Seeking undergraduate research advice
April 22, 2009 11:04 PM Subscribe
Advice on seeking undergraduate engineering research
posted by nel to education (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am an undergraduate student majoring in mechanical engineering. I switched majors, so although I'm technically a senior, I'm really more like a sophomore in ME. I attend a public university, and I would like to go out of state for my masters degree, if possible. It seems to me (from what I have learned/heard) that if I want to have a chance at getting my graduate degree funded as an RA, it is imperative that I have undergraduate research experience. There is a program at my school that allows undergraduate honors students, such as myself, to do funded research. However, before applying for the program, I must already have a faculty mentor and some kind of research idea in mind (i.e., having collaborated with the mentor).
My main question is, if I have a faculty member in mind, how do I go about approaching them? I don't really have any solid relationships with any engineering faculty members, and I feel presumptuous emailing a professor that I don't know and essentially asking them for a research opportunity. Maybe I have the wrong idea, but I don't think I can just JUMP into doing research. I would be very interested to hear about anyone's experiences with doing undergraduate research.