Is this a good start for research??

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Full Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2010
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Im a premed student who is trying to get employed in a research lab. I have 0 experience and work at Parkland hospital at the moment. I saw an opening for a "Laboratory Helper" at UTSW that requires nothing but 8th grade education and no experience. Im assuming Ill take a pay cut. Will this be a good start to get a good research job until I apply or will this be a waste of time? These are the duties from the website.
1. Cleans and sterilizes laboratory equipment such as slides, pipettes, culture dishes, test tubes and other similar items.
2. Prepares more routine chemical solutions such as formalin, saline, alcohol, etc.
3. Makes up specimen sets for a variety of laboratory procedures in accordance with specific and detailed instructions.
4. Maintains laboratory supplies in neat and orderly condition.
5. Cleans, dusts, and mops, laboratory counters, floors, sinks, and related work areas.
6. Operates sterilizers, autoclaves, and other simple laboratory equipment.
7. Performs other duties as assigned.


Doctor Professor
10+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2008
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You want to work in a lab where you will be intellectually involved. You want to be the person performing experiments (after you learn the techniques) and gaining the insight/skill to be able to design your own experiments.

What you describe is not a research job. It will be a waste of time unless you are able to work with some of the researchers and have them teach you how to run the experiments, guide you with what to read, show you how to interpret data, etc. If there is this latter aspect, then it would be worthwhile until you get a more involved research position. FYI, it is common to work for free to get such research experience while you are an undergraduate. Ie: pay is not the norm at a lot of places for you doing experiments... the training you receive is your pay. If you get a paid position where you are learning/doing experiments full-time, more power to you!


c/o 2015 - now interning it
5+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2010
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I agree with the above poster. This is not a research position, sounds like they're looking for someone to clean the lab. While its always important to remember that as a new member to a lab you may be starting at the bottom, this position is rock bottom and won't help you.
You're undergrad right? Have you thought about work-study or something similar? Does the university you attend have labs? Medical schools are a good place to look. Even some biotech and pharm companies have part-time intern undergrad positions (well they did when I was in undergrad, with the economy now not so sure.) Also, when I was in undergrad I did a research project in an on-campus lab for credit - you may consider this if you find it hard to find something that pays.
Keep looking, you'll find something better.


Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2004
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That aint research. But the hard truth is that sometimes u have to start from the bottom. Maybe u shd look for some other opportunity. However bear in mind that another opport which will afford u real research doesnt really translate into publication. Real publication is painstaking and can take a year to finish the project. However in a center that has high volume of data u could get something


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 11, 2009
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yeah, that's not exactly 'research'. if you can, ask what kind of possible duties there will be in the future, if you won't be able to do your own stuff in the future, i would definitely look elsewhere. also, most labs won't pay you until you have anywhere from 6 months to 1 year of experience. if you get good data, not only will you get a great letter but you'll also have learned some techniques.