Step 1: Identify Your Research Interests

  • Consider topics you are interested in and questions you have about these topics.
  • Search online to learn more about these topics and identify faculty members at OSU who are exploring topics related to your interests.
    • Brainstorm keywords and phrases to search on the internet. For example, Google “Oregon State University” + "research" + “keyword/phrase” and click on a few of the links that appear. Read through the links to see which faculty members are mentioned. If someone sounds interesting, do another Google search for that specific faculty member to read more about their work.

Step 2: Create a List

  • Create a list with faculty that you would be interested to work with (minimum of 5).
    • Do some background research on the faculty member you plan to email. What is their general research focus? What projects are they working on? What have they published lately?

Step 3: Contact Faculty Member

  • Compose and send a professional email to the professor (Click here to see an example email) within 48 hours.
    • Your message should explain who you are,why you are interested in their work and include 2 - 3 times you are available to meet.
      • Note: The times you suggest should be within OSU's hours of operation, Monday-Friday from 8 am - 5 pm.
    • Make sure to end your email with "Thank you for taking the time to meet with me".
    • If they respond with multiple times, reply with a time that works for both of you.
    • When the meeting time is set, create a Zoom link, share it with the faculty member, and save it in your calendar.
  • Sometimes it can take a while for a faculty member to respond to your email, but if you haven't heard back after a week you should send a second email.
    • Visit this page to learn more about what to include in this second email.

Step 4: Prepare for Meeting

  • Make sure to prepare any questions you have ahead of the meeting.
  • It can also be helpful to have a couple of responses prepared for common questions that may be asked, such as:
    • Why do you want to work on this team? What about my research interests you?
  • More tips on preparing to meet with a faculty member.

Step 5: Meet with Faculty Member

  • Remember to ask the questions you prepared.  
  • Be sure to dress appropriately. 
    • If you are unsure about what to wear, it's better to overdress than underdress.
  • Visit our Research Meeting/Interview page to learn more about meeting with faculty members!

Step 6: Meeting Follow-Up

  • Send a follow-up email to the professor after the meeting. 
    • Click here to find more information on writing a follow-up email and to see an example email!