Long term commitment to one research or diversify?


5+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2013
So my question is, does it look better to diversify my app with various research experiences, or long term commitment to one is better? I did research within a medical field for a school year that was wet lab based (don't want to do that again). Over the summer I did research with a top school and I have the option to continue with them when I move back to my home university or start a new research opportunity at my home institution (both are clinical). If it helps, I want to go to the medical school at my home institution, but idk if doing research with them will actually help my overall chances?

Some pros/cons about each research opportunity

Continue summer research with away institution - Surgery
The surgical subspecialty I'm working in is ranked top 5 in the nation
The school is high ranking (top 10, but does it make a difference from an adcom POV?)
Lead my own projects
Possibly more pubs
Can work from home
Would get LOR from program director only (PHD), I don't work with the physicians to closely face to face
When I apply it will be 1 year that I've been doing this
If I pick this school to continue research I would have only 2 research experiences.

Research at my school - Breast Rads
Would have to be on campus (no working from home)
I would be the radiologist's only research student ~ more one on one time with MD
Possibly better LOR, the radiologist is affiliated and faculty with the medical school/center
The medical school is my top choice, she is acquainted with the dean (don't know if this would actually help my chances)
Not sure if she publishes as much as the other institution
I would be doing this for the school year ~ approx 7 months
If I pick this research then I would have 3 total research experiences.

What do you guys think? I am interested in research within both fields so I'm open minded when it comes to that. I just want to do something that will also help my chances in the long run.


2+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2015
Medical Student
I don't think you will go wrong either way - either would look good.
What sounds more interesting to you/which would you enjoy more? Pick that.


2+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2015
Medical Student
long story short OP - I wouldn't bother diversifying just for the sake of the app. If you crank out a pub with a lab then decide to jump ship - by all means go for it. Dont just hop around between projects though.

TL;DR - do whatever it takes to get pubs. If that means committing, commit. If not, drop that lab and go elsewhere.


Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
The Big Bad Apple
long term always.... committent is one of the triad of items that adcoms look for along with motivation and achievement


The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
The Other Side of the Portal
So my question is, does it look better to diversify my app with various research experiences, or long term commitment to one is better?
Diversity of research experiences is not necessary. A long-term involvement reflects well.