Tips for Contacting and Meeting Faculty Mentors

Contact Potential Faculty Mentors

  • In the cover letter include your major, class year, experience, career goals and interests, and express why you are interested in their lab. Provide a resume and your transcript. CNS Career Services and UMass Career Services can help you compile an appropriate resume and cover letter.
  • Request an appointment to discuss a possible research project.
  • Allow adequate time for the faculty to respond. If necessary, send the faculty mentor a polite follow up email. This process should be started before you even arrive on campus at the beginning of the semester to allow for adequate lag time.

Preparing to Meet with the Potential Faculty Mentor

  • Learn the about the PI’s research, the approaches and methodologies used in their lab.
  • Prepare questions to ask the PI about the research and specifically inquire about projects available for undergraduate independent research.
  • Think about how much time you have available to work in the lab each semester, and take into account your other time commitments when you consider the number of academic credits you want to earn each semester. Most faculty want a minimum commitment of 3 credits or 9-12 hrs of research each week.
  • Independent Study (Chem X96 or X96H) credits can range from 1-6 per semester depending on the number of hours per week that a student works in the lab. Chem 388 is 3 credits and the Honors Capstone Experience (Chem 499Y and 499T) earns 3 credits per semester.