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funding for year of research

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by minterr, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. minterr

    minterr 5+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    if one is doing a year of research, how much does it matter if one is getting paid by one's PI/school vs a big name fellowship like HHMI/Doris Duke/Research to Prevent Blindness?

    Didn't get Doris Duke or HHMI, still waiting for RPB. My PI has offered to pay me if I don't get RPB. However, I've been told that I am a good candidate for ophtho as I am (Step I 253, top 10 school, good grades so far, some awards from school in 1st two years, some ophtho research but no publications). Will residencies look at it oddly if I have a master's degree and more research experience (and hopefully publications, but who can say for sure?), but not been funded by a big name?

    If I do a year of research, I want to go to a big name residency (MEEI, Wilmer, UCSF, or somewhere like that). If I apply this year, somehow I don't care as much. Will these top programs wonder why I didn't get a big fellowship?

    Thank you all for your help.
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  3. rubensan

    rubensan Senior Member Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    you are still in a pretty good position. although doris duke and HHMI did not come through, you have a PI that is willing to fund you for a year. your board scores definitely place you in the "competitive" category for the caliber of programs that you are interested. for you, research is icing on the cake. i think it matters less where your funding came from and more how productive you are during the year (papers, abstracts, etc). i can not imagine a dept chair or program director asking, "why didn't get the doris duke?" when you have an ARVO abstract and IOVS manuscript on your CV. i think you should proceed with a year of research if the research itself interests you.

  4. DOapplicant

    DOapplicant Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Sorry, point of clarification please...what is the reason behind you taking a year 'off' to do research?

    In answer to your question, eventhough a HH grant is a very nice thing to have on your CV, if you work with a well-know PI in ophtho and/or make significant contributions to the field of vision research (ie, pubs), I think programs will still be very least the more academic ones you mentioned.

    I am currently at the end of my research year and I agree whole-heartedly with Rubensan: genuine desire for the project/lab interests is a must. If I didn't enjoy the process itself and my projects, I don't think I would have made it.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  5. saiyagirl

    saiyagirl Guest

    Aug 23, 2002
    obviously your PI believes in you. that's a lot more than many people can say! and getting funded by your PI/institution is pretty much what every grad student does. if you are at a top 10 school, and if your PI is well regarded in his field, i can't see any "red flags" here.

    the bigger questions are: do you really want to do this? and, if you do this, are you motivated to be productive? (everyone will understand that a year is very little time. if you will eventually get published, have something in submission, or will/have presented at a conference i think that is fine).

    given your stats i suspect the answer to the latter is yes, but only you can answer the former.

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