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How to approach Professor about research?

Hello. I'm a wildlife biology major transferring to a four-year school. One of the professors does research, and after inquiring about a Special Topics in biology class, found he organizes wildlife monitoring/research with snakes, amphibians, and small mammals. While I do not need anymore credits this semester, I am hoping to still assist in the wildlife monitoring.

What is the best way to approach him? I was thinking about telling him I would be extremely interested in assisting with the wildlife monitoring even though I will not the taking the Special Topics in biology class for credit. A CV has been prepared and will be given to him to share my previous experience. Thank you for any assistance and suggestions!

#wildlife-biology #undergraduate-research-experience

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Joyce’s Answer

Yes! Having a CV ready is a very good step. During my years as an undergraduate research assistant, I simply approached my professors expressing interest into their projects that they have. I asked if it was possible for me to help and more often then not, they're more than happy to take you in. At the very least, in my case, the labs I volunteered for needed hands!

Joyce recommends the following next steps:

Approach with the intention to help, tell him about your passions and how you could contribute to the work they are doing
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I’s Answer

I agree that you should express your interest ASAP! Specify why you're interested in this particular work, adding what you'd like to do with this experience in future. In my freshman year, I emailed my assigned adviser asking about any opportunities in the department. I made sure to specify that I wanted to do it as undergrad research experience and did not need to get paid. He didn't have any opportunities but he forwarded my request on to the whole department. That really made me cringe but the upside is that I got a research opportunity, and later research funding out of it. So I say start by emailing a professor!

I recommends the following next steps:

Along with previous experience, share how this research will help with future aspirations.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the response! After talking with him last week, he directed me towards the people doing the research and I will be assisting with the snake monitoring once a week. I am really excited the experience that will be gained. Patricia
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