Apply to join PCUR! What Correspondents do and why YOU should become one

Spring is coming quickly, and with it, graduation –  which means Stacey, Jalisha and I will become PCUR alumni. So, PCUR is looking for new correspondents to pick up where we leave off. If you are (A) a Princeton Freshman or Sophomore, and (B) literate (I hope that’s redundant), then you should apply to blog with us!

Let’s get some questions out of the way first:

Research can happen anywhere – as my fellow correspondents know well

What’s PCUR?

You’re reading it! As you can tell from the header, it stands for Princeton Correspondents on Undergraduate Research, and that’s what we do. Our posts can vary a lot – from interviews to essays to listicles of anything from baby photos to renaissance art, but everything we do is about discussing and illuminating the life of undergraduate researchers at Princeton.

What’s in it for me?

Well, first, it’s paid – we’re compensated for our biweekly posts.

More importantly, PCUR gives you experience thinking and writing as a researcher. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a scholar and as a person during my year with PCUR, both from writing my own posts and from editing my fellow correspondents’ posts. And that experience is valuable professionally, too – graduate/professional schools and employers love to see that someone can think deeply about how to work smarter, and get more fulfillment from their work.

You also get to hang out with some of the smartest and friendliest people on campus (#PCURSquad)

#PCURSquad is goals

But I don’t do research – how can I write about it?

You definitely do research. Remember digging through the library, trying to figure out how to get an interesting angle for your writing sem pieces? That’s research! And you’ll be doing even more research coming up: From summer projects to independent work, every undergraduate here has plenty of material to draw on.

Plus, we don’t just write about our own research – we find others with interesting projects, and talk to them! So it’s a great way to get inspired by all the cool research here!

What would I do?

Write a post once every two weeks which captures some aspect of undergraduate research at Princeton, and edit another correspondent’s post on alternate weeks. Go to the occasional meeting or training session. And think of new ways we can help make research less scary and more fun for other Princeton undergrads.

Great! How do I apply?

Read through the PCUR call for applications for all the details. Essentially, you’ll need to send an email to with a resume; a cover letter about your research experience and plans to contribute to the PCUR blog; and a sample post (between 500 and 750 words). To see what the sample post could look like, explore the rest of the blog (and feel free to send us questions about any of the work we’ve done so far)!

You can also apply to be Chief Correspondent, which requires the same application materials as above but with special emphasis on leadership skills. In your cover letter, you should reflect on an example of leading a team and on the kind of entrepreneurial spirit necessary to nurture a still-young initiative.

Applications are due on April 5th at noon, so start thinking, get writing, and apply to join us as a correspondent in the fall!

Bennett McIntosh, Natural Sciences Correspondent