Wednesday, March 20, 2019

How to Land a Research Spot in USA

Hey guys, how's it going?
So this post is going to be about how to land a research position in USA.
First of all I would like to briefly speak about  why it is important to have some research experience in USA. Common idea is it helps people to build a strong CV to cover up low scores or any red flags in the CV. What I have realized is that it is not the only benefit, to get into a competitive specialty for residency and also for future fellowships it's very important to have some research background in the field of your interest.

Now let's talk about the steps to go through before you land a research spot.

1. Email people far and wide.
When I started emailing for Research, a lot of people told me you have to send around 3,000 emails before you land a spot. This might be true for people but I was lucky and fortunate to have heard back from around 5 to 6 people after sending out only 222 - 250 emails. It's like firing arrows in the dark you never know what you're going to hit. No one is obliged to reply to your emails, you have to be resistant and persistent in sending out emails, don't give up, don't back down you will get what you want!

2. Next question is what kind of emails should I send out? Personalized or Generic.
When I started this journey people told me to send specialized emails because they carry more weight and you're more likely to hear back from the person.
Specialized emails take time, that's why I decided to send generic emails at least in my first round of reaching out to people. I would try to get the name correct and one or two lines about his/her areas of Interest.
This approach worked for me at the end.

3. What should be the format of my email?
I'll be attaching my format down below so keep reading and don't worry :p

4. Which places to target first?
Go for the big guns first, Mayo clinic, Cleveland, Thomas Jefferson, MD Anderson, etc.
I'll attach the list of places I covered and also the people I reached out to.

5. How do I find emails of Research Faculty?
Type the name of the institute, your department of Interest, research.
Look out for the email IDs on pure. Elsevier  as well.
Once you get into the research faculty of a place make sure you reach out to one and all, even if it's a PhD person. You never know who's going to return your emails and recommend you for a spot. So gun far and wide.

6. Three things they want to hear in an email.
Who is going to sponsor you?  How are you going to fund your stay at their Institute?
For how long will you be available to work? A year or two?
When will you be applying for residency?
Would you consider an unpaid position or not?

7. What happens when you hear back from a mentor?
They would like to take your interview on Skype or a phone call depending upon your current geographical  location.

8. What are they judging you for in a Skype interview?
First of all it's to make sure you are a person and not a robot.
Second they will ask you about who is going to fund your stay?
If you are an international medical graduate it's understood that you will be requiring a J1 research Visa.
Next for how long will you be able to work?
Would you consider an unpaid position?

9. After they select you, the J1 Research Visa  process begins. The visa process is one long other post.
I'm going to be attaching a few places that I approached and a list of places, the big guns which you can Target  first for a research position.

If you guys have any queries or doubts please feel free to reach out to me. I would be more than happy to help.

In the famous words of Rocky Balboa I wish you the" Eye of the Tiger". ( to identify the spot best suited for you :p)

Bhopalwala. H


  1. Loved it , nicely written.
    Hey how was your personal experience? did you consider an unpaid position? If yes than why and how?

  2. Wow....thanks for such a wonderful post!Cleared a lot of my doubts.Also please give me an idea about what will be the approx costs if you go for unpaid?

    1. You'll need a prrof funding for approx 30k to 40k USD.

      Actual cost will vary depending on where you're staying and many other variables


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