BurghStudent

lurker
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 19, 2009
1,177
978
Status
Medical Student
I need advice on what to do.

First off, let me just say that I sincerely enjoy research and started for the exposure. But let me also say that I would find it pleasant to be able to publish in a laboratory after a lot of work, or something of that nature. I don't think I stick out as superficial when I say that, I know a lot of us feel this way.

I started research in a lab spring of freshman year. It was a good experience and I enjoyed it. The professor will be my Human Physiology prof fall semester. I went home for about 2 months and came back (OOS) to continue. Things are slow in the lab and he asked me to standby until he can get things efficient. My problem is that there are way too many undergrads in the lab all looking for the same thing, with not enough work to do. And I am not exactly at the canopy of the forest. Nonetheless I will continue to research, when it starts again.

The research is in Neuroscience but I am a Molecular Bio major.

Now I am considering going to another lab. One because it sucks if there is not enough work to do in a lab. Second because if I do research in my major there are more opportunities available.

Now I am looking at a specific professor. He is accepting undegrads but right now only has grads and post-docs at his lab. On top he is very famous for his work, published in Nature, studied under James Watson- a baller basically. His research fits my major well but I am afraid his lab will be intense and kind of hard to stand out in- again, lots of grads.

What would you do? Continue in a lab you're not going anywhere in, or join this lab I described (if I can)?
 
May 28, 2009
184
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Although moving to another lab for publications is insane in my opinion, I find moving into another lab as a good opportunity. Undergrad research is another form of learning, every lab has its own techniques and its own methods and subject matter which it excels at (something that will never be bad to learn).

However, just because he is an established professor with many grad students does not mean you will be happier there. There might be more work to do but there might be too much and depending on that professor it might be too demanding. Also it could be less rewarding, at the end of your research you can't argue that you deserve a better author position with one of his grad students ut you could if you've worked with mainly other undergrad students.

Additionally, how long have you been working at your current lab? You might not have enough work now, but with more experience you might have more on your plate the next semester (after he makes things more efficient)
 
OP
BurghStudent

BurghStudent

lurker
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 19, 2009
1,177
978
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for the advice,

Again I want to emphasize that I am not only considering this because of publications- they're nice to have but I would also like to be occupied.

I am thinking of contacting some member of the other professor's lab to get their opinion before I make any commitments.

I like to think way ahead so this may sound naive. I have been at my current professor's lab since January. I will definitely be there through fall semester. Another thing I don't feel good about is he plays favorites. That may be because I haven't taken his class yet, so I will see how it goes after fall.

My main concern is that I enjoy my time in my lab.