Below are a few quick tips on how to approach the application process for research opportunities both on and off campus.

Find a Program That Interests You

If you haven’t yet found a program or lab that suits you, begin by browsing through the department websites at institutions in your area of interest. You can also begin by looking around on the Career Center Handshake Page, which has a selection of job postings from a variety of institutions.

Another good place to start is by searching on the Alumni Directory and looking through the places of work for your department’s alumni.

Find Example Materials From Your Field

Search online, or ask around in person to find examples of resumes, cover letters, and other application materials that have been used in your field. If you are having trouble finding materials for your specific field, try generalizing your search terms.

Prepare Your Résumé/CV

Before reaching out to the lab or your professors, make sure to update your résumé or CV with all relevant info. If you need assistance with putting together your résumé/CV, contact the Career Center to set up a meeting.

Writing a Letter of Recommendation Request

In applying for research opportunities or graduate programs you will likely need to request recommendation letters from professors. The best way to do this is to contact the professor you are interested having submit a recommendation for you. For Carleton Neuroscience professors, you can email them and then fill out the form on the Letters of Recommendation page.

Below is a sample email:

Hello Professor X,

I am in the process of applying to the Meerts Lab at Carleton College and I was curious if you would be available to submit a letter of recommendation on my behalf? The lab investigates the neural and hormonal factors involved in the expression and development of motivated behaviors and is currently seeking a full-time lab assistant to help with their current research into the mating behavior of female rats.

I have attached my CV/résumé as well as a list of relevant coursework to this email to provide some background on my previous experience. If there is any additional information that you would like me to send, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you for your help!

Student Y