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Hi everyone, I have been applying to different research opportunities but have had no luck with anything. I was hoping any of you who have had no research experiences who got an interview - or anyone in general- could help me with what my next step should be. Especially with the strict requirements I can't help but feel like my application won't live up to others with research experience 

ANY TIPS WOULD BE GREAT! 

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Are you applying for paid or volunteer opportunities? It's easier to get a volunteer opportunity if you really want some research experience under your belt, alot of places are desperate for free labour. Emailed a major research institute/hospital attached to my school and got a response & was interviewed within a week. Paid positions are harder to get, I was able to get a paid position for this summer but I highly believe that was because of my volunteer research experience (only 3 months so far) + I had previously volunteered for the organization hosting the research for 2+years

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On 3/23/2019 at 7:18 AM, abouttimeijoined said:

Are you applying for paid or volunteer opportunities? It's easier to get a volunteer opportunity if you really want some research experience under your belt, alot of places are desperate for free labour. Emailed a major research institute/hospital attached to my school and got a response & was interviewed within a week. Paid positions are harder to get, I was able to get a paid position for this summer but I highly believe that was because of my volunteer research experience (only 3 months so far) + I had previously volunteered for the organization hosting the research for 2+years

I second this. OP you must do grunt work for a while and then you will have precedent to be considered for a paid position. You are not applying broadly enough if you cannot find a volunteer position.

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Volunteering is very easy to find. Lots of labs are looking for volunteers. Most do not advertise it, but they have spots available. Your emails must be very unique and eye-catching, not some generic email that everyone sends out. Detail it to the specific lab. I can guarantee you all profs read these volunteer emails, but rarely they reply (they don't have spots, it's filled or your email is just too generic and goes straight into the trash). If you can show commitment and something that stands out, some profs are willing to give you a shot. Something standing out doesn't have to be high achieving grades, if you have some cool hobbies, that may interest the PI as well. Hope this helps, PM me if you have further questions. 

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yea, please do not mass email profs...when you sincerely read upon a prof's research interest, make sure it resonates with you before emailing. Also, if you are really interested in a specific research topic, it will translate through with a sincere email. Also, read up some of the publications and mention that your interests line up with the work the PI's conducting. Sometimes, profs even get back to you apologizing or referring you to other profs if they are full or not taking any students. Also, try and follow up your email with a phone call at least 2-3 days after. In addition, sometimes, volunteer work may seem tedious, but sometimes you can actually end up working on a project given the level of interest and enthusiasm you show- and there is also the possibility of getting a paper published (depending on many factors, obvi).  However, in other cases,  if you are paid, you may be only asked to help around and not contribute significantly, and not get a paper under your name. So, do not feel bogged down by the fact that you are not getting paid. You always need to take the first step. 

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