Develop a list of possible mentors:                                                                                          

There are very few central list of research opportunities, and the vast majority will never be listed anywhere. Students need to search for faculty or graduate students who are willing to mentor them. Most often, research begins with volunteering in a lab. Approaches to finding these opportunities include:

Contact mentors you are interested in working with: 

Emails or meetings with mentors are professional interactions similar to job interviews. The best approach is to contact faculty or graduate students directly to see if you can set up a meeting to discuss volunteering. A few tips: 

    • Do not send blanket emails. Address each professor or graduate student individually and try to set up a meeting.
    • Unless positions are advertised, students should propose volunteering. Volunteering can lead to paid positions.
    • Volunteers are not expected to have experience. If you do have experience, let them know about it.
    • Students are not expected to work many hours when volunteering. Be honest about what you can commit to.
    • It is a good idea to put together a resume to attach to your email. Review the resume tips on the careers website.
    • You should wait at least a week before you expect a response to emails. If you do not hear back from a faculty member you can stop by and talk to them about your message or politely follow up by email.

Once you find a mentor, then you can consider some of the many research funding opportunities at OSU and elsewhere.