Does anyone have any suggestions for gaining some research experience once a person is out of University? Following graduation I decided to pursue work in a field outside of physics, but now I'm seriously contemplating a return to the good stuff.
I'm up in the Great White North (Western Canada), and one doesn't often see research groups looking for engineers or B.Sc.'s in these parts (at least I haven't).
It would be nice to gain some more experience, both to help out with an application to grad school and to help narrow down my wide-ranging interests.
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I ended up taking a year to do research after graduating by applying for a Fulbright Scholarship to work at CERN. So far this has been a great experience. If you want to do research abroad, I highly recommend applying for the Fulbright (although it's already too late for fall 2009) or some other study abroad scholarship. In general, with these, you have to have a pretty clear idea of where you want to work and who you want to work with, so unless you've already got contacts in Europe, you'd need to start calling people. Another possibility is to try and get a research position at a national lab in the US. I don't know how easy or hard this is, but it's always worth a shot or at least a few phone calls. This might be a relatively easy option for you since you could just apply for a job as "engineer technician" or something using the normal pipeline. Anyways, best of luck!