Undergraduate students from a wide variety of majors and with a diversity of interests are encouraged to consider research opportunities in Entomology. Research interests can span from the molecular level including the study of insecticides and virus transmission to the ecological level looking at biodiversity and climate shift.
Getting in to a research lab can often be seen as difficult since there aren’t many open postings for labs and there is little information on how to navigate the process. Our goal is to help demystify this process and help students learn of the awesome opportunities available in Entomology.
Since most positions aren’t posted students with an interest in a lab are going to have to make contact with labs in their interest area. A listing of our faculty and their research areas is available online. Once you find labs that interest you, follow the steps below to make contact!
- Treat this as a professional letter. The email you send is almost like your cover letter for a job, make sure that you pay attention to salutations, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.
- Do your homework. Research the labs you are contacting and include specific information in your email.
- Keep it short. Faculty get a lot of emails and your reader might lose interest in anything longer than a single screen view on a normal computer.
- Attach your resume. This will help keep the email shorter and show that you think of this as a professional opportunity. Need help with your resume? Check out the L&S Career Services (SuccessWorks) and CALS Career Services. Make sure to highlight transferable skills that you may have gained in jobs during high school such as organization and teamwork skills.
- Give something to respond to. Ask a question about the research or suggest a time to meet. Make it easy to get a response.
- Follow up. Don’t assume that a lack of a response is a lack of interest. Take the time to send a follow up email if you don’t hear anything, but make sure to be polite!
If you have additional questions or would like some help with this process, please feel free to contact our Student Services Coordinator (Todd Courtenay, 608-262-9926, 276 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Dr, appointment link for current UW-Madison students).