Sharka

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 27, 2008
103
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey guys. I've presented my research project at a very small local conference and now my PI wants to present at a regional conference. The thing is that the trip would cost about $800 out of pocket. Does anyone know if this sort of thing will significantly help my application? I can afford it, but I don't necessarily have a whole lot of money being a student. Any thoughts?
 

Mobius1985

10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
3,484
1
Many schools have funds set aside so students can participate isn such experiences. Ask your PI how to go about applying for them. I would bet that she/he isn't going to pay their own way to get there.

Here is LizzyM's ranked list of how various research experiences are viewed by adcomms:

11. Housekeeping and supply ordering.

10. Helping others with projects, serving as a research assistant or technician.

9. Animal surgery.

8. Pilot work prior to writing a proposal for a testable hypothesis.

7. Responsibility for testing a hypothesis.

6. Funding of your project (not your PI's funding)

5. Poster presentation at a student event

4. Podium presentation at a student event

3. Poster presentation at a regional or national meeting in your specialty (published abstract)

2. Podium presentation at a regional or national meeting in your specialty (published abstract)

1. Authorship in a peer reviewed, national publication.
 

richse

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 19, 2007
422
2
PA
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Medical Student
I am really surprised that your PI is not going to pay for the trip if he/she wants you to present. Normally, the grant that covered your research can pay for expenses including transportation, lodging, and a per diem for food. If your PI is really unwilling to cover it, then you should look into any travel grants offered by your school or the conference that you are presenting at.

Hey guys. I've presented my research project at a very small local conference and now my PI wants to present at a regional conference. The thing is that the trip would cost about $800 out of pocket. Does anyone know if this sort of thing will significantly help my application? I can afford it, but I don't necessarily have a whole lot of money being a student. Any thoughts?
 

magikdoc

10+ Year Member
May 17, 2008
104
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys. I've presented my research project at a very small local conference and now my PI wants to present at a regional conference. The thing is that the trip would cost about $800 out of pocket. Does anyone know if this sort of thing will significantly help my application? I can afford it, but I don't necessarily have a whole lot of money being a student. Any thoughts?
I think your PI is offering you a wonderful opportunity here and I would highly advise you to take advantage of it. You really need to see the level of research out there and continue your exposure to research. Think beyond the med. app. and realize that you will not always have an opportunity like this in the future. If anything, going to this conference will also increase your "respect level" in the lab as it is somewhat a rite of passage in my eyes between a "researcher" and a "scientist". It may help you get published, get increased independence in the lab, etc.

800 bucks though is a lot of money, and that doesn't even include other miscellaneous expenses. When I went to my international research conference, I secured a travel award with the help of my mentor. I would suggest asking your PI / mentor if they can link you to some professional groups that offer money to poor undergrads.
 

cyclin M

megaman
10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2008
337
1
Bunker
Status
Pre-Medical
Having it will be better than not having it. See if your school offers travel grants you can apply for. I am in a similar situation, but I am applying for a travel grant that should cover the plane tickets at least. If I live cheap I can save on the hotel as well.

Research conferences are a great opportunity not just to present and listen to others, but to meet leaders in your field and get new ideas for your own research when you get back. I got a lot of new ideas and solutions to research challenges I faced by chatting with professors from other universities (national and international) over dinner and it was really relaxed. I would not miss it for anything, so I seriously hope you can find a travel grant, or somehow get your professor to cover you for now and then pay him back later little by little. Either way I hope you find a way to attend!!
 

Fibroblastman

A stumble prevents a fall
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2008
126
0
Palo Alto, CA
Status
Medical Student
I've presented at a lot of conferences and can say that it's a great opportunity -- Do it if given the opportunity. Then again, the expenses for the hotel, travel and registration fees can quickly amount to over $1,000 per person. Fortunately, my PI covered my expenses... so like previous posters said, ask your PI.

If you can do it, do it. If you can't do it now... then don't worry about it. If your work was good enough to be presented at a regional-level conference, you'll have more opportunities.

Look into student/undergraduate conferences where the fees are less. Usually national/regional conferences are expensive because of membership/non-membership and misc. fees. Submit your abstract for local conference calls.
 

apgar

10+ Year Member
Nov 14, 2008
87
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Yeah, like the others said, try to look for travel grants offered by your school. I know at my school, there is a significant amount of money available that is generally unused (because no one really knows about it).