Nov 8, 2020
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Hey, there's a couple of research programs in my area that I'm kind of interested in for the summer so that I have some experience for future research endeavors. Most of these programs require 2 letters of reqs. I've only had 1 science professor since I'm a freshman, and so if I get a letter from one of my humanities professors, that'll be 2 letters, but if I were to apply, it would be to several programs right? In case I get rejected from 1 or more? So like do I double-dip in letters? Is that ethical and allowed? And if I don't double dip, then I'll have to come up with like 6-8 letters and I simply cannot do that. Are these programs even worth it to apply to, or should I just wait to do research with a professor? Theres only 3 years in total time to have stuff done if you attend med school right after college, and freshman year will be over without me having done any research so I'm kind of worried (not too worried.)
I'd appreciate any help on this.
 
Dec 29, 2019
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I'm no expert but I don't believe there is some sort of requirement (nor is it wholly beneficial) to do three individual REUs each summer. Sometimes, as a freshman, reaching out to PIs you are interested in working with can result in an unofficial yet paid 'REU' of sorts during the summer if you show enough interest and decent motivation to work during the academic year. Then you can continue to do that for a couple of years in hopes of actually developing a poster/pub or you can use that experience to apply to real REUs as a sophomore or junior using your PI as a LOR.
 
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Nov 8, 2020
14
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  1. Pre-Medical
Oh okay thanks, that makes a lot of sense. By "3", I didn't mean I would do all 3 in 1 summer, but that I'd apply for 3 perhaps, because they are often competitive, and I would hope to get accepted to 1/3. The unofficial PI thing actually sounds like a good idea, because it does count as research hours, and if it leads to meaningful work, then it's probably just as good as an REU.
Thanks!
 
Dec 29, 2019
119
141
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  1. Pre-Medical
Oh okay thanks, that makes a lot of sense. By "3", I didn't mean I would do all 3 in 1 summer, but that I'd apply for 3 perhaps, because they are often competitive, and I would hope to get accepted to 1/3. The unofficial PI thing actually sounds like a good idea, because it does count as research hours, and if it leads to meaningful work, then it's probably just as good as an REU.
Thanks!
Most REUs are geared towards PhD prospects and not premeds; a lot of REUs also will have you travel to a different university on top of being full-time which leaves pretty much no room for your pre-existing clinical/nonclinical ECs. A lot of universities also have research programs offered by the health professions committee that often integrates health-related activities into the research program, so you might want to check if those exist/contact those people at your university.
 
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