Your Options – Tonight’s Presentations Research - Victor Chisholm MCAT – Kaplan Rep Internships abroad (travel), shadowing – Alice Summer school, everything else - Tim
www.mcgill.ca/science/research/ours/ How to get involved in research?
About this presentation Today: key points only. For more information, see handout (links) and www.mcgill.ca/science/research/ours/h ow www.mcgill.ca/science/research/ours/h ow Takeaway message: undergraduates can take part in research during their B.Sc. – if they want to (not compulsory). Questions and answers (time permitting)
How to find them? Start at: www.mcgill.ca/science/ab out/departments/ www.mcgill.ca/science/ab out/departments/ Check out profs’ research websites. Do your homework first. Read up on their research. Office hours: not just for courses you are taking! How do your interests & relate to the researcher? Ask questions! Profs can recommend other profs here and around the world …and can tell you when to come back.
About professors’ websites… Professors’ websites may not always be up to date. However, you should be able to get a general idea of their area. You can look up their recent publications (ask a librarian!) and scan the abstracts.
Put yourself in their shoes Supervising undergraduate researchers takes an investment in resources (time, money, space, etc.) from a prof and her/his research group. Exaggeration – what not to say: “Give me a research opportunity so I can add a line to my CV and strengthen my future application to (insert unrelated field here). I have no particular interest in your field though.” Of course you would never actually say that in those words… but avoid any variation that amounts to that!
Some good things to cover I am interested in your field: boxology. I am interested in graduate studies in boxology. I am curious about the role of ___, as described in your recent paper. I have taken the following relevant courses: ___ I have, or would like to cultivate, the following relevant skills: ___ I am not an expert in your field, but I am curious to find out more, and would like to contribute. (You can tell that everything I have just said is sincere and that I want to work hard.)
Show interest! You don’t have to know what what exactly you want to do in their lab. They will typically assign a project to you, where you can make a valuable contribution. The project might not be easy or well-defined; you may have to work hard; but professors want you to succeed, so you can contribute.
Other people to talk with TAs, lab instructors, other professors Departmental staff (secretaries, program assistants, advisors…) Peers: departmental student societies, SUS, students who have already participated in undergraduate research Ask questions like Which professors take students? What are their labs like?
Browsing: Soup and Science; 396 Past editions are online.You’ll find lists of profs with their research interests and links to their websites. Some recent editions of Soup and Science also include webcasts. You can also browse the “396” project listings. See what other students have worked on, and with whom!
Undergraduate Research Conference Thursday, October 10, 2013 (similar timeline each year) See what other McGill students have done! Or, ask your department to nominate you next year. More info: www.mcgill.ca/science/research/ours/urc /www.mcgill.ca/science/research/ours/urc /
Research Opportunities – see handout for link Note that these are NOT job postings as such:
Undergraduate Student Research Awards: NSERC USRA, SURA, etc.
Undergrad. Student Research Award NSERC USRA: At least some awards in every Science dept Some additional awards in Medicine (incl. Biomedical) and other faculties For Canadian citizens, permanent resident For natural sciences & eng. research. Prof must hold an NSERC grant. SURA, Science Undergraduate Research Award Smaller program than NSERC In all Science departments (not Medicine!) For Canadians AND international students FRSQ USRA: Was cancelled in summer 2013 (lack of funding). Not offered in 2014. Watch for 2015 and beyond? Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Engineering: Arts, ARIA; Engineering, SURE Other programs at other schools, other countries E.g. NSF REU (USA)
Volunteering Take your commitment seriously even if it is “only” volunteering. Great way to get your foot in the door. It’s okay to start small, and move on to more interesting things later. Consider discussing with your supervisor the possibility of doing a course for credit (“396” or other), if this suits both parties.
Research: why? It is NOT a requirement. It is OPTIONAL. …but approx. 50% of our B.Sc. Students graduate with 1+ research course on their transcript. Grad school is often research based. “Try before you buy.” Graduate school is often FUNDED! It is a different learning style that suits some students better. Research experience develops excellent skills. These are useful whether or not you continue in academia: persistence, creativity, problem-solving, analysis… A research supervisor = a professor who can write letters of reference for you later.
16 ways to get involved in research For more details see: www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/how/ 1.Talk to profs : Find them via www.mcgill.ca/science/departments/ then read about their research www.mcgill.ca/science/departments/ 2.Talk with people in the department. Ask which professors take students, and what their labs or groups are like. Ask TAs, departmental staff, professors, peers, student societies. 3.Soup and Science: meet profs, see new fields of study and research, discover opportunities: www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/soupscience/ www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/soupscience/ 4.Undergraduate research conference: www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/urc/ www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/urc/ 5.Research opportunity listing: http://www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/proflist/ http://www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/proflist/ 6.Summer research awards: NSERC USRA, SURA, FRSQ USRA, others. www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/nserc/ www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/nserc/ 7.Work Study (need based): www.mcgill.ca/studentaid/workstudy/ www.mcgill.ca/studentaid/workstudy/ 8.‘396’ research project courses and other research-oriented courses: www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/researchcourses www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/researchcourses 9.Field studies: see McGill Calendar, section 15. www.mcgill.ca/courses/ www.mcgill.ca/courses/ 10.Internships: www.mcgill.ca/science/internships- field/ www.mcgill.ca/science/internships- field/ 11.Library for research skill workshops, publications, and more: www.mcgill.ca/library/www.mcgill.ca/library/ 12.Career Planning Services (CaPS) for help making successful applications, www.mcgill.ca/caps/ www.mcgill.ca/caps/ 13.Communication skills: www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/communication/ www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/communication/ 14.McGill Science Undergraduate Research Journal: contribute, get involved, or read. http://msurj.mcgill.ca/ http://msurj.mcgill.ca/ 15.Departmental talks : http://www.mcgill.ca/calendar/ http://www.mcgill.ca/calendar/ 16.Think outside the box: Explore other McGill departments and units. Look into options beyond McGill. www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/opportunities/ www.mcgill.ca/science/ours/opportunities/ Victor Chisholm Undergraduate Research Officer Dawson Hall, 4 th floor Tel: 514-398-5964 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you! Please feel free to contact me I prefer talking over emailing Questions?
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Summer Abroad Summer Courses beyond McGill http://www.mcgill.ca/science/student/general/studyaw ay/summerstudies http://www.mcgill.ca/science/student/general/studyaw ay/summerstudies Study Abroad Arts Students: http://www.mcgill.ca/oasis/away http://www.mcgill.ca/oasis/away EXPLORE program (within Canada) Independent Study Science Students: click herehere Exchange Commerce/Management Students: click herehere Desautels Study Away Program
Volunteering/Shadowing Hospital Volunteer (RVH, MGH…) Red Cross, NGO Share the Warmth Shadowing with Medical Direction Shadowing with Medical Direction MedSpecs…
Summer Courses Select courses over the summer May, June and July Sessions McGill or another university (documents) Other rules and regulations online To take some really difficult courses or earn a coupe extra credits Common courses: Biol 202, Organic Chem
Words of Caution Medical schools have different approaches applicants who took summer courses. Some do not allow it for prerequisites, some count the grade as part of the GPA Depends very much on the school Check with the schools you want to apply for Safest choice: Do not take prerequisites for medical school. Do not expect the grade to count toward your GPA. Try to maintain a full course load over the semester.
Jobs Perfectly viable choice Earn some cash, gain work experience Do consider its effect on your CV Internships or awards do sound better
Everything else under the sky We discussed common things that medical school hopefuls usually do To stand out, you don’t need to follow what everyone else does Medical schools are looking well rounded, smart and dedicated applicants You should try to enjoy yourself and learn something new