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Contact Potential Faculty Mentors

  • Typically, students contact potential faculty mentors via email first, however, expect to have a face-to-face meeting with this faculty member at some point.
    • The email should be professional: address the faculty member, explain why their research is interesting to you, how participating in undergraduate research would be beneficial to you and your future, what skills you have already developed that could be helpful to the faculty member's research, and any other information that would make you desirable to the faculty member. Take this time to explain, in detail, why this faculty member should allow you to join their lab or other research setting.
    • At the end of the email, add your available times to meet with the faculty member. This makes it easy for the faculty member to hit reply and set a meeting up with you.
    • A resume can be attached if you feel it is necessary. A research resume is different than a job resume, though, and we encourage you to visit the Younkin Success Center for more information.
    • Proofread your email before sending it! And follow up with the faculty member if you do not hear back from them the first time. Tip: the OUR&CI would be happy to review your email before you click "send."
    • Follow up if you do not hear a response.
  • If a face-to-face meeting is set up between you and the faculty member, be sure to treat this meeting as an interview. Dress appropriately, prepare yourself by reviewing information about the faculty member, review the basic information about the research position that you are hoping to receive, and be able to relate to the position by connecting your skills, knowledge and experience to what the faculty member is looking for. 
  • If, at any time, the faculty member who you are reaching out to responds saying that they are unable to have you join their research project, continue the conversation with them! You have already made a connection on campus, in the field that you hope to get involved in as far as research goes, so use that connection to your advantage! Ask the faculty member, "well, what about next semester?" or "do you know of any other faculty members on campus who are conducting simliar research?"

Don't forget, the OUR&CI is here to help you throughout this entire process! We have open walk-in hours at our office (53 W 11th Avenue) Monday-Friday from 10:00am-4:00pm. You can also email us with any questions that you may have at