Identify your interests
Take advantage of undergraduate research initiatives
Identify faculty members who share your interests
Stop! Prepare before contacting faculty members
Contact a faculty member
Prepare for your initial meeting with a faculty member
Ensure a successful first meeting with a faculty member
Keep in mind. . .
Identify your interests.
- What topics interest you?
- What relevant coursework have you taken or do you plan to take?
- Is there something you are passionate about and would like to explore?
- What volunteer or work experience do you have?
- What organizations, sports, or activities do you participate in?
- What are your favorite courses?
Take advantage of undergraduate research initiatives.
A variety of programs exist to support undergraduate research on campus.
Identify faculty members who share your interests.
- Search EUREKA for potential research projects and faculty who work on your preferred topics.
- Read faculty profiles on departmental web pages.
- Browse organized research units on campus.
Stop! Prepare before contacting faculty members.
- Approach faculty with respect. Before you approach a professor, do your homework. Read her or his web site, find out about recent publications, and have a good understanding of that person’s research.
- Make sure you can clearly articulate your interests. An Advisor at the Office of Undergraduate Research can help.
Contact a faculty member.
- Be professional. Write an email in a formal, respectful tone. Address the faculty member as ‘Prof. X’ or ‘Dr. Y.’
- Include a sentence or two stating your interests and topics you would like to explore (primarily those that the faculty member shares with you).
- Show your enthusiasm and commitment.
Prepare for your initial meeting with a faculty member.
- Review what made you interested in this topic (courses, college experiences, family/background, media).
- Look over the faculty member’s curriculum vitae and/or publications.
- Think about skills and qualities you can bring to the project.
Ensure a successful first meeting with a faculty member.
- Be confident, excited, and relaxed.
- Introduce yourself and address the faculty member as ‘Prof. X’ or ‘Dr. Y.’
- Look presentable. This isn’t a job interview, but you should dress neatly.
- Ask the professor what will be expected of you.
Keep in mind . . .
- Be willing to start “at the bottom.” Just remember, eventually you will reach the top.
- Be yourself. The faculty member will want to get to know your interests and ideas.
- Think about your availability. How much time do you have to commi