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I am an undergraduate student in the US getting ready to apply for some research internships as well as cold emailing some professors for some opportunities (all in the US). This will be the first time I will be applying for a research internship; that is, I do not have any previous internship-based research experience. I've noticed that undergraduates who have completed research internships tend to have a "Research Experience" section on their CVs. I have, on the other hand, completed a few courses with significant research components.

Is it acceptable if I include a "Course-based Research Experience" in my CV wherein I briefly explain (using a couple of bullets) the kind of research I did in these courses or am I better off having that information in a cover letter? The issue is that some internships don't allow me to submit cover letters and for the ones that do, if I try to describe the kind of research I did in detail, the cover letter ends up being longer than ideal.

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  • Can you explain what it means to you to have a course with a significant research component?
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 31 '20 at 14:08
  • @BryanKrause By that, I meant classes with research papers for (mostly final) assignments. Aug 31 '20 at 14:27
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    I wouldn't normally consider a research paper to be "research experience", assuming these are the sorts of papers that summarize work by others without making some novel contribution to science/human knowledge. That's just a normal part of coursework that is expected from the education section of your CV. Unless there is something about these papers that makes them different than how I am thinking...
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 31 '20 at 14:32
  • @BryanKrause This question was written with the discipline of economics in mind. In the papers I mentioned, I summarized other's works for a literature review section, but I also conducted statistical testing on my own. Hence, would it be acceptable to have a "course-based research experience" section on my CV? Would you recommend merging this experience somehow in the education section itself? Aug 31 '20 at 14:37
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    Not sure what the standard is in economics. Sounds to me like just basic coursework but I'm a biologist. In biology we do lots of courses where there is a lab component where we do experiments, get results, do statistical analysis, and write into papers, and also courses with substantial papers written based on literature (sort of a review-style). I would not consider either of these to be research experience in biology.
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 31 '20 at 14:42
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Just call it "Research Experience." The fact that you happened to earn course credit at the same time you did the research is irrelevant to the needs of employers.

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  • Perhaps this is discipline specific? Aug 31 '20 at 7:21
  • I am looking to apply for research internships in Economics if that's what you're asking. Do you have any specific insights regarding this? Also, I think, at least in Economics, the idea is that the kind of research one does as part of a course is not as in-depth as one does in an internship, both time-wise and level-of-difficulty-wise. Aug 31 '20 at 14:29

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