Finding a Mentor
Finding a Faculty Mentor
One important way to get involved in research is to get a place in a research lab or as a research assistant. Many of the LUROP fellowships require you to find a faculty mentor before applying for the award, and likewise, some research courses also require you to be working on a mentored research project outside of class. So it is often important to find a faculty member who is willing to mentor you on your research project. Here are some tips for identifying research areas of interest and connecting to faculty.
- Start Early! Openings in research groups both at Loyola and at other institutions will fill up quickly, so you should start inquiring about opportunities months in advance-- for example, start inquiring about summer opportunities no later than January or February.
- Find your interest through your current courses, past courses, department websites, and your professors. Read scholarly journals, which may also provide insight into finding your interest in research.
- Research academic department websites and review the list of faculty members. The website offers a list of current faculty and their areas of research. Try exploring areas outside of major where faculty may still be doing interdisciplinary research in your areas of interest.
- Contact that professor or investigator through e-mail. Provide your name, year, and explain your interest in the faculty member's research area. Make it clear you have taken time to learn about their work. Provide a resume if possible to demonstrate experience. Get tips from the Career Center.
- Establish an interview with the professor to learn about research opportunities.
- Prepare for the interview by learning about background information for the research are in which you are interested. Make a list of questions to ask the professor and be prepared to answer any questions he/she may have. Dress professionally to impress.
For a listing of Loyola offices that may benefit your research or for information on publishing, presenting, or getting additional funding for your research, please visit the Resources page.