Research for international students.

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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:55 pm

Research for international students.

Postby Joe_Fraizer » Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:25 pm

Hi, this is my first post. I want to start off by thanking all you active members for providing very valuable information for us prospective grad students. I believe you've helped more people in their career than you realize.

Now back to me: I finished my Bachelors degree in physics this summer from a unknown university in Europe. I'm confident I have the ability and will to continue to do a masters and a PhD, but the problem is that I don't have any research experience. Undergrads does not get to participate in any research at my University.

This is a problem since I obviously need it to get into good schools outside of Europe, and because I need to do some work in various fields to find out which part of physics I want to specialize in. Since I'm done with my Bachelor I'm looking for full time positions/internships, and so far the only thing I've found is as "kenkyuusei" at University of Tokyo ( ... dents.html ).

Do you have any recommendations for any other places where I can get research experience as an "outside-student"?

PS: Any tips as to how to decide which field I should go into? I am fairly equally interested in the various field, which is turning out to be a problem rather than a convenience.

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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:06 am

Re: Research for international students.

Postby TheBeast » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:48 pm

Although there are a limited number of advertised research opportunities, I think that you will have the best chance of acquiring some experience by approaching professors yourself. Do some research online and figure out which people and where are doing work that you think is interesting. Ideally, you want to find people working in a university with a large physics department that does research in several areas. Email those people and explain that you are interested in their work and want to get some experience. Most people will probably ignore you or say "no." But, if you contact enough people, eventually someone will agree.

Once you actually get to the university and start doing research, you can try to learn about other fields by talking to students and profs who actually do research in those areas. You should also sit in on a variety of talks within the department to get a gauge as to what's going on in other areas of physics.

It's a time consuming process, but if you're successful you'll end up with some research experience and perhaps, more importantly, some solid contacts in academia to help write letters of reference for you when you ultimately apply to grad school.

Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:55 pm

Re: Research for international students.

Postby Joe_Fraizer » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:00 am

Thanks for the reply! I had to ask in case there was a magical website or place to find research opportunities that I somehow had missed out on. I found the one in Tokyo by accident, does anyone know of universities who openly advertise for research assistants like that? Also, how much time is usually spent between your bachelor and Master/PhD doing research? I'm currently 22 years old, when am I "too old" to go for a PhD? Some of these questions might be naive, but I really have no one to ask at my uni since most of the profs never left my country for education.

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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:47 pm

Re: Research for international students.

Postby astroprof » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:00 am

One often overlooked source for research positions in Astronomy is
the AAS (American Astronomical Society) Job Register This monthly listing not only
includes faculty and postdoctoral positions, but also many opportunities
for research positions which require only a Bachelor's degree and/or
PhD positions (usually from European institutions). Note that the
Institutions who advertise here for PhD students are usually highly
regarded internationally - places like the Max Planck Institut in
Germany, for example. I would assume that similar positions are
advertised within the Physics community as well.

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