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Getting a Summer Research Internship in Science or Engineering Dr. Sumana Datta Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Research Texas A&M University.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting a Summer Research Internship in Science or Engineering Dr. Sumana Datta Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Research Texas A&M University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting a Summer Research Internship in Science or Engineering Dr. Sumana Datta Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Research Texas A&M University

2 Why do research? -- Practical Goals. Learn material in your major by hands-on work outside the classroom. Learn material in your major by hands-on work outside the classroom. Develop a one-on-one mentoring relationship with a professor. Develop a one-on-one mentoring relationship with a professor. Find out what you like and don’t like to do. Find out what you like and don’t like to do. Improve your resume. Improve your resume. Get more informative letters of recommendation for jobs, graduate or professional school applications. Get more informative letters of recommendation for jobs, graduate or professional school applications. Find out more about what being a professional in your area is like. Find out more about what being a professional in your area is like.

3 Why do research? -- Improve your skills. Learn how to work in teams to accomplish a goal. Learn how to work in teams to accomplish a goal. Learn how to explain and defend your results. Learn how to explain and defend your results. Learn advanced technical skills. Learn advanced technical skills. Learn better problem solving skills. Learn better problem solving skills. Learn better time-management skills. Learn better time-management skills.

4 Why Summer Research? Concentrate on your research full-time. Concentrate on your research full-time. Meet and work with researchers at other institutions. Meet and work with researchers at other institutions. Try something completely different that might depend on geography/location. Try something completely different that might depend on geography/location. Develop additional contacts for jobs, professional or graduate school. Develop additional contacts for jobs, professional or graduate school. Live and explore somewhere else for a summer. Live and explore somewhere else for a summer. “Test” a place you might want to go after graduation. “Test” a place you might want to go after graduation.

5 First questions to ask yourself: What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? Is there something you would never want to do? Is there someplace you would never want to go?

6 What types of programs are available? Colleges Colleges Universities Universities Research Centers Research Centers Hospitals Hospitals Museums Museums Field work Field work Companies Companies National National International International

7 What do most (but not all) summer programs provide? Place to live Place to live Food Food Stipend, generally about $4000 Stipend, generally about $4000 Enrichment experiences-seminars, workshops, tours, field trips. Enrichment experiences-seminars, workshops, tours, field trips. Research internship of about 10 weeks. Research internship of about 10 weeks.

8 Be sure to ask about: How they match you to a project or research advisor. How they match you to a project or research advisor. Health insurance/medical requirements. Health insurance/medical requirements. Help with travel costs to and from the site. Help with travel costs to and from the site. Start and end dates. Start and end dates. Transportation and safety around the site late at night or on weekends. Transportation and safety around the site late at night or on weekends. Availability of peer mentors. Availability of peer mentors. Whether you will need to enroll for the summer. Whether you will need to enroll for the summer. Social or other extra-curricular activities offered. Social or other extra-curricular activities offered.

9 Requirements for summer programs Current undergraduate status. Current undergraduate status. Most request sophomore or junior status. Most request sophomore or junior status. Coursework appropriate to your status and relevant to the area of the summer internship. Coursework appropriate to your status and relevant to the area of the summer internship. Other requirements vary by program! Some require a minimum GPA. Some require a minimum GPA. REU Programs-US citizens or permanent resident. REU Programs-US citizens or permanent resident. Some target under-represented populations, women, ethnic minorities or first generation/low income college students. Some target under-represented populations, women, ethnic minorities or first generation/low income college students.

10 Where and how do I find them? Google “Undergraduate Research Program” and the field you are interested in (as globally or specifically as you want). Google “Undergraduate Research Program” and the field you are interested in (as globally or specifically as you want). Go to then Opportunities -> External Opportunities-> Summer Research Opportunities. Go to then Opportunities -> External Opportunities-> Summer Research Opportunities.http://ugr.tamu.edu/ Go to then Opportunities -> External Opportunities->International Opportunities. Go to then Opportunities -> External Opportunities->International Opportunities.http://ugr.tamu.edu/ us_issues/articles/2008_12_12/caredit.a us_issues/articles/2008_12_12/caredit.a us_issues/articles/2008_12_12/caredit.a us_issues/articles/2008_12_12/caredit.a Is there someone specific you want to work with? Familiarize yourself with their research and then contact them directly! Is there someone specific you want to work with? Familiarize yourself with their research and then contact them directly!

11 Science and Engineering The NSF funds a variety of summer programs around the country called REUs. REUs are generally for students from OTHER institutions (i.e. your chances of being accepted to a Texas A&M REU is small). Check out the Career Center (HireAggies.com) for placement in internships and co-ops. Many non-REU programs also exist.

12 Science and Engineering Some of the places you can go are: Caltech, Pasadena, California. Caltech, Pasadena, California. MIT, Cambridge, Boston. MIT, Cambridge, Boston. Dartmoth, Hanover, New Hampshire. Dartmoth, Hanover, New Hampshire. Duke, Durham, North Carolina Duke, Durham, North Carolina Stanford University, Palo Alto, California Bar Harbor, Maine. Jackson Labs, Bar Harbor, Maine. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts US Naval Research lab, Washington DC. Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia. Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Maryland. Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Maryland. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan National Institutes of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado. National Institutes of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado. University of California,Berkeley, Berkeley, California. University of California,Berkeley, Berkeley, California. University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, California. University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, California.

13 Science and Engineering SOME of the areas are: Nanotechnology Nanotechnology Infectious disease Infectious disease Math Math Physics Physics Oceanography/marine biology Oceanography/marine biology Geology/mining Geology/mining Watershed use/Environmental science Watershed use/Environmental science Materials Engineering Materials Engineering Mechanical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Robotics Robotics Radar/atmospheric sensing Radar/atmospheric sensing Evolution Evolution Molecular and Cellular Biology Molecular and Cellular Biology Biochemistry Biochemistry Bioinformatics/genomics Bioinformatics/genomics

14 Public Policy for Aggies Texas A&M has its own summer programs! Public Policy Internship Program in Washington, D.C. (deadline Feb 11 th ) Public Policy Internship Program in Washington, D.C. (deadline Feb 11 th ) –Non-profits –Government agencies –Think tanks Public Policy Internship Program in Paris. (deadline Feb 11 th ) Public Policy Internship Program in Paris. (deadline Feb 11 th ) –U.S. Commercial Service

15 International Summer Internships You do not always have to speak the local language. Many of the top research institutions in Europe (for example) use English as the “professional” language. You do not always have to speak the local language. Many of the top research institutions in Europe (for example) use English as the “professional” language. But speaking the local language might help you in daily life there! But speaking the local language might help you in daily life there! Check out the search engines or listings at the UGR website under either International Opportunities or Summer Research Opportunities -> National Science Foundation-> International. Check out the search engines or listings at the UGR website under either International Opportunities or Summer Research Opportunities -> National Science Foundation-> International. Check out CDS through Career Center Office (language proficiency required) Check out CDS through Career Center Office (language proficiency required)

16 Examples of International REU Programs Tropical biology/conservation in Costa Rica. Tropical biology/conservation in Costa Rica. Chemistry in France, Italy, China and the UK. Chemistry in France, Italy, China and the UK. Mathematics in Prague, Czech Republic. Mathematics in Prague, Czech Republic. Geology/environment on San Salvador. Geology/environment on San Salvador. Organic Chemistry in Bangkok, Thailand. Organic Chemistry in Bangkok, Thailand. Nanotech/materials in Poland and Puerto Rico. Nanotech/materials in Poland and Puerto Rico. Physics in Paris, Japan or UK. Physics in Paris, Japan or UK. Look under “International Science and Engineering” on REU website.

17 CDS (www.cdsintl.org) Countries: Germany, Spain, Argentina Countries: Germany, Spain, Argentina Requirements: Requirements: –US Citizenship –Two years of college-level Spanish or German You pay a fee to apply (~$700) You pay a fee to apply (~$700) –No fee if you are not qualified. –CDS handles work permits, interviews and placement. Most internships are paid. Most internships are paid. Application deadline Feb 1 st ! Application deadline Feb 1 st ! Information tomorrow Rudder :15 pm. Information tomorrow Rudder :15 pm.

18 Companies/Foundations Google n Google n Microsoft https://careers.microsoft.com/careers/EN/US/CollegeInternships.aspx Microsoft https://careers.microsoft.com/careers/EN/US/CollegeInternships.aspx American Society of Magazine Editors American Society of Magazine Editors Sierra Club Sierra Club AT&T AT&T Boeing Boeing Northrup-Grumman Northrup-Grumman Johnson and Johnson Johnson and Johnson Kodak Kodak Lucent Lucent Also check out for more options: Also check out for more options:

19 International Students The Career Center (HireAggies.com) has a section devoted to you! The Career Center (HireAggies.com) has a section devoted to you! –InternationalStudents4Hire.com –Internships, externships, cooperative education opportunities. Check your VISA restrictions-you may not be able to work outside of TAMU. Check your VISA restrictions-you may not be able to work outside of TAMU.

20 What is the timeline? Application deadlines range from early February through March, but some are earlier. Application deadlines range from early February through March, but some are earlier. Do NOT ask your professor to write you a letter at the last minute—that almost guarantees that the letter is not as good as you might wish. Do NOT ask your professor to write you a letter at the last minute—that almost guarantees that the letter is not as good as you might wish. Many require a letter of recommendation and a short essay describing your interests or goals. Many require a letter of recommendation and a short essay describing your interests or goals. Some may require an official transcript. Some may require an official transcript.

21 How do I apply? Application forms can generally be found online at the program’s website. Sometimes you may have to or call the contact person listed to receive an application. You may have to download, fill in and mail a paper application—factor that into your timeframe!

22 Continuing sources of information Undergraduate Research Listserv Undergraduate Research Listserv research-listserv.html research-listserv.html Undergraduate Research webpage Undergraduate Research webpage Office of Proposal Development Funding OpportunitiesFunding Opportunities → Funding Opportunities by Category → Undergraduate Research Opportunities Funding Opportunities by Category Funding OpportunitiesFunding Opportunities by Category

23 Need to take summer classes? Try looking for a part-time research position here at Texas A&M! Research for credit hours. Research for credit hours. Research for pay (if your professor has the funds). Research for pay (if your professor has the funds). You may be able to do the research during the summer and pay for the credit hours in the fall. You may be able to do the research during the summer and pay for the credit hours in the fall.

24 How to find and approach a professor Read their webpage first! Read their webpage first! Contact them early (at least before spring break). Contact them early (at least before spring break). Have a suggestion as to what part of their research interests you the most. Have a suggestion as to what part of their research interests you the most. Have a short resume with your contact information, any previous experience, relevant courses and references. Have a short resume with your contact information, any previous experience, relevant courses and references. Try to meet them face-to-face rather than ing. Try to meet them face-to-face rather than ing.

25 General Tips Start EARLY (now!). Start EARLY (now!). Prioritize applications by deadline and effort required. Prioritize applications by deadline and effort required. Ask for letters from your professors now. Don’t worry about asking for multiple letters—it’s easy to edit once the letter is written. Ask for letters from your professors now. Don’t worry about asking for multiple letters—it’s easy to edit once the letter is written.

26 Questions? Contact Info: Office of Undergraduate Research


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