Gaining experience in scientific research post undergrad

I have been out of school for almost 2 years now and have been looking for ways to get more research experience. I did not take full advantage of the research opportunities my school had(my own fault) and now I’m making up for lost time. I have been emailing various researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, NYU, The Rockefeller University and Ichan School of Medicine (No luck yet). Well, I did receive one email from a doctor at Ichan who said that having a volunteer would slow down the lab. And I would be lying if I said I didn’t hope that the volunteer experience led to a potential job. I’m currently working in a job completely unrelated to scientific research and I need something that’s intellectually stimulating which my current job is not. Have any of you had luck finding research opportunities post undergrad? Any stories that you have would really help my search.

First, are you interested in research? If you are, doing research is great. If you aren’t, you may want to put your efforts toward something else, such as more clinical experiences, volunteer work, etc. Just a thought.

I did get a lab position post-undergrad (in spite of the fact that I was a Journalism major and hadn’t been in a science lab in years!), and loved it. I got the position by getting in touch with someone from my alma mater (an anesthesiologist). I met with him, shadowed him, and he suggested doing research. He knew someone who knew someone … You get the idea.

My point is, making completely blind contacts - especially at those prestigious institutions - may not be the way to go, although you could get lucky. I would recommend trying someone from your undergrad institution. If you call the alumni office (or go online to their Web site), there are often ways of finding alumni in specific professions, such as physicians or scientists.

The worst they can do is say no, and you haven’t lost anything. That’s my perspective on such ventures, at least.

Best wishes to you!

I am very interested in research. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before. Thanks for your advice!

Quite welcome!