can washing test tubes & cleaning hot plates....

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by FLY, May 15, 2002.

  1. FLY

    FLY Senior Member

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    in a research lab can be considered research??

    or else can be put down as something realted to research when applying?...

    Can somebody tell me if its worth it b/c I have this opportunity too volunteer myself in a research lab during my junior fall semester to do just the dirty work, and I am kind of leaning towards it since it will benefit me when I will be doing some real research..
     
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  3. Hero

    Hero Senior Member

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    it'll depend on which lab. in my lab, it earns you a foot in the door. and plus the students would usually take the PI's class and get a very good letter of rec. if there's more hands on stuff, go for it! but if this is all you can find.. we all have to start low somewhere :)
     
  4. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    That's not exactly research and I wouldn't put it down as such. In interviews, you'll be asked to explain your research and you won't have much to talk about. They realize really quickly what the deal is. I'd still take the job though, because if you get to know the prof (or other profs in the department), you might be able to secure an actual research aid position. Look around and see if you can get a research position (where you won't be just cleaning glassware) in other departments or with other professors.
     
  5. FLY

    FLY Senior Member

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    Ok, I think I got it..

    I need to try to do research (in my case, volunteering in a lab) with a Prof. which I think will be taking a class in the future so that I could get a solid letter of recommendation..

    Thanks..
     
  6. Hero

    Hero Senior Member

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    since you will be doing this 'lab' work as a junior in the fall, you should take his/her class during the same time you are doing his dishes :p

    Watch your time line especially if you plan to apply Spring/Summer junior year. If the turnover in the lab is high, you might even get authorship in papers. but if it's low (this will depend on which and what kinda lab you will work at) you might be waiting years for a paper (which is my case, after 2 years, finally a paper coming out... most likley end of this year or next year!)

    If you plan well, it won't be a waste of your time... good luck! :)
     
  7. Chnobli

    Chnobli Member

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    Hi,

    Just because you are washing dishes in a lab does not mean that you can't talk about your experiences!

    If you are interested in what everyone is doing in the lab, you can learn about the research that is going on! Thus, when asked in an interview, you may say that while you are responsible for the upkeep of the lab (and if the dishes are not washed, none of the real "reseach experiments" could be conducted), you have learned about the research in the lab, and can explain the projects to the adcoms. Thus, you can show them that you are intelligent, but at the same time don't shy away from dirty work!

    Good luck to you!

    Chnobli
    :D
     
  8. FLY

    FLY Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by rxfudd:
    <strong>Look around and see if you can get a research position (where you won't be just cleaning glassware) in other departments or with other professors.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Can someone tell me how could I land a research postion (better than cleaning) with just intro bio, into ochem, and intro physics... ??..
     
  9. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by FLY:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by rxfudd:
    <strong>Look around and see if you can get a research position (where you won't be just cleaning glassware) in other departments or with other professors.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Can someone tell me how could I land a research postion (better than cleaning) with just intro bio, into ochem, and intro physics... ??..</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Mass email a bunch of professors at your school or at research places nearby. I did it and got really lucky at getting into a lab after my sophomore year :)
     
  10. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by FLY:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by rxfudd:
    <strong>Look around and see if you can get a research position (where you won't be just cleaning glassware) in other departments or with other professors.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Can someone tell me how could I land a research postion (better than cleaning) with just intro bio, into ochem, and intro physics... ??..</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">You have to start asking around - call prof's, talk to them after class, go to the main office of departments - let it be known to as many people as possible that you are looking to work as a research assistant. I got a paid job as a student researcher by going to my physics prof's office hours regularly - I eventually asked what kind of research he did and after he explained it to me, he told me that he could use an undergrad in the lab - I got offered a job on the spot. I'll have been there three years this August.
     
  11. CalBear

    CalBear Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by FLY:
    <strong>in a research lab can be considered research??

    or else can be put down as something realted to research when applying?...

    Can somebody tell me if its worth it b/c I have this opportunity too volunteer myself in a research lab during my junior fall semester to do just the dirty work, and I am kind of leaning towards it since it will benefit me when I will be doing some real research..</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">i don't see how you can consider washing disware as doing research. That is not research at all b/c you are not doing any experiments. Even if you know about the research in your lab, you still cannot say that you did research. At best, you can describe your position as a part-time job. Not to be harsh, but I find it absurb that so many people consider washing dishware as doing research. lying about doing research is not really going to help your application. Besides, it's unethical and dishonest.
     
  12. Hero

    Hero Senior Member

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    usually u wont be lucky enough to work closely with the proff. chances are you will be hooked up w/ the proff's phd or masters student. this is usually good b/c you will get more attention (proffs are usually too busy) the student can write your letter and the proff can co-sign it. also take the prof's class. it will open doors for sure!
     
  13. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by CalBear:
    <strong>i don't see how you can consider washing disware as doing research. That is not research at all b/c you are not doing any experiments. Even if you know about the research in your lab, you still cannot say that you did research. At best, you can describe your position as a part-time job. Not to be harsh, but I find it absurb that so many people consider washing dishware as doing research. lying about doing research is not really going to help your application. Besides, it's unethical and dishonest.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I don't think the OP was trying to be dishonest or unethical - I think he/she was confused about what research actually IS. If you've never been exposed to a research environment and never knew anyone who did it, it might be easy to confuse working in a lab with research. Hell, when I was in high school, I thought a research professor was one who spent a lot of time in a library looking up facts and information.
     
  14. FLY

    FLY Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Scooby Doo:
    <strong>QUOTE]Mass email a bunch of professors at your school or at research places nearby. I did it and got really lucky at getting into a lab after my sophomore year :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">One question, what should I write in my email to get something better, as in:

    I have some free time on my hands and I was looking for .......................... in your research lab.
     
  15. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by FLY:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Scooby Doo:
    <strong>QUOTE]Mass email a bunch of professors at your school or at research places nearby. I did it and got really lucky at getting into a lab after my sophomore year :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">One question, what should I write in my email to get something better, as in:

    I have some free time on my hands and I was looking for .......................... in your research lab.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I would write:

    Dear Professor XYZ,

    My name is FLY and I am a X-year ________ major here at _____ University. I am very interested in doing undergraduate research in your lab and am writing you to ask if this would be a possibility. If you need any further information from me, I will happily provide it to you. Thank you very much.

    Sincerely,

    FLY

    Keep it brief because prof's don't seem to like to read a lot of junk in emails ("my primary interest are blah blah blah", "i've done blah blah blah in the past", etc). If he needs a student, he'll ask what he wants to know in the reply or in person.

    Let us know how it turns out.
     
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  17. Dr. Scandinavia

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    Ask a professor having grad students if you could help them out with their projects/labwork. You will get an idea of how scientists think from researching a subject to designing experiments. And like the other posts pointed out this could result in a valuable LOR.
     
  18. FLY

    FLY Senior Member

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    Thanks rxfudd and everyone else who responded.. I really appreciate it...
     
  19. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

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    Why would you volunteer washing dishes?? I agree with Scooby, just e-mail a few professors (try different departments), include your resume with a resume. It is how I did it and started working after my sophemore year.
     
  20. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    you don't need to volunteer to wash dishes-- just email professors (Fly's email is great)-- someone's bound to be looking for a dishwasher. i started out doing dishwashing/autoclaving/general scut work in a lab, but it got my foot in the door and i was doing experiments by the end of the semester. granted, i was working in a very small lab, but it can be done!! and who knows, you might be able to find someone who will let you start out doing experiments.
     
  21. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel

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    I wouldn't recommend the mass email tactic. Professors want to hear that you know what their lab is about and are interested in working with THEM. My suggestion would be to take the harder route and to go and speak with the professors that you've had classes with, got an A, and liked the material. Read up on their websites what their labs are about and make an appointment with them. If they don't have an opening in their lab, ask if you can volunteer for a quarter first.

    The other thing is to really ask whether or not you'll be able to do research. Some labs are great about this, giving you your own projects; others will let you slave away on someone else's. Also, talk to people who are doing research, they'll know the good labs and the ones to stay away from. Other people to talk to are your TA's. In some cases, they can even help you get into a lab they work in.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes :)
     
  22. trouta

    trouta Senior Member

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    If you cant immediately land a research job, I would take the washing dishes. As Hero said, this can provide a foot in the door. If you are in the lab, show interest in the research and are actively trying to understand what is going on, the prof. will see that. This may lead to a full position or at least a little project of your own.

    Start at the bottom and work up.
     

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