- Why do you want to do research?
- What are your career goals? How can this research experience and the mentor– trainee relationship help you achieve them?
- What would success in this research experience look like to you?
- How many hours per week and at what times/days do you expect to work on your mentor’s research?
- Assuming a good fit, how long do you expect to work with this research group?
- What, if any, specific technical or communication skills do you expect to learn from the research experience?
- How do you learn best (written or verbal instructions, watch and repeat, etc.). What can your mentor do to help you learn the needed skills? What can you do before you start so you are successful?
- Once you are trained in basic techniques, would you prefer to continue to work closely with others (e.g. on a team project), or independently?
- Once you have learned the needed techniques and procedures, do you prefer that your mentor watch what you do, or do you prefer a hands off approach to being supervised?
Taken from: Branchaw, J. L., Butz, A. R., & Smith, A. R. Entering Research (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan, 2020
How do I expect to be compensated for my work?
Compensation comes in many forms. Well-funded research may pay undergraduate researchers. Many students volunteer simply to gain experience. Academic credit is available on a semester-by-semester basis. Some register for 0-credit hour transcript notation. Researchers may even blend multiple forms of compensation.
I have articulate, well-thought answers to these questions. What do I do next?
Start looking - see "How to Find a Research Position".
If you have trouble a question, ICRU can help! Contact an ICRU Ambassador or Staff Member for assistance at any point along the way.
Adapted from Branchaw, Pfund & Rediske (2010). Entering Research: A Facilitator's Manual. New York: WH Freeman & Company, and from Pfund, Wassarman & Skarlupka (2014). Establishing your Mentoring Relationships for CMB, Biophysics and Nutritional Sciences. Branchaw, J. L., Butz, A. R., & Smith A. (2018). Entering Research (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan.