • Are these the kinds of skills I'd like to develop?
    • Perhaps talk directly with the professor about their research.
  2. Make your case to the professor (in writing and in person) that you would like to join the lab
    • What skills do I have or am I developing? [If you have substantial skills, you can probably get a paid position from the beginning] How will these benefit the lab? Do I have a unique skill or perspective?
    • How much do I know about this professor's research? Why do I want to work for them?
    • Am I willing to volunteer for a time until I gain some skills?
    • How motivated am I?
    • How will this research help me achieve my long-term goals?
    • Can I do research for class credit?
    • Is there a project I'm already interested in? Can I get funding for it? (ORCA, Undergraduate Research Awards)
    • Do I have a resume prepared?