Account on Hold
Account on Hold
Nov 27, 2013
I have been volunteering at a research lab several hours a week for a few months now, as an undergrad. I would really like to get my own project and write a paper on it. How do I do this? Do I have to understand all of the research everyone is doing completely? I'm just not sure how to go about this. I really want to get into MD/PhD programs after undergrad, but I keep hearing that they want you to have your own project, and at least a poster about it, but preferably a publication. But I have no idea how to get started on "my own" project, since I don't really have any "ideas of my own" for the research lab that I am volunteering at. I'm just not sure how to get started, how to get my own project going, and how to write+publish a paper on it (it can be published in a crappy journal, it really doesn't matter to me where it would be published). Any ideas?


5+ Year Member
Aug 21, 2013
Medical Student (Accepted)
Talk to your PI.

Note: it would be relatively easy to get a paper published in an undergraduate journal, but it wouldn't be worth much (maybe nothing) to the admissions committee members. Conversely, it would be a lot more difficult to get a paper published in a reputable journal (say, impact factor >4? depends on the field though) but will be of more benefit in the end. In the end, though, it's your PI that decides whether you get your own project, whether you can submit it for publication, and where to submit it to.