Top of pageSkip to main content
Main content
Making Connections Hero.jpg

Making Connections in Research

Getting involved in research can be as simple as sending a message! Reach out to faculty or principal investigators directly to inquire about opportunities. Your message is a chance to show your enthusiasm for their research and highlight why you'd be a great addition to their team. Use this guide to craft a compelling message that showcases your interest and qualifications. 

Crafting an Effective Message

The Subject
The subject of a message describes the reason you are reaching out, and it should be clear, concise, yet,informative. An example might be, “Interest in your Current Research Project [insert title of work],or,Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Your Lab. 

The Greeting

Your greeting should be polite and respectful. Avoid excessive enthusiasm, as it may come across as insincere and you may not know this person very well.You may refer to the title listed in the potential mentor’s profile, such as, “Dr..It is only okay to address your mentor by first name if that is already mentioned/established.

If there is concern about your contact’s title, you may address them as Professor XX. This allows for gender neutrality and avoids offenses to misnaming.  

The Body

In this section, briefly introduce yourself and state your purpose for reaching out. It's crucial to be concise yet specific about your intentions. In the second sentence, you want to provide your request or call to action. Use this message to explain why you’re sending the message. Clearly state what you are seeking from the potential mentor. Be specific and highlight why you believe they would be a suitable mentor for you. Finally, mention the review you’ve done of their workand briefly how it relates to your specific interests, or your academic/career goal.

Here are examples:

  • “In A&P II, I became fascinated with the cardiovascular system, and I would like to inquire about a research opportunity to study angiogenesis in atherosclerosis.” 
  • “I have an interest in consumer studies and I would like to explore opportunities to collaborate on your project that examines the debtor-creditor relationships for families with multigenerational households.” 
  • "I am reaching out to inquire about the possibility of joining your research group or collaborating on a project related to [mention specific topic or area of interest]. 

The Conclusion

Wrap up your message with a polite closing that expresses gratitude for the recipient's consideration and suggests the possibility of further discussion or engagement. If the recipient has office hours, you might consider mentioning this as an opportunity to connect. Include your resume or CV to provide more information about your experiences and skills. Ending with a simple, "thank you for your consideration", is always a good choice. 


When seeking faculty mentorship for research,it's important to have a clear call to action in yourinitial message. However, if youdon't receive a response,don't take it personally. Faculty members are often busy with various commitments. A polite follow-up email is acceptable and can help remind them of your interest. Express understanding of their busy schedule and reiterate your enthusiasm for the opportunity to work with them. 

Sample Messages

Initial Message Example

Dear Dr. [Mentor's Last Name], 

My name is (insert your name), and I am a (year, major) at Emory University and I am writing to inquire about opportunities for undergraduate research working with you beginning (time period). I am especially interested in your work on (describe a paper or talk). I would appreciate the chance to meet with you to discuss (the topic) and possible opportunities for me to become involved in the project. I am eager to develop my research skills while an undergraduate to help me (career goal). 

I have attached my resume/CV and unofficial transcript. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information. Thank you for your consideration.  


Ambitious Student  

Email address 


Follow-Up Message Example

Dear Dr. [Mentor's Last Name], 

I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to follow up on my previous message regarding potential research opportunities in your research space. I understand you may be busy, but I wanted to reiterate my interest in learning more about the work you’ve done in [research area]. I am eager to learn more about current projects and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further with you. 

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Best regards,  

Ambitious Student  

Email address 


Top of pageSkip to main content