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Approaching a Faculty Member about Research

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Hello everyone!


I just have a few questions regarding research experience. How did you guys contact professors in your field?


I was briefly talking to an upperclass student a few months ago. We are in the same SLP undergrad program and we talked about grad school, GPA, and such.. and to be honest it intimidated me a lot! I asked her about possibly getting into a research group on campus with one of our faculty members in the department, but she said that professors only take A students.


I have taken 6 major classes so far and I have gotten B's or B pluses in all of them because I was working too many hours.


One of my other friends who is also an SLP undergrad student told me to contact a certain professor because of my interest in Phonetics and phonemes.


Do professors usually only take A students for their research or does it not matter as much. I know every professor is different.


Should I just go for it and email the professor?

I would love some feedback, advice, suggestions, anything! I also need some encouragement from fellow SLP students (undergrad/graduate) :)

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I just applied to work in a lab on memory. They wanted students with a 3.2, but I don't have that because of freshman year troubles. I noted that on my application, and mentioned my strong upward trend in GPA. Maybe try that? If you make your case, professors may be willing to give you a second chance.

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Maybe it varies from school to school, but I don't think mine care. I think if they ask then just mention that it was due to working too many hours but you have fixed that now and would love to gain more research experience... It's also good if you read some of their research so that you can mention it or discuss it. Maybe they did a study that interested you or something. 

I wouldn't e-mail every professor... only e-mail maybe two that taught a class you found interesting. keep it short and sweet, just saying "Dear Dr. X, This is Jane Doe. I was in your [ name of class] and found it very interesting. I was wondering if you had an opening in your lab, or if I could participate in lab meetings to gain more experience in [whatever they research].  Thank you."    Or if you have read some of their research, then say you would like to meet to talk about their research or ask something about it... then when you're there ask if there is a way you can volunteer or attend lab meetings.

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There's also the option of an independent study, rather than regular volunteering in the lab. It'd be a "class" but the professor usually just has you research and write a paper on a certain topic in the area that they study and maybe come in for an hour a week to discuss stuff. It does vary from professor to professor, but it's usually something like that.

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