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summer research questions

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by neuro1617, May 27, 2008.

  1. neuro1617

    neuro1617 2+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Hey all, I'm starting summer research soon and I have a couple questions for those of you that have done this...What are the days typically like-super busy or no? I'm wondering if I'll have time to also squeeze in some extra volunteering. And what is the attire usually?
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  3. kami333

    kami333 10+ Year Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    Ask your PI, every lab is different.
  4. MDperfection

    MDperfection 2+ Year Member

    Sep 11, 2007
    it really varies...for me, I invest about 15-20 hours a week during semesters so everyday is pretty busy, but I wouldn't say it's "super" busy

    if you can handle it, do some extra volunteering but do keep in mind that running experiments usually take the whole day (if not more)

    have's a fantastic experience!
  5. vman51

    vman51 7+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Very true. In my lab, the dress code is very casual, but I have heard of some labs that are much stricter, specifying shoe and clothing requirements. Best bet would be to put on slacks and a polo for the first day, doubt you can go wrong with that.

    As far as busy lab is def not a morning lab, we all seem to stroll in around 11am - noon, or even later. Some labs start up at 8. I'd ask the PI and try to talk to some of the current lab members to get the scoop.

    What type of research is it?

    Good luck!
  6. neuro1617

    neuro1617 2+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Thanks guys for the help! I'm a girl so what would you recommed on day 1? It's 40 hrs/week, I'm hoping it's not a 7 or 8am deal:rolleyes: And it's a summer program at a research institute. I looked up my PI and she deals with the effects of metals/toxicology during pregnancy. I don't start til mid-June.
  7. metalgearHMN

    metalgearHMN 2+ Year Member

    Nov 11, 2007
    Groznyj Grad
    It's obviously different from lab to lab, and it depends if the research is clinical or not. As far as extra time, I don't think you'll be working more than 40 hours a week, so I'm sure you can squeeze in some volunteering if you really want to.
  8. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth. 10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2000
    I'm a clinical research program director, and generally I like to see clean clothes, flat shoes and no cleavage on my volunteers. My policy is no jeans when you're dealing with the public.

    What I most recommend on day one (and actually, all days) is being ON TIME. Don't make your PI wait for you, ever. And communicate clearly the time commitment you are able to make. Most PI's are happy for the help and willing to bend on hours, as long as you keep your end of the bargain.
  9. beachblonde

    beachblonde 2+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    Like other people have said, every lab is different. You haven't really said if you're doing true clinical research or just lab bench, and it makes a difference for attire. A good rule of thumb is NEVER wear flip flops. PIs hate it! I kept a pair of shoes in my lab to wear so I could stroll in with my flip flops on and not have to wear bulky sneakers outside during the summer. If you're working at a lab bench, more likely than not your lab will be casual because who wants to risk their nice clothes around chemicals? Most PIs I've seen wear jeans to work with a t-shirt or whatnot.

    As for hours, again, it always depends on the lab. During crunch time sometimes I worked 50 hours a week, and sometimes it was 30 during lighter days. And the days start when the PI tells you they start; sometimes it's 8am, sometimes it's 9, but really you should get there when the PI does. While some labs are really lenient with start times, I would say it's a rule of thumb to get there early when you're a newbie.
  10. SB100

    SB100 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Cambridge, MA
    Where are you interning?
  11. juelz721

    juelz721 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2006
    New York
    I have worked at 3 different labs, and its been very very different at each one. If you want to get the most out of your summer, expect to work long days, come in on some weekends, etc. However, that is only relavant if the lab you work has a lot of work for you. Some labs take on students without really careing if they have anything for them to do or not. Either way, you have to start working at the lab first, and then figure out if you have time for other things.

  12. kami333

    kami333 10+ Year Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    Best part of working in non-profit research is the flip flops, I wouldn't work in a lab that wouldn't let me where them:D
  13. neuro1617

    neuro1617 2+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Magee-Womens Research Institute. I'm not sure if it's clinical or basic science research but I would guess basic science from looking at the PI's work.
  14. neuro1617

    neuro1617 2+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Yeah I was wondering if we would be expected to come in on weekends. I was reading this thread: and I hope it won't be like poster #4 I think, copying papers and getting coffee...
  15. engineeredout

    engineeredout 7+ Year Member

    May 11, 2008
    I'm currently doing research in a cell lab. They don't care about what you wear, as long as you're not a dirty mother****er whose going to contaminate all the cells.
  16. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . . Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    dress code for basic science research is pretty lax. i showed up in whatever clothes i happened to be wearing to school that day. as long as you look fairly neat (no holey jeans/ripped smelly shirts) and somewhat professional (no cleavage for the ladies or shirts with inappropriate slogans), no one will care.

    you're not going to be dealing with customers or patients. plus, with chemicals there's always the chance that you'll spill something on yourself, so you don't want anything too nice.
  17. vman51

    vman51 7+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    I know some people mentions no flip-flops, but I'd go one step further an say no open-toed shoes in general (we had a few girls that worked in other labs where they were required to wear closed shoes..even though our lab is much more relaxed)..

    Just be kind to the vets in the lab and ask questions if you don't get something..its supposed to be a learning experience, and hopefully you'll enjoy it as well.
  18. Character

    Character 5+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2008
    work hard

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