Approaching Faculty for Opportunities - University of Houston
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Approaching Faculty for Opportunities

Review Faculty Biographies

  1. Read through the brief biographies for each faculty member. Choose a few that do work that you might be interested in.
  2. Don’t limit yourself to the department of your major. You can find good choices in the College of Pharmacy, Cullen College of Engineering, and College of Technology, as well as NSM. The Department of Health and Human Performance in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences may have research you can participate in as well.

Express Your Interest: Contact the Professor

  1. Best Option: If you have the professor for class, talk to her/him directly.
  2. Otherwise: Contact them via email and include the following:
    • Your name, major and year in school (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior)
    • Your intended career path
    • Why you are interested in their work (Be Specific: Cancer research is cool is not going to cut it)
    • How many hours a week you are willing to work and what hours you are available (list no less than 7 hours; you really can’t do any real science otherwise; hours should be during normal business hours (8 am–5 pm) weekdays as professors will not allow you to work on your own until they are confident in your research skills).
    • Your unofficial transcript and a resume
    • Brief description of any prior research experience
  3. If you are interested in completing a senior project or honors thesis or if you want to apply for PURS or SURF, let the professor know.

Supply and Demand

Professors get a lot of requests. You may need to contact multiple professors before you find one that has space to take you (that’s why you should make a list when you review the faculty pages).

  1. Don’t be discouraged by a lack of response or a no. Try a different door.
  2. Pay attention to emails from faculty and NSM. Many professors are well connected to researchers in the Texas Medical Center, other universities and industry. Look for emails with opportunities for students to participate in research at Baylor College of Medicine, McGovern School of Medicine, etc. Read your email!