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"Research" opportunies/Drone lab work for fresh HS grad?

Discussion in 'Congregation of the Masses' started by Berserker, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Berserker

    Berserker

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    Anyone know how to get an internship/research opportunity as a fresh high school graduate in a science/research facility? I know colleges offer those summer internship programs (ie. UC Davis COSMOS) but what kinds of volunteer/etc. opportunities are there for an 18 year old with no (scientific) job experience? I live in the Boston area btw.

    Also, for undergrads, how the hell do you get a research opportunity with a professor/graduate students? I read about freshmen doing lab work with professors and the like all the time. How do you qualify? I have the right knowledge of math, chemistry, and physics (but only limited to what a junior learns in university) plus knowledge of how to handle basic applications like PCR, DNA sequencing, and everything else every high schooler knows, I just don't have the resume. What kind of things should I have if I apply to such a position (CAD models, etc.)?
  2. MrIndigo

    MrIndigo

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    Almost every research job I know of is PhD minimum. If you want to do research projects it's usually done through your college as a student, as almost every university has a lab component for science degrees, and often you can substitute the standard lab program for research under one of the professors.
  3. cim

    cim happiness is such hard work
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    Should have looked in March, not July.

    You get research in college by going to the college, finding professors doing interesting work, and asking nicely.
  4. chaos

    chaos
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    I spent two summers in the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates program. They pay you to go to another university, get you a research mentor for the summer, etc. I had a lot of fun.

    As for doing work at your own school, get to know your professors? Show that your research interests align? Talk to your academic adviser.
  5. Luminouzz

    Luminouzz

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    I'm a high school junior, but I've had some research experience, so I'll try to help out.


    The best possible way would be getting to know one of your college professors and inquiring about his or her research interests. Hopefully, they'll have an open spot for you.

    You can also try programs that provide science mentors. There are a few well known ones around.

    Also, try contacting professors whose work interests you. This often works out better than expected. Professors can always use a drone lab work, and you'll probably pick up a little on the research side. Emphasize your enthusiasm for their subject and research area :)
  6. TAY

    TAY You and I Know
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    Just e-mail a professor saying "hey I'm interested in your area of research, do you need any help from an undergrad?" Several of my friends have gotten on board research projects that way, and one now has a job and an offer for grad school.

    Something of note is that this is not the same process as applying for a job, as you seems to believe - if the professor needs help (likely with menial stuff at first, but experience will come quickly!) the he or she will take it. It turns out that in the academic world people appreciate free labor. You might have some trouble with no class experience, but once you have taken some classes it shouldn't be too difficult.

    If the professor says he or she doesn't need help, it's no big deal. You can just e-mail another one.

    Also it might help to know what field you are interested in.
  7. Waytoo

    Waytoo

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    This is the best advice. I'm in college now but when I was in high school I got into a college laboratory by emailing, and actually talking in person to, professors at nearby colleges. In fact, I met my major advisor (biology) but working in his lab my junior year of high school.
  8. Myzozoa

    Myzozoa Throw-up on the internet, or get off on TV
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    I have some advice based on doing research at UCI while I was in high school during the summers. Pretty much the most important thing is to know what you're actually getting into. The first year I did it I wasn't really assertive in regards to doing what I actually wanted to be doing (you may or may not have the luxury of choosing where you are placed) and I ended up reading CT Scans of dead people all fucking summer for like literally 7 hours each day. It was very boring and unsatisfying. So you need to make sure you end up doing something you actually enjoy or you'll go crazy. Common sense maybe, but keep it in mind.
  9. Berserker

    Berserker

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    Thanks for the answers. It's been a while since I've checked, but I was wondering if any engineering/comp sci/science majors had any experience with MATLAB. Is it a valuable skill that intern employers/researchers look for in undergrads? What specific field in MATLAB or any other programming language/science skill is useful, or makes you 'scarce'?
  10. mtr

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    What TAY said.

    I would like to add that you should make an effort to show the guy that you didn't just C/P a message. Write his name, maybe a bit about yourself, your major, your career goals, etc, and mention the field he works in.

    Of course, some people suggest that you actually read a paper the professor wrote and talk about it, but IMO that's wayyyyy to time consuming to do on a large scale (and I mean large scale, you should probably email like 50 profs to get like 2 callbacks).

    MATLAB experience is a huge bonus for a field in sciences/engineering from my experience.
  11. FearZeCrawdaunt

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    Lab experience is a huge plus. Ever made an SDS PAGE gel plate? Ever taken a mortar and pestle and ground onion mulch with sand in it (it's not hard...). Ever handled/added Bromalain Blue as a dye to count cells, or prepared a cell culture for cryopreservation with glycerol or DMSO, or applied cell cultures to agar plates?

    None of this is particularly hard. But having that kind of experience means very little training time, and it also means you know proper lab procedures. You'll cover most of the procedures (and more) in any first and/or second year Biology course, and likewise for similar labwork in chemistry. Without it, you'd probably find it difficult to get a job in a lab without knowing someone on the inside.

    A great suggestion though, is just ask your university if there's work experience available, and I'm sure they could help point you in the right direction. And, like others have said multiple times, email professors and make it genuine.
  12. Morm

    Morm

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    go in and introduce yourself, offer to volunteer and then when sometimes paid comes up you may just win.

    Pretty much though you must go to university. Undergrad in progress minimum, usually 4th or sometimes 3rd year.

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