Follow the steps below if you want to join a research group at the University of Illinois.

Before contacting a professor

List the research areas you are interested in

List the courses you have taken that would be relevant to doing research in your area of interest

List the courses you plan to take in the next two semesters

List your skills that could be useful to the research lab

Use your network to gather information

Ask peers who already have mentors or are working in research labs for advice on how to get involved in research

Talk to professors you have or had courses with; they may have information about opportunities to join their research group or another professor’s group.

Talk to graduate students in your department

Identify professors whose research aligns with your interest

Utilize the web: get to know the professors in your department/program and visit their research group websites

Know professors’ research interests and areas of expertise

Find out who are their graduate students and postdocs

Check if there are specific requirements to join the lab (e.g., courses taken, GPA)

Take note of who to contact about joining the lab

Contact professors about joining their research groups

Be professional in your communications with professors

Send an email expressing your interest of working in their research group. You can also stop by during their office hours

Inform the professor if you are applying to an undergraduate research program

Request a meeting

Follow up with an email or a visit to their office if you have not received a reply