Getting In: The Insider’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Undergraduate Research Experience


Getting In: The Insider’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Undergraduate Research Experience

— from the Lab Manager's bench and PI's desk

Why we wrote a book on finding an undergrad research position:

Whether you’re premed, pregrad, preprofessional, undecided, or headed for the job market after graduation, undergraduate research can help you define your career path and prepare for it. But if an undergraduate research experience is so important (and it is), and has so many potential benefits (which it does), why it is so difficult to find a research position?

The simple fact is that undergrad research positions are highly competitive, and that is unlikely to change. As medical and graduate admissions committees continue to place a high value on research experience, more students than ever are vying for positions. Therefore, the student with insider’s information will have the competitive edge.

Getting In is your competitive edge.

Getting In is like having two mentors coach you through your search, and keep you organized as you decide which research positions to pursue, contact potential mentors, nail interviews, and ultimately choose a research experience. We teach you what you need to do, tell you what mistakes to avoid, and show you how to be your most professional self.

Getting In gives you the guidance you need including:

  • Creative search strategies
  • Mistakes to avoid during the search, application, and interview
  • How to approach a professor after lecture or during office hours
  • Email templates that get you noticed
  • Time-management strategies to maintain your academic/life balance after you start research
  • Tips to determine if you should accept or decline a research position (and how to do both!)
  • How to use your research experience to build habits for success in the lab, in college, and in life

But we wrote Getting In to be much, much more than a standard how-to guide. As academic insiders, we know that a successful search is about more than contacting professors to ask for a research project. That's why we include information on getting organized, understanding what research is, and evaluating an available position in relation to your goals. We also include sections on the benefits of undergraduate research, an introduction to lab culture, and address pressing questions such as these: “When should I start my search?” and “Will I like research?” and “How much experience do I need?” and “What if my GPA is lower than average?” and “What if I make a mistake?”

Our goals are to help you be a more competitive applicant, and help you choose the position that will be a meaningful use of your time. As an associate professor with an active research lab, and a practicing research scientist who mentor undergrads in the lab, we each bring a different perspective to Getting In—one from the professor’s desk, and one from the researcher’s bench. We’ve combined our perspectives to make a comprehensive guide so whether you interview with a professor or a researcher you’ll be prepared to impress.

Getting In The Insider’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Undergraduate Research Experience is now available at Amazon Books.