How to prepare a good research profile.

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This article is designed to help the readers with all the essential knowledge required for them to confidently embark on their own ventures. It aims to offer a comprehensive understanding, providing the necessary tools and information that will enable the readers to navigate through various situations and challenges independently and equip themselves with all that is required to create an excellent research profile which will open up their doors to premier institutions and research laboratories for further study and employment setting up ground that could take up their passionate fire.


The 1st step in any process is exploration. Exploration is an extremely crucial step in order to create a distinguished research profile. Domains like Software, Machine Learning, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical, BioTech etc., are extremely flexible and are interdisciplinary , for example implementing ML in CFD, Robotics etc., which widens the scope for research, thus not limiting the exploration to one’s own branch. It is extremely crucial to make the right and informed decisions and choices.

Browse prominent websites

  1. Explore the websites of renowned institutes like IISc, MIT, UCB, Cambridge, CalTech, Stanford etc.
  2. Delve into the R&D division of organizations like Amazon, ISRO, DRDO, Mercedes, NASA, Tesla and many more,
  3. They provide valuable insights upon the ongoing research, potential areas of exploration and hot topics around the world.

Engage with Diverse Content

  1. Stay up to date with relevant magazines, journals, publications, articles and podcasts.
  2. Offers perspective on emerging trends, advancements, and potential research avenues.

Network and Communicate

  1. Connect with professors, seniors, alumnus and professionals via LinkedIn.
  2. Seek advice and resources to aid in further exploration.
  3. Build as many connections as possible and make the best out of valuable opportunities like fests, talks, conferences and seminars to create as many connections as possible.
  4. This will be extremely beneficial not only for advice but will also be helpful for getting a job, intern or project which are extremely important for practical experience.
  5. Evaluate long-term commitments and potential demand in your chosen field.

Practical Experience

Following the exploration and refinement of topics, the subsequent step involves gaining practical experience. The most effective approach to achieve this is by immersing oneself in the field and actively participating in hands-on projects. Engaging in hands-on-projects provides valuable insight into the chosen field and helps in determining career paths, including academia and industry.

This phase of your research makes you pounder upon following questions:

  • Your inclination towards pursuing a career in research.
  • If affirmative, specifying the particular field of interest.

So, before moving further on how to select and secure a project, it is of utmost importance to go through the prerequisites that would be extremely important and helpful in this process.

Required Documentation

This section looks upon the important documents required to secure a project through various sources. CV, Resume and Academic Transcript are one the most important documents that are required everywhere from Industry to Academia, while SOP, Cover Letter and LORs are required when you want to secure a project through a research program like MITACS, DAAD-WISE, SURGE etc. These documents are briefly explained in this section and a complete guide is available by navigating to the link.


  • It is a concise document summarizing an individual’s education, work experience, skills and achievements, and is typically used for job applications.
  • It should be clearly organized and present your professional history, education and skills in a well-structured format of relevance to the position you are applying for.
  • Ensure a clean and professional layout with consistent formatting. Use a readable font, bullet points, and proper spacing. Tailor your resume for each application by emphasizing experiences and skills most relevant to the specific position.
  • The resume should be kept short. The ideal length is 1 page for entry-level professionals and up to two pages for those with more extensive experience.

CV (Curriculum Vitae)

  • It is a comprehensive document which is an in-depth account of an individual’s academic and professional accomplishments. It is more prevalent in academia.
  • Provide a detailed overview of your work experience, emphasizing achievements, responsibilities, and skills developed.
  • Highlight relevant skills, both technical and soft, that align with the position you are seeking. Include any certifications, language proficiency, or professional memberships.
  • CVs are lengthy and can range from 2-8 pages. CV is typically 1-2 pages for entry-level, 2-3 pages for mid-level and 3-8 or more pages for senior-level or Academic CVs.

Academic Transcripts

  • It is an official document that provides a comprehensive record of a student’s academic history and performance.
  • It includes the grades obtained in each course, often on a scale such as letter grades. The transcript may also calculate a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) and based on student’s overall performance.

Refer to the following link to know the procedure to procure official transcripts from academic section: [1]

Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

  • It is a letter provided by individuals(Professors, Supervisors, Mentors) who have had direct professional or academic interaction with the person being recommended.
  • It offers a credible endorsement of the individual’s qualifications and achievements, supplementing information in resumes, CVs and applications.
  • In competitive scenarios, a compelling LOR can distinguish  a candidate by showcasing personal qualities and experiences not evident from other application materials.

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

  • It is a document that succinctly describes the applicant’s goals, motivations, and reasons for pursuing/applying for a particular academic program, job or a research program, providing clarity to the selection committee.
  • Well-crafted SOPs not only convey information effectively but also showcase the applicant's writing abilities, attention to detail, and communication skills, influencing the overall impression on the selection committee.
  • It offers an opportunity to demonstrate your individuality, highlighting the distinctive qualities that set you apart and emphasizing that your evaluation goes beyond academic achievements alone.
  • Until and unless specified the word limit is between 500 - 1000 words.

Cover Letter

  • A cover letter, confined to a single page, complements your resume by providing additional information without duplicating its content.
  • Utilizing a professionally crafted cover letter template is advisable to guarantee proper formatting for your cover letter.
  • A cover letter serves as a persuasive pitch, showcasing why you are excellent for the position.

Essential Skills

There are a few other extremely important skills apart from the documents mentioned above that are extremely important in securing a project. Some of the necessary skills are as follows:


  • Googling is an extremely crucial skill. You should be able to use the chosen and effective keywords to refine search queries and obtain relevant information, else you would end up wasting a lot of your valuable time.
  • Skill in using filters and sorting options to refine your search results based on criteria such as time, location, or content type.
  • Capacity to assess the credibility and reliability of online sources, distinguishing between trustworthy and less reliable sources.
  • Incorporating synonyms and variations of search terms to capture a broader range of relevant information.
  • Willingness to stay updated on new Google features and enhancements, adapting to changes in the search engine’s functionality for more effective information retrieval.


  • Email Etiquette must be followed. Customary rules and guidelines governing the proper and polite way to communicate through emails.
  • You should be able to convey a message clearly and concisely, avoiding unnecessary details and ensuring the recipient can easily understand the content.
  • Ensure correct punctuation, grammar and spelling throughout the email to convey a sense of competence and attention to details.
  • For further information about Emailing Skill follow the link : How to write a Cold mail


  • Expressing ideas clearly and succinctly, avoiding unnecessary details to ensure a  straightforward message.
  • Actively engaging in and comprehensive conversations, demonstrating attentiveness and understanding of others’ perspectives.
  • Adjusting  communication style to suit the context, audience and purpose, whether formal, informal or professional.
  • Mastering non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions to complement and enhance verbal messages.

Opting for and Securing a Project Opportunity

Upon settling on your area of interest, consider the following questions before selecting your project:

  • What is the purpose of the project ?
  • What are your research objectives/questions ?
  • How does your project align with your interests and passion ?
  • What is the scope of your project ?
  • What resources are available and what will you need ?
  • What Methodology will you employ ?
  • What would be the expected timeline ?
  • How Will You Handle Ethical Considerations?
  • What are the potential challenges ?
  • How does the project contribute to existing knowledge and what impact would it have on society ?
  • What are your long-term career goals ?

These are the following ways to secure a project:

Project under a professor:

Identify the potential professor who has the same research interests as you.

  • Explore their work.
  • Read through research papers by the professor under whom you are interested to work.
  • Showcase enthusiasm by drafting a well-crafted email expressing your eagerness specifically highlighting aspects of their research that resonate with you.
  • Emphasize commitment by showcasing your dedication and enthusiasm for the subject.
  • Connect research interests by clearly articulating how your academic and research interests align with the professor's work. This helps the professor see the potential for a fruitful collaboration.
  • Express your willingness to contribute by communicating your desire to actively contribute to the professor’s research endeavors.
  • Be professional by clearly stating your intentions and provide a brief overview of your academic background and relevant experiences.
  • Follow up in case you don’t receive a response after some time.
  • Stay persistent as it may take time to secure a project, so be persistent in your pursuit and continue  exploring opportunities with other professors if needed.

Project through a research program

  • Identify research programs aligning with your interests such as SRFP, MITACS, DAAD-WISE, SURI etc.
  • Visit program websites, check your eligibility and note down the documents required like CV, transcript, language proficiency and LOR.
  • Navigate program directories, shortlisting projects or labs that match your preference.
  • Collect details to justify your choices in the application.
  • Draft a concise document showcasing how your choices align with your academic goals.
  • Use program portals to apply, following instructions provided on the respective websites and submit the required documents.
  • Ensure timely submission and compliance with program deadlines.
  • Keep track of updates or additional requirements communicated by the program.
  • Complete application process by submitting all necessary documents through the designated portal.


  • Undertake projects independently, without direct professor supervision, to enhance your understanding of a specific field.
  • Implement theoretical knowledge and enhance skills through self-directed projects, providing hands-on experience.
  • Innovative self-projects contribute value to your CV, showcasing a proactive approach and a strong desire to learn.
  • Search blogs, forums, and relevant online communities to discover project ideas and insights.
  • Interact with seniors and professors in the field to gain valuable guidance and insights.
  • Foster creativity, posing questions, and formulating a well-defined problem statement for your self-initiated project.


  • Invest time in crafting personalized emails, cover letters, and CVs for applications.
  • Avoid generic content; modify documents according to the specific position applied for.
  • Recognize professor’s busy schedules; communicate primarily through concise and well-structured emails.
  • Prioritize academic personnel familiar with your work for LORs.
  • Approach professors from courses where you excelled and those with whom you share a good rapport.
  • Acknowledge that talent alone may not suffice; connections play a crucial role in accessing resources and opportunities.
  • Stay updated on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for research updates, event announcements, and potential research opportunities.
  • Participate in conferences, seminars and workshops.

Written by Shashwat Gupta, B20318