What should I say in my initial e-mail?

The most important factor here is keep it short. Professors running research labs are often busy, and will not want to (or simply will not) read a long email. Do not send completely identical e-mails to 20 labs. Your e-mail should reflect your understanding of what the lab does, and why you are interested in its research. You will definitely want to include:

  • Your Name, Major (if decided), and class year
  • Relevant Coursework in biology or the sciences
  • Past Research Experience (keep it brief, don’t write an abstract)
  • Funding you have available, or funding options you have researched
  • Times you are available for meetings during the week
Getting a job in research: A few suggestions