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DUMB Q: Non-laboratory vs Laboratory Research? Paid/Unpaid?

Discussion in 'Student Research and Publishing' started by Doctors' Docta, Nov 16, 2017.

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  1. Doctors' Docta

    Doctors' Docta

    Aug 15, 2016
    So this is a really, really dumb question (and I'm hoping for a more detailed answer than "one is done in the lab) ... but what is the difference between laboratory and non laboratory research?

    Is it better to get a paid or an unpaid research experience? Do medical schools have a preference for what's put on your applicatioN/

    I'm asking because I basically have a connection with a medical school and they're offering me the opportunity to do research. I know I should do what interests me, but he's trying to narrow it down to lab or non-lab research and I just don't know what kind of research that usually entails (personally, I thought all research was lab research, especially for medical schools. I can only see psych research as being "non-laboratory" because maybe they're doing social experiments or something like that).

    Thank you so so much for tolerating my stupidity.

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  3. wholeheartedly

    wholeheartedly Administrator 7+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Beyond the Wall
    Not a dumb question at all.

    Well you kind of have this scheme

    basic science research-----> translational research ------> clinical research (and population studies)

    reasonably good description

    The difference between basic, translational and clinical research - Things I Tell My Mom
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  4. wholeheartedly

    wholeheartedly Administrator 7+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Beyond the Wall
    It should be noted though, that the reference above is good general overview but things aren't always classified quite like that and sometimes you work backwards from a population or epidemiological study to the basics.

    For example you might study a population and discover that there's a much higher incidence of lung cancer cancer in smokers than non smokers. Then you start looking at the lung tissue in smokers, and trying to see what's happening to the tissue and what components of cigarette smoke (if any) can reproduce those changes.

    This is probably the sort of non lab research your PI might be thinking of, say a chart review of patients with x disease, which treatment is associated with a shorter hospital stay, or which factors make them more likely to die from it, conducting surveys to see what behaviors might be associated.

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