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Undergraduate Research

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

  1. Asking Alexandria

    Asking Alexandria

    Oct 21, 2014
    I am a freshman, and I am thinking about asking a professor if I could join his research team but I'm pretty sure I know nothing about retinal degradation (his research topic). Should I even bother pursuing this? I used to work for an eye doctor but that's the most exposure to anything remotely related to retinal degradation. I also haven't had my bio classes yet.

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  3. Boolean


    Oct 14, 2013
    It would probably help to take some of your bio classes first, but there's no harm in asking if you can be of assistance in the lab.
  4. kraskadva

    kraskadva ... 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    in a bubble
    For undergrad research, you're not expected to know all about the topic.You're intended to learn as you go along and the professor is supposed to teach you.
    It would be smart to get at least 1 semester of solid grades in before asking to join a lab, but no, you don't need to know all about retinal degeneration before joining.
    mgjones527 likes this.
  5. baxt1412

    baxt1412 5+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2012
    if you do dishes for the people running reactions you are helping on the research and could, in my opinion, put down that as research experience because you would likely be "shadowing" the actual researchers.
    not to mention you are also building rapport with the faculty. i would highly suggest asking if you could help with the project in any manner.
  6. Holmwood

    Holmwood WOW 2+ Year Member

    Jul 19, 2014
    Read up on his past publications as well as any publications he has cited. Professors often want to make sure you understand what you're getting yourself into since it is a long-term time commitment, and finding out later on that you don't like the subject matter would make for poor work effort and shoddy results.

    You don't need to take college courses to understand what those papers are talking. Just google a lot.
  7. 640936

    640936 Internally driven

    Sep 17, 2014
    Since you're a freshman, wait until you've at least taken a science class and received a grade :)
    I got involved in research my sophomore year and have been in research ever since and I've dabbled in several projects as well as been one of the primary authors on a paper.
    It's a great area to get into and I totally recommend it but I'd wait until you have some college class grades to fall back on :)
  8. baxt1412

    baxt1412 5+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2012
    I don't think you need to wait until sophomore year. You can be of use now. Like I said, even washing dishes in a chem lab is going to be help that you can put down. while you aren't washing glassware you can start learning the techniques and experiments by shadowing. don't limit yourself. ask professors. if they will let you in, capitalize on that.
    lumpyduster likes this.

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