2 answers

How do I become involved in research opportunities outside of the classroom?

Asked Salisbury, North Carolina

I am undecided on what major I would want to go into so I am interested in finding out if some of these career paths are viable options for me later in life. #research #college #medical-practice

2 answers

Nicole’s Answer


I think it is important to have at least some idea of what you are interested in before diving into research opportunities. Broadly speaking, if you are interested in psychology, you should volunteer in a psychology lab. If you are interested in neurobiology, I would suggest getting some coursework done before applying to volunteer in those labs.

Also, don't be intimidated by emailing the PI and/or lab manager of the lab. Explain your experience, your interests and your goals both within the lab work experience and in your academic career.

Best of luck!

Nicole recommends the following next steps:

  • Think about what you are broadly interested in
  • Find labs at your school that relate to your interests
  • Compile a resume and/or cover letter
  • Email! :)

LouAnna’s Answer

Does your college have a research center? My campus did and it was called the Center for Research and Learning. They might be able to show you the current offerings on campus. I'd also suggest meeting with a career coach so they can ask you questions to narrow down your interests and help you decide on a major. They also offer different types of assessments to get you thinking of new possibilities.

LouAnna recommends the following next steps:

  • Google to see if your campus has a centralized research center/office
  • Meet with a career coach(es) on your campus to start brainstorming your interests and possible major options.
  • Utilize the online OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook) to research possible future careers. I LOVE this tool!
  • Keep asking questions!
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