You probably have many of the skills needed. Conducting research is a skill you learn, and it often relies heavily on qualities and characteristics similar to other jobs.
Faculty are looking for students who:
- Ask questions and speak up when they are confused or don’t understand
- Show up on time reliably and are dependable in meeting deadlines
- Work well in a team
- Are comfortable making mistakes, facing setbacks, and overcoming failure
Faculty in specific labs may also be looking for other skills depending on the research. These skills may include a love of animals, strong interpersonal and communication skills, the ability to follow a recipe and directions, or specific knowledge and information from relevant courses.
Every faculty member looks for different attributes in a student researcher. You can explore current faculty research and opportunities and see when faculty are next looking to work with independent research students and learn more about who they are looking for. Or, you can email a faculty member in the department directly and ask them what they look for in a research assistant.