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I'm curious whether there are programs that run during the school year as I have found cold emailing ineffective so far. I have emailed many professors and want to know whether there are more effective ways to get a mentor to work under for possible research projects that they are performing.?

I'm curious whether there are programs that run during the school year as I have found cold emailing ineffective so far. I have emailed many professors and want to know whether there are more effective ways to get a mentor to work under for possible research projects that they are performing.

Thank you comment icon I am a freshman in NJ hoping to get opportunities instate. Divyesh

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Katherine’s Answer

Hey Divyesh,

You might like the book The Proximity Principle by Ken Coleman, to help you with ideas for how to make connections to people you want to work closer with.
Thank you comment icon Hi Katherine, thank you for adding an answer! Can you provide some more detail around how this book recommendation will help the student? Sharyn Grose, Admin
Thank you comment icon Currently, I am unaware of any research programs for summer for 9th and 10th graders and am searching for internships possible for these grades and hoping that you could suggest a medical program somewhere in the mid-Atlantic states at some universities such as Rutgers or NJIT. I am okay with the internship even if it is not in NJ as long as it is somewhere close and was hoping you could suggest me specific programs. Divyesh
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James Constantine’s Answer

Greetings, Divyesh from New Jersey!

You've raised a valid concern about finding a mentor for research projects, especially when cold emailing doesn't seem to be working. Don't worry, there are several other strategies and programs you can explore to connect with potential mentors during the school year.

1. Research Programs and Internships:
Check out research programs and internships offered by various universities. They are designed for students like you to get involved in ongoing research projects under the guidance of professors. These programs usually have a structured application process, making it easier for you to connect with potential mentors.

2. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP):
Many universities have a UROP that aims to link undergraduate students with faculty mentors for research projects. This program offers a great chance for you to gain practical experience in your field of interest while working with experienced researchers.

3. Departmental Research Seminars and Events:
Attending research seminars and events in your department can help you network with professors and researchers. These events are a great way to learn about ongoing research projects and meet potential mentors in person.

4. Office Hours and Personal Meetings:
Instead of just sending emails, consider meeting professors during their office hours or setting up personal meetings. This gives you a chance to interact directly with potential mentors, allowing them to know you better.

5. Peer Recommendations:
Ask your classmates who have worked with professors on research projects for recommendations. Their insights and connections could be very helpful in finding a mentor that suits your research interests.

6. Online Research Platforms:
Make use of online platforms like ResearchGate, Academia.edu, or LinkedIn to connect with researchers and professors. These platforms can help you showcase your research interests and academic achievements, and could be a great way to find a mentor.

Remember, the success of these strategies can vary based on the university, department, and individual professors. Being persistent, professional, and showing genuine interest in their research can increase your chances of finding a mentor.

In conclusion, while cold emailing might not always work, there are many other effective ways to find a mentor during the school year. Research programs and internships, UROP programs, departmental research seminars and events, personal meetings with professors, peer recommendations, and online research platforms are all great options.

Top 3 References Used:

1. Harvard University - Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP): https://uraf.harvard.edu/
2. Stanford University - Office of Science Outreach: https://oso.stanford.edu/
3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP): https://urop.mit.edu/

Best wishes,
Jim from Australia
Thank you comment icon James Constantine, thank you! Divyesh
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