What Are Student Research Positions?
GrantMe - May 4th, 2020
Are you thinking about your future and wondering, “what are student research positions?” Well, you have come to the right place. In short, student research positions are offered to students at a university or college who show promise and interest in research in a particular field. Those students work as student researchers and are given financial support to help pay for their education fees and related expenses.
What are Student Research Positions?
It is common for students to wonder, “what are student research positions?” or “why are they offered in the first place?” Student research positions are a kind of financial aid or award, but they are not as well-known as other types of financial aid such as scholarships.
Student research positions are often known as undergraduate research positions because they are offered mostly to undergraduates who are interested in doing research in a particular field. As a student researcher, students are paid by the university or college. The funding amount for the position is meant to be used to pay their expenses, such as semester fees, rent, etc.
Students who are offered research positions are also referred to as research assistants. Why are they called research assistants? Well, being a student researcher, you will most likely not be leading a group of researchers. Instead, you will be working under a professor or a faculty who is researching a particular topic.
For you to be accepted as a student researcher and start working in a research program, you need to be chosen by the lead researcher of that project. This will most likely be a professor at your university or college, whom you may already know from courses.
They will guide you and provide instruction for your research tasks. It’s a privilege to get a research position because you’ll learn firsthand from a professor in the field and get individual support that you wouldn’t get in class.
Student research positions are in place so more students are encouraged to research and build a better future.
How to find Student Research Positions
Now that we have a basic idea about what are student research positions, we need to learn how we can find the perfect research position for ourselves.
One of the first things to do is find out what field you are interested in. If you are enrolled in an undergraduate program, find out which field you enjoy studying the most and might like to know more about.
As an undergraduate student, there are so many fields that seem interesting and it can be a bit confusing. To help you narrow your list, try to think about your favourite classes or hobbies and ask yourself what you see yourself doing in the future.
The beauty of student research positions is that you can start researching a particular topic, and if you do not feel it is the right research position for you, then there is always an option for you to change the research topic.
So, if you are worried because you are unable to decide which topic you would like to research, it’s is completely fine. Maybe the next term you can try out a different research position that allows you to explore a new field. This can be a great opportunity to see what is right for you.
Research positions are offered based on the needs in each field, and you should make sure the research position you are applying for is relevant to your undergraduate program. You should have taken some courses that are similar to the field you want to be researching. You do not need to be an expert on the topic, but make sure you have a basic understanding of the topic so that it is easier for you to start researching.
For undergraduate students who are interested in working as a student researcher, you should try to find professors who are researching in a field or a topic you are interested in. Go to faculty webpages and browse through departments to see which research project you are most interested in.
Try finding the professors who are leading the projects and meet them. You can either set an appointment or email the professor stating how interested you are in their ongoing research project and would like to work as a student researcher for them.
There are third-party research positions available for students who are looking to do research as well. You can try searching for those research positions online and you can even try asking people in your university if they know of any research positions currently available. These types of third-party research opportunities are offered by hospitals, companies, and research labs.
To help you find the perfect research positions, you can sign up for a GrantMe program. All you need to do is reach out by requesting a scholarship assessment. Our team will ask you some basic questions and find you the research positions that are best suited to you. There are thousands of scholarships available in our database as well for eager students like you.
How to Apply for Research Positions
First, create your resume. Before you start applying for student research positions, you need to build your resume to highlight your experience and focus on the field. Try to make it clear that you are a good fit for their research program by sharing the applicable skills you already have.
You don’t need to be an expert or have experience because that is what you will be gaining working as a student researcher. You just need to highlight the traits that are necessary to be a good researcher.
If you have found the research program that you are interested in, you can find the professor who is leading the research program. Try contacting them and telling them how interested you are in their research program and offer to be a part of their research group.
It is better if you contact several professors because not all of them will have research positions currently available. You can find their email address on the webpage of their faculty.
When you get a reply from a professor and they have a research position available for you, ask them if it is possible to meet with them to discuss the program more. Try to get an appointment with the professor.
In the meeting, you should explain why you would like to be a part of their research program and ask them what your starting role will be. The professor may ask you why you would like to join their research program, so be sure to have an answer ready for this type of question.
After you have signed up for a student research position, it is important for you to do some brushing up on the topic you will be researching. Another thing you can do is try to search for the work of the professor who is leading the program. Get acquainted with their work so that when you meet up, you will be able to show that you are interested in the research. This always makes a good impression.
In the end, make sure you understand what you will gain from this research position and how it is going to help you build your career.
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