Contact emails for research opportunities

We have heard from a number of students that they were unsure how to approach Professors to ask about research openings. Here is some suggested text, which contains the core information that shapes my ability to supervise a student. Bear in mind that Profs can receive many emails per day, and at some points of the year we may receive emails a week specifically about undergraduate research openings. If you have not received a reply within a week or two, it is fine to re-send the message. Personally, I am often slowest to reply to this kind of message when the answer is ‘Maybe’, e.g. we have a project in development, but we’re not quite sure at that moment when the project will start or how many research assistants will be needed…

Dear Dr Clark

I am a __ year undergraduate at UBC studying __. I am contacting you to ask about research opportunities, and I am particularly interested in [COGS 402, Directed Studies, Honours program etc].

Ideally I am looking for a project in Fall / Winter / Summer term / right now, but if there is no availability in your lab currently, I may be interested in projects next year.

I have visited the Centre for Gambling Research website and I am interested in the research that you have been doing on ___.

I have some previous research experience from Prof ___’s laboratory, where I did ________. OR,  I have not yet had the opportunity to gain research experience in psychology at UBC, but I have skills/experience in [working with people with addictions, coding, graphic design, journalism, social media, working in call centres, coffee shops etc] that I feel would be useful background experience for research in your lab.

I am particularly hoping to gain experience with ___ [data science, behavioural analysis, psychophysiology, in-person testing etc]

With best wishes, ___