Undergraduate Research Diversity

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KUNRD07

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How important is research diversity (as in doing research in more than one lab) to adcoms? Is it going to hurt my chances that I've only performed research in a single lab for 3 years (including 2 summers) even though I've got two national conference poster presentations, a couple of awards, and a publication out of it?

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How important is research diversity (as in doing research in more than one lab) to adcoms? Is it going to hurt my chances that I've only performed research in a single lab for 3 years (including 2 summers) even though I've got two national poster presentations, a couple of awards, and a publication out of it?
Actually the reverse. Developing an idea, getting your results, and using them to improve upon that original idea is much better evidence of research ability than being all over the place.
 
Colorado wants more breadth. My research experience was similar to yours, 1 lab for 2+yrs, lots of responsibility, national conference presentations, pubs, awards, mentor who loved me and wrote the requisite "walks on water" letter, etc.

UCHSC wanted to see something more on my app & recommended a summer internship somewhere to get a new perspective on research than the one I got in my lab. Encouraged me to do this before re-applying next year (if I decide to).
 
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How important is research diversity (as in doing research in more than one lab) to adcoms? Is it going to hurt my chances that I've only performed research in a single lab for 3 years (including 2 summers) even though I've got two national poster presentations, a couple of awards, and a publication out of it?

I don't think you need to worry about it. It's more about quality than quantity.
 
Are you planning a year off to work? If so, it might be time to consider a move. Don't fret that you haven't had the perfect three years of research. You'll want to schedule those in on the tenure track if at all possible.
 
Yeah, I'm hoping to do a year of research at the NIH post-bacc research program while I apply to MD/PhD programs.
 
I went a similar route to you, though I definitely had much less impressive undergrad research credentials. I think you should do fine in that part of review, and it will definitely help the rest of your application.

Regarding diversity, I think adcoms see it as a little naive to think that the research you've only done is the only research you want to do. I switched research focuses greatly from undergrad to NIH Post-Bac, and you know what, I liked the old research better. But, at interviews I could intelligently talk about why, showing I wasn't afraid to try something new, and that I actually had reasons to like my old stuff rather than it was all I knew. And, if you like the new stuff, hey, your horizons have been broadened.

No one will look down on switching things up a bit. You can spin it positively no matter what you feel. My feeling is it can only help..

Yeah, I'm hoping to do a year of research at the NIH post-bacc research program while I apply to MD/PhD programs.
 
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