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Undergrad Research

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ROCKet_gurly, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. ROCKet_gurly

    ROCKet_gurly Member 7+ Year Member

    I'm kind of interested in Undergraduate Research but I was wonder from those of you who have experience from it, what would I be getting myself into? Is it EXTREMELY time consuming or do you get to "pick your hours"? As you can tell I know nothing about it. :) Thanks a bunch
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  3. shimmer118

    shimmer118 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 30, 2001
    San Francisco

    I'm sure others will say similar things, but it depends on what kind of project you do, and in what field. My research projects I did as an undergrad (in astronautical engineering and mol. biology) took an average of 30-50 hrs/week, depending on the week. :rolleyes: But it totally depends on your project. At my school, you interviewed for projects w/ PIs, post docs, etc. just like a job interview and you could find out what kinds of hours were expected of you...but as you'll soon find out, research doesn't always go as planned ;) and you may find yourself in unpleasant situations.

    My advice? Find professors at your school (or elsewhere) who are researching in fields that interest you and are looking for undergrads to contribute. Then contact those people (often requires sending a cover letter and CV/resume...) and let them know of your interest. And find out what is required of you in terms of skills required, hours, etc.

    Good luck!
  4. megkudos

    megkudos Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Jersey
    It depends on the person you work with. But it is something you usually work out in the beginning so you are aware how often you are supposed to be in the lab. I only had to commit to 6 specific hours a week and be available to help an additional 6 hours if needed. So again, it totally depends. I know at my school it usually is 1 credit hour= 3hours of work per week. So 9 hours per week usually equals a three credit class. Good luck.
  5. dukeblue01

    dukeblue01 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    At my school, you also interview with a PI in the department that you are interested in. If the PI has worked with many students before, then he will likely already have an idea of what you could do. At my school, research was huge. I did not have much experience, but interviewed and registered for an independent study with the PI. I spent ~15 hrs per week for one year and produced a senior honors thesis. It really depends on what you want to do, but you do not have to work 25+ hrs per week in research while in undergrad. You can do something less intense and still get a lot out of it. Good luck!

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