How to Get Involved in Research

Completing undergraduate or graduate research is a great way to learn how science is actually done and to prepare yourself for a variety of careers. If you are interested in a PhD, research experience is essential. To get involved in research, start by looking through the list of faculty research labs and contacting faculty members whose research interests you (next to each lab you will find a G (graduate) and/or UG (undergraduate) denoting what level of student researchers work in the lab). You can also investigate special programs supporting research at SJSU and funding opportunities to support undergraduate research.

Most faculty are contacted by more students than they can accept. Here are a few tips to make yourself stand out:

  • Show evidence of academic success by getting good grades, especially in the classes most related to the research you are interested in. (Don't worry, it is not necessary to get straight A's)
  • Do your homework. Explain why you are interested in the labs that you contact. Read their papers, talk to students in the lab right now, etc.
  • Make a good first impression. Ensure that all of your communications are professional.