Apply for a Research Position

Applications typically ask for a variety of supporting materials.  Here are tips and links to websites to help you prepare the elements most often requested—cover letters, resumes, personal statements or essays, and abstracts.

 

Recommendation Letters

  • Ask for recommendation letters early
  • When a professor agrees to write a letter for you, provide the professor with:
    1. Your Resume
    2. A Draft of your Personal Statement
    3. A Copy of your Transcript (unofficial or official)
    4. A List of the Programs to which you are applying and the application deadlines
    5. A Copy of the Major Research Paper/Poster/Project you completed in his/her course (if applicable)
  • Remind your professors one to two weeks before the letters are due that they promised to write you a letter.  They will not take offense at being reminded- they are very busy and will appreciate the reminder.

Cover Letter or Letter of Interest

http://www.careercenter.umd.edu/page.cfm?page_ID=54&section_ID=1

http://www.careereducation.columbia.edu/resources/tipsheets/cover-letters

http://gecd.mit.edu/jobs/find/prepare/cover_letter

Resume

  • Before you begin writing your resume, write a list of every task you can remember performing at each job you have held.  If you are currently working, you may want to keep a running list of what you do and update it on a regular basis.  Write down everything you can remember doing- you may realize that something you considered unimportant may help in the position to which you are applying.  For example, if you cleaned beakers in a lab, you were likely “responsible for disposal of chemical materials and maintenance of laboratory equipment.”
  • After you have a draft of your resume, show it to people.  Take it to the career center, your adviser, etc.

http://www.careercenter.umd.edu/page.cfm?page_ID=43&section_ID=1

 

http://careercenter.nd.edu/assets/23699/final_guide_with_cover_resume.pdf

http://www.careereducation.columbia.edu/resources/tipsheets/resumes-and-cvs-basic-resumes

 

http://www.mit.edu/~career/guide/resumes.html

Personal Statement or Essay

Sell Yourself—Guidance for Developing Your Personal Statement

Sell Yourself—Refining the Personal Statement

Writing the Personal Statement

Abstract

http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/abstracts.html