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Is it possible to have a normal working hour as a biomedical researcher?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Smooth Operater, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Smooth Operater

    Smooth Operater don't bug "operatEr"! 5+ Year Member

    May 22, 2004
    As a researcher, is it possible to have a normal working hour from 9 am to 4pm, 5 days week, and with enough time to chill? Or does researchers have to devot large part of their lives to their project? This question is coming from someone who doesn't know much about how research work. Thanks!
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  3. bbabul01

    bbabul01 5+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2006
    No. Everything hands on in a lab takes longer than it should. Incubations and mixing and centrifuging, etc etc etc. Then you miss a step and have to start all over again. Tell your "friend" to do clinical research, much more manageable hours.
  4. It seems like you don't know a whole lot about many things. :laugh: You're not welcome. :smuggrin:
  5. mlee8

    mlee8 New Member

    Jun 30, 2006
    I work in biomedical research, and more often than not my hours are 9-5ish. However, there are days where I might be there until 7 or 8 at night or other times where I have to go in on weekends. I think if you are able to plan ahead and really work out a timeline for your experiments (always taking into account extra time for mistakes, repeating things, etc.) then you should be able to keep reasonable hours.
  6. degoo_

    degoo_ 2+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    You can definitely have better hours as a researcher. My lab has every type of person: 1. The never there, shows up sporadically for a few days and then never seen again 2. Normal 9-5 5x 3. 11-7 5x 4. The never ever leaves the lab even though they should to at least shower.
    It all depends on your desire to move your project along. Definitely you'll have some long days like every other job, but if you want normal times, its not difficult to do.
  7. kaudung

    kaudung 7+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2006
    I think there are many factors that determine how long your hours will be: the type of research, your PI and the school/lab environment, your position (postdocs work doggedly because many are looking to one day have their own lab), and of course your competency and work ethic.

    It also depends on your goals. What do you want to get out of it? A publication in Nature will take some work.
  8. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    Feb 23, 2007
    I'll quote one of my old bosses...

    "My life is phospholipase C. My kids might be a distant second. Wife? Somewhere down the list between study sections and Sunday afternoon football..."

    It's not so much the lab work as a PI--your students and fellows take over more of the hands-on stuff as your reputation and responsibilities grow. If you are in academics, however, your life revolves around writing grants and praying for your peers to think that you are cool enough to keep a lab operational.
  9. bahblacksheep

    bahblacksheep 2+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    My PI once said something along these lines: "I've seen post doc's put in the typical 9-5 work day, and I kept asking myself, what the hell are they doing here?"

    The point: yes, you can work a typical 9-5 (9-4 would mean a 7-hour work schedule, btw), but it usually takes much more to keep your projects moving along. Plus, academic medicine doesn't pay nearly as much as private-sector (esp. for MD post-docs) so if you're not driven by what you're doing, then, really what ARE you doing?
  10. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    I was told to expect to come in on weekends during my NIH interview.
  11. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Carrboro, NC
    Not if you want to be a good one.
  12. MeMoMa

    MeMoMa Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Go into pharma- the research hours 97% of the time a 40hr workweek...

    yes there are exceptions, but the norm for the industry is 9-5

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