Get Involved With Pharmacology Research!

Why do research?

  • Get to know the field of pharmacology and nicher subjects
  • Explore what it’s like to work in academic research
  • Learn academic skills like technical writing, literature searches, and how to read and write a paper
  • Learn transferable wet lab skills and data analysis
  • Build your resume for grad school, med school, or industry applications
  • Put your education to use for sick science!

How to get involved?

There are multiple ways to be involved with research at McGill, but specifically in pharmacology, you have four options:

  1. PHAR 396/7
  2. Honours Research Project
  3. NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council) —through the through Medicine/Health Sci department
  4. SURA (Summer Undergraduate Research Awards)
  5. Independent arrangements 

How to get started:

  1. Pick an area of interest within the field—or just start browsing!

  2. Look through faculty and their research on the pharmacology website 

  3. Make a list of professors whose work interests you and reach out via email!

  4. Once you’ve gotten their approval, you’re probably going to have an interview!

Drafting the email:

  1. Decide your intentions—do you want to do a 396 course? an honours project? NSERC, SURA, or just volunteer work?
    • The kind of work you want to do determines when you should start contacting professors and the requirements you might need
    • For NSERC/SURA, deadlines registration with your supervising professor for Pharmacology are in Februrary 
    • For 396 courses, deadlines are around add/drop period, but you will need to find a supervising professor and contact the course coordinator Dr. Jason Tanny before then
    • For independent projects or general volunteer work, reach out and see where it goes!
  2. Do your research on your potential supervisor’s work
    • It’s important to make sure your interests align with their projects, and this will help you write a good email!
  3. Draft an email—here is a good resource on how to do that
    • Protip: include your unofficial transcript in your first email if you’re proud of your GPA and/or want to show that you’ve taken the relevant courses, or else send it after you’re asked for it
    • Note any past research experience/any experience within your field of interest that you’ve had! And if you don’t, fret not, just show your willingness & ability to learn!
  4. Wait for a response—profs are super busy and it may take up to a week for them to get back to you. Feel free to send a follow-up email after a week or two in case your email got lost in their inbox.

Email DO’s:

  • DO address them professionally by name
  • DO keep it short and sweet
  • DO your research on their work and state specific interests you have in their lab
  • DO state relevant coursework and experience
  • DO include unofficial transcripts and CVs if you think they will help

Email DON’Ts:

  • DON’T send generic mass emails
  • DON’T send paragraphs or long love letters
  • DON’T email lots of professors all in one round
  • DON’T take on a project you’re not interested in