From the moment applications are collected for review, the Bredesen Center is networking with faculty on your behalf: sending your resume to faculty who are interested, scheduling interviews during the recruit visit, and organizing networking events at Orientation and the January Retreat. However, the majority of the work is up to you to make sure that you find the right fit in terms of a research relationship.
Find out what research is going on: Start with exploring the list of BC faculty, ORNL website, and UTK to find research projects you might be interested in joining. If you find something or someone you’re interested in– read a few papers to understand the work better.
Start a Conversation: Contact the scientist. Introduce yourself as a BC student looking for an advisor, briefly explain your interest, and ask for a meeting to discuss any opportunities to work with them. (Allie or the SAC can help you find someone’s contact and/or can introduce you via email, as well as talking you through appropriate questions to ask during the conversation and how to prepare for questions they may ask)
Learn about the experience: Meet with the prospective advisor and ask questions about what the working relationship will look like: expectations for the research project, communication, leadership style, amount of collaboration that occurs, how to receive and submit tasks and directives, etc. Talk to current students who are or have previously worked with these faculty to find out if the culture is a place you’d feel confident working in (ask Allie or SAC to help you get connected). Remember, you are interviewing them for a right fit as much as they are evaluating you as a right fit.
Found an advisor? Next steps: Once you and a faculty agree to work together, let us know! You will need to complete the Advisor Declaration Form. If you receive a BC Fellowship, the Business Manager will contact the faculty to set up funding.
*The Student Advisory Committee (SAC) has developed a framework for best practices within a Mentor-Mentee relationship.
**Note: you are highly encouraged to come to the SAC or BC leadership whenever you have concerns or feel confused about the relationship or the work