Sir Fox
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I'm currently at the end of my 2nd year of a 4 year (Scottish) BSc in Psychology. My core interest is the biological side of psychology, i.e. behavioural neuroscience, but also the less psychological and more biology related aspects of neuroscience (i.e. cellular etc.). After my BSc I want to either study medicine (already have a place guaranteed) or do a master's and PhD in neuroscience to become a researcher in this field.

Naturally, I want to write my bachelor's dissertation in neuroscience, but the department of psychology at my university does not have to offer much in this respect, it mostly engages in developmental psychology, eye movements and the cognition of language. This didn't bother me when I started my studies as I had no idea that I would one day go into neuroscience, but now it's naturally not the best My university does however have a strong college of life sciences and a large and excellent interdisciplinary division of neuroscience.

I thought about contacting some of the academics there to enquire about research opportunities, but am not sure about how to approach this and how to convince them that an undergrad can actually be a valuable member of their team - especially as I don't even know this myself Generally all my grades are far above average, especially so in biological psychology, but I have no clue whether that's enough. I have already scanned the staff register and singled out those researchers whose work is in the fields I'm interested in, and before approaching anyone I would naturally read their recent papers.

So my question is, has anyone worked with academics and done research in his undergrad and how have you approached them?
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iammichealjackson
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(Original post by Sir Fox)
I'm currently at the end of my 2nd year of a 4 year (Scottish) BSc in Psychology. My core interest is the biological side of psychology, i.e. behavioural neuroscience, but also the less psychological and more biology related aspects of neuroscience (i.e. cellular etc.). After my BSc I want to either study medicine (already have a place guaranteed) or do a master's and PhD in neuroscience to become a researcher in this field.

Naturally, I want to write my bachelor's dissertation in neuroscience, but the department of psychology at my university does not have to offer much in this respect, it mostly engages in developmental psychology, eye movements and the cognition of language. This didn't bother me when I started my studies as I had no idea that I would one day go into neuroscience, but now it's naturally not the best My university does however have a strong college of life sciences and a large and excellent interdisciplinary division of neuroscience.

I thought about contacting some of the academics there to enquire about research opportunities, but am not sure about how to approach this and how to convince them that an undergrad can actually be a valuable member of their team - especially as I don't even know this myself Generally all my grades are far above average, especially so in biological psychology, but I have no clue whether that's enough. I have already scanned the staff register and singled out those researchers whose work is in the fields I'm interested in, and before approaching anyone I would naturally read their recent papers.

So my question is, has anyone worked with academics and done research in his undergrad and how have you approached them?
Just email some, im sure if you ask enough times you could sort out something to do as a summer project, if you can't do something for your dissertation. The first person I emailed let me help on a project over the summer.
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Sir Fox
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(Original post by iammichealjackson)
Just email some, im sure if you ask enough times you could sort out something to do as a summer project, if you can't do something for your dissertation. The first person I emailed let me help on a project over the summer.
That's what I planned to do. The issue is just that neuroscience research is based a lot on biology and I would contact people outside my department. If I'd be interested in, say, developmental psychology, I would just walk up to my lecturer straight away, but in my current situation I am thinking about how to convince people doing cell recordings of rodents' brains and investigating molecular processes at GABAA receptors that a psychology undergrad could meaningfully contribute to their research
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iammichealjackson
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(Original post by Sir Fox)
That's what I planned to do. The issue is just that neuroscience research is based a lot on biology and I would contact people outside my department. If I'd be interested in, say, developmental psychology, I would just walk up to my lecturer straight away, but in my current situation I am thinking about how to convince people doing cell recordings of rodents' brains and investigating molecular processes at GABAA receptors that a psychology undergrad could meaningfully contribute to their research
Well i'm not sure if you've heard but there's something called email! You don't have to walk up to someone to talk to them. You could settle for something that is vaguely biology-related even if it doesn't require biology knowledge (i.e. coding animal behaviour from a video) which would still be quite useful anyway? You might well need some conversion degree, but if you don't email people you will never know that you cannot help in their research. You could also get their thoughts about how to move to doing more biology at undergrad/postgrad. You might also be allowed to be supervised by somoone who isn't strictly in the psychology department.
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Sir Fox
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(Original post by iammichealjackson)
Well i'm not sure if you've heard but there's something called email!
Oh dear ... :rolleyes: I'm well aware about the current means of communication, it's about how to convince them.

You could settle for something that is vaguely biology-related even if it doesn't require biology knowledge (i.e. coding animal behaviour from a video) which would still be quite useful anyway? You might well need some conversion degree, but if you don't email people you will never know that you cannot help in their research. You could also get their thoughts about how to move to doing more biology at undergrad/postgrad. You might also be allowed to be supervised by somoone who isn't strictly in the psychology department.
That's actually more helpful
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