I graduated last year (Bachelors in Computer Science) and am currently working in the industry. I am thinking of applying to grad schools next year but don't have any research experience under my belt (did not pursue any research-oriented project during my undergrad, regret it now).

Therefore I was thinking of pursuing research under a professor before applying for masters (to get a good LoR, as well as get in a publication, if possible). In what circumstances do professors take up requests such as mine, and how should I approach him/her? Currently I am shortlisting the ongoing research projects relevant to my field of interest in prospective universities.

  • What country are you in? May 7, 2018 at 20:46
  • @astronat India. Although I'm intending to apply to grad schools in US/Canada/Europe.
    – nsane
    May 8, 2018 at 10:04

2 Answers 2


EXACTLY HOW do to define " research experience"? You may have more research experience than you thin,k. Bow many term papers Din;t you do ANY LIBRARY RESEARCH for term papers during middle school, high school or college, no matter what your major was in college? Library research IS RESEARCH. I learned how to write term papers with footnotes and reference lists in 7th and 8th grade more than 50 years ago. There was section of "how to use the library in English class in both grade school and the (th grade. That i went to private college prepatory schools in the United states is NOT that unique, "how to use' the library was also taught in public schools. in the USA. Apparently how to use a search engine is not being taught at all. I've been using Google since 1993 or 1994, but i went to back to college in 1992 just as the internet was taking off in higher education.

"...Undergraduate research experiences help students understand a particular topic or phenomenon in a field while simultaneously strengthening their comprehension of research and research methods. Undergraduate research is inquiry-based learning that involves practicing a discipline, not just being told about it...." https://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/studentresearch/What.html

You probably DO have research experience and do not realize because your haven't bothered to look up the definition of "research experience." I LOVE doing library research, but i know most people think library research is waste of time and is boring and tedious until they get stuck and HAVE to review the professional literature and KEEP UP with it g for the REQUIREMENTS for specific college degree and have to either numerous term papers or senior thesis which requires library research, possible lab research compiling data. and even Field work to father more data or field truthingt and verification like i did for my master's thsis, that what is in ssatellite image and geological maps really IS there on the ground and is real and is accurate..

Part of the point of going to college these days is to teach you HOW TO THINK critically , logically, analytically and objectively AND so you acquire the research skills to KEEP doing your own research AND contribute original knowledge to society.

You probably DO have research experience.

I am still getting used to how stack exchanges work too. I am AMAZED at how much research i can do online these without having to get anywhere near a brick and mortar library.


I am actually in a similar situation to the asker and would very much like to see other answers to this question. Please keep that in mind when considering this answer:

Given your background in Computer Science, my recommendation is to investigate the IETF


This is an organization which hosts protocols and other infrastructure documents related mostly to how the internet functions. It has a list of topics which it is interested in advancing, it provides resources for contacting and joining work groups and it hosts RFCs. The mission of the organization is not research per-say, but it is penetrable for someone who is non-academic but competent in Computer Science and RFCs are structurally similar to computer science research papers, with similar requirements required in terms of the validation and novelty expected of them. Even if you are not interested in working directly with the IETF, you will likely be able to find academics who could help you with your ultimate goal through it.

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