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Research associate job after undergrad, how useful is it?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by goldenstandard2, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. goldenstandard2

    goldenstandard2 Banned

    Apr 23, 2008
    I am taking a year off before I apply, and I have been considering a job as a research associate at a local university medical center. I am trying to get sense of how much a job like this will help my chances for next years app cycle, or if I would be better off investing my time elsewhere. I already have two years of research experience at my undergrad, and I have the feeling that doing another 2 years might be a little overkill, bearing in mind that I'm not trying to get an md/phd. On the other hand, I'm not sure if doing more research at a top-flight institution (and also in a more involved capacity than my undergrad work) where there is a strong chance of getting publications would really help to solidify my application. Any suggestions are welcome.
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  3. VneZonyDostupa

    VneZonyDostupa PGY-4 (ID Fellow) 7+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    I did the same thing after graduation (research assistant at Vandy currently) and it's been awesome. I've learned a ton, it's decent money, and if you are interested in research later in your career, it can really help you focus in on one area that may be of future interest. It was looked upon very well by adcoms, too.
  4. drosenb3

    drosenb3 7+ Year Member

    May 13, 2008
    I agree, it can't hurt to do more research. It will make it look like you want to stay in academia which is a big score.

    I also do reseach at Vandy, but my lab is moving to NWU and Ive been asked to come with while I defer from Tulane:( Might look for a new lab at vandy instead cuz I love my Dores basketball.
  5. mimivirus

    mimivirus 5+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 2007
    i did not have research experience as an undergrad so the two years i took postgrad to work in a research lab really helped. one of my interviewers told me point blank that it was the strongest part of my application...which was really encouraging cuz my family was initially upset with my decision to be an RA for two years

    but if you already have a lot of research experience, it might be different..either way good luck...ill be so sad to leave my job--its been good times =)
  6. I am finishing my "off" year as a research assistant before I start classes in August. If you have that opportunity, I say go for it. If you genuinely like doing research, this is a good way to make money and adcoms do like knowing that someone would hire you to do research full-time
  7. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2003
    Probably better than wasting a year as a waiter but its still something at least 50% of gap year people do. It won't differentiate you much.
  8. dd128

    dd128 7+ Year Member

    May 30, 2007
    I'm sure it's useful in the sense that it is a paycheck and you'll be keeping busy in the intervening year. As for helping you, probably not so much, no adcom is going to look at your packet and say, "holy ****, this guy's done research." :p If you enjoy I'd go for it, if not think about the fact you're going to be stuck at this job for the next year. But like the others said, it won't be harmful either in anyway.
  9. same21

    same21 5+ Year Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    How do you find paying research jobs during gap year? I would really like to earn some money during my year off
  10. familyaerospace

    familyaerospace 7+ Year Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    In my books, GA
    I say do it. I will have something like 9 years of research before I apply.
  11. familyaerospace

    familyaerospace 7+ Year Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    In my books, GA
    same21, it's mostly connections or a numbers game.
  12. s1lver

    s1lver ☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠ Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    So getting an RA job means mass emailing the nearest teaching school (if you don't have any connections)? I have zero research experience and they will obviously want someone with *some* experience.
  13. familyaerospace

    familyaerospace 7+ Year Member

    Nov 22, 2009
    In my books, GA
    I hate to say it, but basically yes. Apply for every single job you can find that requires 0-2 years of research experience. I was offered my first research job out of the clear blue sky and I felt very lucky (I originally thought I was in trouble when I went to the office!) From that one year position, I ended up with another few years with him. Then I ended up with another position because I had the previous experience, then before I knew it, I had half a dozen years of experience.

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