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Bad etiquette to ask research professor for summer pay?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jow2, Apr 24, 2012.

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  1. jow2

    jow2 5+ Year Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    I've been doing research in a lab at my school for the past two semesters, and I like the research I do. Since I will be living near my school this summer for taking a MCAT prep course and will have most mornings free, I've asked my PI if I can work in lab over the summer part-time, and he has agreed. However, I haven't mentioned anything about getting paid, and my PI hasn't either...Rent is expensive, not to mention the MCAT course is expensive too, so I'd like to be compensated a little for my work in lab this summer. Is it bad etiquette or would it give a bad impression if I asked my PI if he will pay me? I qualify for work-study so maybe that will make it easier? I've been in this lab for a while now and my PI likes me because I've done well in his lab these past two semesters.
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  3. 1TB4RKSB4CK

    1TB4RKSB4CK wussup doge Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

    May 6, 2010
    If he likes you enough I don't see any harm in asking.
  4. EBTrailRunner

    EBTrailRunner 5+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2011
    I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a stipend. I'd speak to your PI in person and let him know you want to continue working in his lab over the summer, but you'd need a stipend to be able to cover your living expenses. I think as long as your respectful and sincere in your request, he'll approve (assuming his lab has money to spare).
  5. kduck

    kduck 2+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    If you want to approach this indirectly, you can ask if your PI knows about any outside grants undergrads can apply for to fund summer research. There is money available for students to fund research in a lab at their home institution, and your PI might be able to help you find it. If he can't, maybe bringing up finances in this way will prompt him to offer you wages?
  6. NeuroLAX

    NeuroLAX Discere faciendo 2+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2012
    I'm not sure how Work-Study works because I never qualified, but OP you should definitely look into it.

    Not a huge fan of the beating around the bush tactic, but this doesn't sound like it at all and actually is very diplomatic. Good idea :thumbup: If this fails then at least the OP tried and s/he can resort to Plan B, no pun intended :D
  7. MossyFiber

    MossyFiber 2+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2012
    You should email whoever manages interns / grad students at the institute and ask them how much interns get paid.
  8. MDschoolorbust

    MDschoolorbust SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2012
    I asked my research professor if he could provide a stipend and he told me he had no money. He is a relatively new professor and I guess grants haven't been favorable. Because I need more experience, I'm now doing this for free over the summer. Sigh.
  9. tantacles

    tantacles Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    Hey, thousands of undergrads have done the same for research experience since the dawn of time. I did, and now you can do the same.
  10. MDschoolorbust

    MDschoolorbust SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2012
    Hooray! I am considering asking another professor who I know has a paid position open if I can join his and do both labs this summer.
  11. beargunkarate

    beargunkarate 5+ Year Member

    May 26, 2011
    Not bad etiquette in the slightest. PI's know you gotta eat, pay bills, etc., so it's definitely worth asking. After my first year in the lab as a volunteer, I asked if it would be possible to get paid hourly, which would allow me to be full time in the lab rather than part time with a part time job to make money on the side. My PI was happy to pay me to stay in the lab.
  12. Danlee07

    Danlee07 2+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    Work study is for Fall and Spring, consecutively, after filing a FAFSA by the beginning of the yr.

    I'd definitely ask...the only times I wouldn't ask are when the lab is your first one or you've been messing up.
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    You could ask , but in general if he hasn't mentioned money, there isn't any. Most undergrad research is for the line on the CV, not money.

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