Advice needed: Stay at my biomed research or take a job in clinical research


5+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2010
Hi, this is my first post and I need some advice. I'm currently working a full-time biomedical research position at a large research university while I take the rest of my pre-med reqs (i.e. orgo lab, bio, biochem).

The project/grant my PI hired me for has since dovetailed, and now I'm working on a separate project. I don't believe he'll have enough money to keep me on his staff past July 2011. Recently, I've been offered a clinical research coordinator job where I'll be working on multiple studies with two nurse coordinators.

So my question is what do you think would provide better opportunities down the road? When the time comes I think my interests lay in specializing. My options are:

a) Stick with my current biomed research job and hope I get to stay or look for another job when the time comes.

b) Take the clinical research job because it has better job security

c) Try to work out a hybrid job where I can work both positions (same dept)

I plan on applying summer 2011 which means I would like to work up until I matriculate. Also, I don't believe I will be published with any of the projects I worked on until now. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks!


10+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2009
Welcome to the forum! I would go with what would be a better experience in terms of enjoyment and long-term goals. If you enjoy your work at the biomed lab, continue to do it especially if you think it is likely you can get a publication. Otherwise, clinical research is great - even preferred - for medical school applications. I personally think it'd be impressive to be a research coordinator as well. The best of the three options would to do both if you could. But if I were to choose one, I'd go with whatever I'd be happier to talk about during my interviews. Seems like both good options to me. Good luck!


10+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2008
Welcome to the forum! I would go with what would be a better experience in terms of enjoyment and long-term goals.

I second this. If you're going to be spending a decent amount of time in this lab, make sure you like what you're going to be doing/like the people you are working with, because that's going to make a bigger difference over the long run. I don't think that there will be a significant difference in how adcoms view either type of research.


10+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2007
Medical Student
What do you mean by dovetailed and he won't have money to keep you on beyond July 2011. Is this on the scale of his R01 did not get renewed and he's in jeopardy of losing his whole lab or a project got cancelled/private donor fell through and he just doesn't have the extra funding to keep you on while the other 10 people in the lab aren't affected? Worst case scenario, can you afford to be unemployed for a year while you apply?

Once a lab starts losing major funding to the point where they have to start cutting staff, it can lead to a slow decline that's hard to recover from. Less grants now -> fewer experiments -> harder to get grants in the future -> even less money. While this is more of an issue for grad students and poctdocs since lab techs/RAs can move around much easier, I would at least keep an eye out for any rumors and quietly ask around the department for openings if you do decide to stay in the same field.