Joining O'Kane's Lab

I am always looking for motivated students, both undergraduates and graduate students, to join my research group. I appreciate your interest in potentially joining us. This page has some advice on how to get started.

Our Research

You can learn a bit about what my research involves from this list of our papers, especially those from the last few years. Even if the technical details aren't fully clear, having some idea about the general "flavor" of what we do will make it easier to figure out if your interests and skills are a good fit. For prospective graduate students and postdocs, it is particularly helpful to browse our prior work prior to contacting me.

Graduate Admissions

Because admissions are handled by a committee, I cannot decide who gets into any of our programs. You can find some information about our admissions process on the webpage for our graduate programs. Within the application for our Ph.D. program, you should indicate which faculty you are interested in working with; mentioning my name will help to ensure that I can voice my opinion to the committee about your application.

Form Letters

Many prospective graduate students and visitors seem to send identical or nearly-identical emails to large numbers of professors. Unfortunately, I generally get too many of these emails to reply to each one. I'm more likely to respond to messages that show a genuine, specific interest in our research, beyond just keywords or pasted paper titles.


All admitted graduate students are automatically considered for financial support from the directly from the department, in the form of teaching assistantships and fellowships. No separate application is necessary. In some years, I may have some limited funding available to offer research assistantships to incoming doctoral students; those sorts of offers will be made after the admissions process has been completed.

Interns and Visitors

I am happy to welcome in-person visitors and interns from other universities if there is some strong overlap in our research interests. Unfortunately, I cannot offer any financial support for this kind of arrangement, nor am I able to host fully remote "virtual" interns.


The group currently does not have funding to hire any postdocs. I am happy to work with postdocs that have both independent funding and research interests close enough to mine that I would be able to provide useful mentoring.

Group Meetings

My research group holds weekly group meetings throughout the year. Each meeting features a presentation by a member of the group about their latest research progress and a group discussion about the next steps for that research. Anyone at Texas A&M who is interested learning more about what our group does is welcome to attend these meetings. Send me email for date and time of the next meeting.

Take a Class from Me

Taking a class from me — either a formal course or an independent study — is one of the best ways to find out if there is good match between our interests and personalities. Many of the most successful students that have come through my lab have started as students in one of my classes.

Talk to Me

I am happy to talk with anyone about what we are doing and how you might be able to get involved.