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Obtaining part time postgrad RA position (uncompensated)


TL;DR, want to work part time as an postgrad RA for no pay at a local university. Is it reasonable to expect to achieve this and what's the most appropriate way of going about it?

I hold a Masters in Engineering (MEng) from a UK university (Imperial College) but live in the states, working for a software company in the Seattle area. I graduated a few years back but don't know if I'm ready to commit to a PhD (yet). I regret never doing a summer research project during my undergrad.

I'm now interested in doing some research, most likely part time - maybe one afternoon a week + weekends and evenings at a local University. I don't expect to be compensated for my time, but feel I can make a small contribution to a Computer Science research field (e.g. Computer Vision, High Performance Systems). As well as being keen in the field itself, I also wish to see how research is actually performed, and ultimately I may decide to pursue a PhD.

If you were me, how would you go about landing a part time RA position? I was going to simply reach out to some professors who work in the areas I'm interested in (and papers/research I've read) and offer to work uncompensated for the opportunity to work for them.