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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The article was posted in Science Magazine on 27th June 2016 by David Oppenheimer

Credit: tirc83/iStockphoto, Source: Science Mag

Participating in an undergraduate summer research experience is a crucial early step in your scientific training. This is in no small part due to the personal and professional development you gain from the exposure to in-depth, experiential learning. And in addition to learning new research skills, communicating your results, and making a discovery to solve a problem or answer a question, you have the opportunity to earn a recommendation letter to support future applications for graduate school and graduate fellowships.

However, if you are early in your undergraduate career, you may not need that letter until a few years after your summer research experience. Sure, you could come back to your mentor after that time and request a recommendation, but that approach has some major disadvantages. Most importantly, the more time that passes between when you leave the lab and when you ask for a recommendation letter, the fewer the specific details about your strengths and successes your mentor is likely to remember—and it’s those specific details that can turn a strong letter into an epic one. (Read More)

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