The GEARRS event is a tremendous opportunity to meet with potential research advisors and to talk about research ideas, future goals, and see if you fit into their lab group. It is extremely helpful to come into the fall as a PhD with an already predetermined lab group. Many students who have to spend time their first semester meeting with many different advisors struggle more academically because it can be time consuming. Our advice is to do this research ahead of GEARRS, set up faculty meetings through Vera, and use the spring/summer to secure a spot in the lab you want to work in.
A few tips for the process of figuring out what research group you are interested in joining:
- Research many different advisors, but keep in mind that many lab group sites are not up to date with the most current research, so make sure to email and ask potential professors what their current work is!
- Ask for contact information of lab group members- get a students' input on the strengths/ weaknesses of their lab
- Ask what your role as a lab member would look like
- If you have a long term goal for your PhD, make sure you share it even if you have no idea how you would get there! Professors love to hear what you are passionate about too!