In particular if one has little practical experience with research in the field (neuroscience), and has limited research experience in another area though did not fit well (computer vision).

What does one put on the email? Classes taken? Experiments done? Skills (reading primary literature, matlab, statistics and writing)? Or just a request for a meeting?

Should I mention in the email my major research requirements that specify I must work in the same lab for two semesters with paperwork (which my advisor suggested volunteering in first to see how I fit)?

  • You email list of items is appropriate, but for me, one gauge is: enthusiasm & interest. Convey that as honestly as possible. Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 0:12

1 Answer 1


Whenever approaching a faculty member relating to research, I recommend that early career students offer them a resume/CV and some concrete example of research interest (a question about a recent paper, how you heard about the lab and why it interests you, demonstrating drive by reaching out to the current lab members, etc).

In the email, state your discipline, the research requirements, any potential references they may already know (like your advisor). Ask for a meeting with a specific length of time (10-15 min) with a clear objective (to get a tour, hear about the research, get more involved in the lab,etc ), and if you don't hear back within a week -- follow up.

  • 1
    mention in conversation any hands-on experience/ programming experience/ (In experimental science, someone who has accumulated some common sense or experience through hands-on hobbies or summer jobs can translate into the advisor feeling more confident about the totally newbie student being a successful catch for the team.
    – Carol
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 4:26

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