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How can I get research done with a professor as a High Schooler?

I'm currently in 10th grade and I wish to partner up with somebody, preferably a professor to help them with research. Does anyone have some tips/info on how to accomplish such a task?

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Subject: Career question for you


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Karin’s Answer

Hi William,

I would recommend you get in touch with the Science and Engineering Fair (I have left links below). There are local fairs, and if you do well, you can advance to the state fair. If you do well there, you might go to an international science fair (ISEF).

Explore which category you might be interested in. You can participate with a home-grown project, but many of the successful participants work with universities. If you are in Grade 10 now, you can still participate for several years.

You can contact the organisers to find out if any of the schools in your area participate. You can also ask if they can point you to any mentors, and if they work with any universities.

I hope this helps! Science Fairs are phantastic opportunities to "get your feet wet", make connections, and win awards that will help you with college applications and scholarships.


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Sahida’s Answer

Getting involved in research as a high school student can be a rewarding experience. Here are some tips on how to approach and work with a professor on a research project:

Identify Your Interests:

Before reaching out to professors, identify your specific interests within a field. This will help you find a professor whose research aligns with your passion.
Research Potential Professors:

Look into the faculty members at local universities or research institutions. Explore their research profiles, recent publications, and areas of expertise.
Prepare a Resume and Cover Letter:

Create a professional resume highlighting your academic achievements, relevant coursework, and any extracurricular activities. Write a concise cover letter expressing your interest in their research and explaining how you can contribute.
Craft a Polite and Well-Structured Email:

Send a well-crafted email to the professor expressing your interest in their work and explaining why you want to get involved in research. Attach your resume and cover letter to provide more information about yourself.
Be Specific About Your Goals:

Clearly state your goals and what you hope to achieve through the research experience. Professors are more likely to engage with students who have a clear understanding of what they want to learn and contribute.
Be Flexible and Open to Suggestions:

Professors may have ongoing projects or specific needs in their research. Be open to discussing how you can fit into their existing work or adapt your interests to align with their projects.
Attend Department Seminars and Workshops:

Attend departmental seminars, workshops, or events where professors present their work. This can be an excellent opportunity to meet them in person, ask questions, and express your interest.
Consider Summer Research Programs:

Many universities and research institutions offer summer research programs for high school students. These programs provide a structured environment for you to work with professors and other researchers.
Build Relationships Gradually:

If a professor expresses interest in working with you, take the opportunity to build a relationship gradually. Attend meetings, ask questions, and show your commitment to the research.
Be Persistent and Professional:

Professors are busy, and it may take time to receive a response. Be persistent but professional in your follow-ups. If you don't get a response, consider reaching out to other professors.
Remember to be patient and persistent. Building relationships in the academic world can take time, but the experience gained through research can be invaluable for your future academic and professional endeavors.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! William