Jul 11, 2010
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I am a medical student working in a lab. It's a pretty good lab, but I'm wondering if it's normal/expected for students to get paid for work done in a lab. I've been working for about 10hrs per week for almost a year (full time in the summer). I am otherwise happy with the lab, I will be getting a publication soon (not first author, but this is basic science so any pub is good), and my poster won an award at a conference. So I don't want to mess with a good thing, but I was wondering if it would be appropriate to ask for pay. When I first started working here my boss's boss mentioned the possibility of paying me, but nothing was said about it again and I felt uncomfortable following up.
 

yehhhboiii

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Apr 5, 2012
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I don't think it inappropriate to be compensated for your time, especially since you've been productive. Feel free to bring it up.
 
OP
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Jul 11, 2010
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That's kind of what I was thinking too, but it seems like a lot of students work for free, and I don't want to ask for compensation if they can easily get someone else to work for free. I was hoping to get an idea of how many people on here who work in a lab actually get paid.
 

yehhhboiii

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A lot of students work for free because they have no experience so they're a liability to the lab. Training requires valuable time and their mistakes cost money. But you've been there long enough to be worth keeping around so you can ask about payment. Grant money has been tight lately but if you've contributed enough to be included on a pub, don't feel too bashful.
 

jlescher

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Feb 16, 2012
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If you have been productive they probably value you more than you realize. Asking won't hurt and they definitely will not shun you and get new help. Saying no is the worst outcome if you ask. Most PIs would love to pay student but most just don't have the money. They won't be offended if you ask.
 
Aug 29, 2012
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How you approach the subject really depends on your dynamic with the PI.

But at the very least go with a harmless "Does our grant funding make it possible for me to receive a stipend or wage for my work?"

Otherwise you might just be paid in additions to your CV when you're applying for the residencies you want.
 

Porfirio

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May 27, 2011
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Summer is coming so ask for a Summer Research Fellowship with a stipend or something along those lines.