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You're overthinking this. You might end up in a lab where your mentor is a control freak and treats you like a technician, or you can have a PI who will basically say "here's your workbench, here are the pipettes, now get to work."Hi guys,
The title mostly explains my question. Im a rising junior, and im very interested in applying MSTP. I've been working in a neuroscience lab under the mentorship of a postdoc (big famous lab, so pi isn't around much) for over a year now. But I am concerned I may not be independent enough to apply for MSTP programs.
As it is right now, I have done a few subprojects for a larger paper. Usually this means that the postdoc tells me what question needs to be answered and usually has designed most of the experiments to do that. Then I am responsible for keeping track and executing the experiments and presenting him with data. In my free time, I help him with other little things here and there. The postdoc has told me that I will pick up more techniques and start a fully independent project by next summer. But is that too late for me?
This is my first summer being full time in this lab, and I'll be applying to schools next summer (and working in the lab full time). So im just nervous I'm not getting the independence i want. I want to start driving my own questions more. Am i falling short of MSTP requirements? Should I switch labs? Or maybe talk to my advisor--Im just not sure how to make the "transition" to more independence. I'm his first undergrad too so I don't think he has a great idea either. In retrospect I would have gone to another lab but I feel it is becoming too late to do that and produce substantial work before applications....
Thanks in advance for your opinions!
Thanks, Goro. I've just been doing a lot of reading up lately and am a little worried lately that I wouldn't end up being competitive for top MSTP programs. Specifically I don't yet have a project that I could really "call my own" and talk at length about in a MSTP interview...