Stanford Students from right, Erica Levine, Yoo-Yoo Yeh, Claire Frykman and classmates prepare to place floor joists that will support a deck at the Solar Decathalon house. Credits: Linda A. Cicero, Stanford News Service.
  • Many potential mentors begin by inviting you to attend regular lab group meetings. These meetings can be an extraordinarily efficient way to get up to speed in a particular sub-discipline.  They can introduce you to the papers that form the foundation for the group's work, the most useful methods, and the level of focus other lab members bring to their project goals. 
  • Often the first project(s) you work on will have been designed by someone else as part of a broader research initiative.  Don't underestimate these opportunities to get training in new methods or kinds of analysis. 
  • When you first begin you may be working primarily with a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow.  The mentors are the first in a network that will eventually include faculty and even collaborators at other institutions.