Tips for Gaining Experience in a Pandemic

1. Finding Summer Research:

  • Ask faculty members if they have funding for research and are planning to continue their research over the summer. Since Lawrence’s campus is relatively safe and the research is usually highly individualized, it is a good way to improve research skills. It might not be possible, but it doesn’t hurt to ask and apply.
  • If on-campus research is not possible, ask if it is possible for faculty to connect you with someone they know and be sure to follow-up with them.
  • Search for off-campus research. Handshake and are good places to start. The National Science Foundation funds research known as Research Experiences for Undergraduates or REUs. Additional organizations include Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education and Los Alamos National and Laboratory.
  • The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has its internship listings here if you’re interested in working in these fields.
  • If you’re interested in pursuing research related to ecology, Harvard has a summer research program. Find details about the program and its application process here.

2. Searching for Remote Projects:

Try finding a mentor who is willing and able to help you with a remote project. This involves doing the research project away from the research site or office. Most work these days requires more and more computational skills and given the prevalence of the pandemic, remote work is a good way to improve these skills if in-person research is not possible. A good way to look for mentors includes asking faculty, as well as reaching out to alumni on Viking Connect.

3. Improving Computational Skills:

  • If none of the above options are possible, improve your computational skills on your own. Try practicing with different data analysis software other than Excel through self-study or online classes.
  • A good way to learn coding is to do projects that connect to your hobbies. For example, if you enjoy music, a potential project idea could be coding an Arduino to sing a specific song .
  • Lawrence may fund the purchases of some licenses if you ask. Check to see if this is possible.

Raisa Fatima ’23 is a Physics major with interests in research and engineering. She works as a Career Peer Educator for the PHN career community so if you’re interested in anything PHN related, or you just need some general advice on anything professional development related like resumes, cover letter etc. you can schedule an appointment here.