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Undergrads with research poster/presentation

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by grivacobae, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. grivacobae

    grivacobae Whatascrub 2+ Year Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    So I've been a research lab for a few months now, getting the hang of it, somewhat, so to all the new research assistants, hang in there!, lots of commas...

    I have been learning quite a bit and am getting really interested in the research, so how would an undergrad like me go about getting their own project within a lab? How do undergraduates have posters they present at such a level?
    All I can think of is going to PI with a cheapish, relatively smart idea and asking them to let you take it as a project, but I can't see how a PI would let an undergrad do that truth be told. So how did others do it?
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  3. Boolean


    Oct 14, 2013
    You don't necessarily need to be first author on something for a poster or presentation.

    As to going about your own project: that's basically how you do it. Sometimes the PI will have a project that was abandoned or an idea in their head already waiting to be worked on.
  4. toastytoastie

    toastytoastie 2+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2014
    I just asked my PI if he had anything on the back burner that I could take charge of, given mentorship and direction. It ended up working out great. As you grow into the project, you'll learn more and more about the topics/paradigms, which in turn means the project will grow--and that's how you get a good poster/presentation/paper.
  5. kraskadva

    kraskadva ... 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    in a bubble
    Hang in there :)
    and have some patience ;)
    It took me ~1 year before I had a poster (though I did have a presentation relatively quickly, but that was an independent summer project and because my school likes to showcase student research)

    So...Keep on keeping on, look for more opportunities to integrate into what people are doing in the lab, and have a frank discussion with your PI. Ask him/her what you should do to merit your own project / if they have anything you can take over. Tell them what you want (a start in independent research) and take what they say seriously (esp. in terms of what you should do/improve to get that).

    Every PI is different- some will let you jump straight in, some want you to wash x tons of glassware before you get to do anything interesting. Though if I remember correctly, you're in a mouse lab... so it may be an experience vs. cost issue that comes up for you (it takes a fair bit of scratch to float an ug research student, and mice + reagents aren't the cheapest option).

    If you like what you're doing and are enthusiastic, the opportunities will come. You'll get there :)
  6. grivacobae

    grivacobae Whatascrub 2+ Year Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Cudos to your memory haha! That's where I'm skeptical, the cost, but your advice and others are good and i'll just have a chat with him, I still just find it hard to visualize an undergrad who started like me have independent research few months later
    kraskadva likes this.

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