Undergraduate research

xnfs93hy

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I have heard people talk about research in undergrad and I would definitely like to do some. Can you do research during the school year or is it just during the summer.

How are you even supposed to get a research position? What about publications? What IS a publication. People say "Research looks great as long as you were not just cleaning the lab" or something. How could I get a leadership role while doing research then?

Can you do research on whatever you want?

I am very anxious to find out. I have volunteered at the research center at my regional hospital and it is just full of physicians in offices and labs doing work. All I did was get my name mentioned on a piece of paper for something. Then again, this was just strictly volunteer work, it wasn't like an High school medical research internship or something.

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I have heard people talk about research in undergrad and I would definitely like to do some. Can you do research during the school year or is it just during the summer.

How are you even supposed to get a research position? What about publications? What IS a publication. People say "Research looks great as long as you were not just cleaning the lab" or something. How could I get a leadership role while doing research then?

Can you do research on whatever you want?

I am very anxious to find out. I have volunteered at the research center at my regional hospital and it is just full of physicians in offices and labs doing work. All I did was get my name mentioned on a piece of paper for something. Then again, this was just strictly volunteer work, it wasn't like an High school medical research internship or something.

I've seen quite a few threads lately that talk about research. To be honest, you need to figure out where you are going before you can even think about what you are going to research. You need to figure out what the research projects are at your school. Baby steps.
 
Hey Jef, just wanted to chime in since I've been involved in research ever year in college and after starting my sophomore year. I'm assuming you want to do biology research (since most premeds do), all you have to do is ask your department for a faculty list and research interests (it helps to go to a large research oriented school).

What I did was just cold call/e-mail a bunch of professors who had interesting topics of research and got in touch with them. There are also research seminars that you could go to, etc. You will find that most research faculty are really interested in picking up undergraduate research assistants. Usually, a lot of students I know do it part time (20 hours or less) during the week and continue on for at least one summer or two. The earlier you get started with undergraduate research the more science you learn, and the higher chance you have of being on a publication! Which is absolutely great for MD/PhD programs eventually when you apply.

Also, FYI, a publication means usually an original research project with findings that is published in one of the many academic/science journals out there associated with a particular field. Good luck! :thumbup:
 
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Hey Jef, just wanted to chime in since I've been involved in research ever year in college and after starting my sophomore year. I'm assuming you want to do biology research (since most premeds do), all you have to do is ask your department for a faculty list and research interests (it helps to go to a large research oriented school).

What I did was just cold call/e-mail a bunch of professors who had interesting topics of research and got in touch with them. There are also research seminars that you could go to, etc. You will find that most research faculty are really interested in picking up undergraduate research assistants. Usually, a lot of students I know do it part time (20 hours or less) during the week and continue on for at least one summer or two. The earlier you get started with undergraduate research the more science you learn, and the higher chance you have of being on a publication! Which is absolutely great for MD/PhD programs eventually when you apply.

Also, FYI, a publication means usually an original research project with findings that is published in one of the many academic/science journals out there associated with a particular field. Good luck! :thumbup:

Here's a thread I found using the Search Function that covers the basics: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=604488
 
Also, if you can publish your journal on the "Nature" or "Science" magazine, you are big hustler.
 
Also, if you can publish your journal on the "Nature" or "Science" magazine, you are big hustler.

HUGE hustler, as an undergrad... you might as well prepare your Harvard Medical School application. :laugh:
 
My friend who is a current bio freshman undergrad basically found a project he thought was interesting, then offered himself to the professor for free slave labor. Which meant he did clean up some set up and a lot of data entering. :sleep:

After that, he you does a good job and the professor likes his work, he gets to move up the food chain on the research team.

So the point is that you need to start off small and work your way up.
 
So guys, what kind of research a freshman student can do ? Other than, cleaning labs for a professor.
 
As described above, the way I got into research was by going to my Bio Sci office and getting a list of all the professors with research projects, and each one had a blerb by the professor about their project and what kind of student they're looking for.

At my school, UC Irvine, it is difficult to get research as a freshman, because most PI's want to see that you've taken your bio core, Gchem, and at least some Ochem so you'll have a solid science background. Most people start doing research as a Junior. It is offered as a class, called Bio199, that you can take for different amounts of units that you figure out with your PI as far as how many hours you can work, etc.

I find that the stress and work level really depends from lab to lab. My PI is a research dentist, and she only takes pre-dent students, so that shows you that different PI's are looking for different types of students, especially those who are interested in the work they are doing. Our lab has a number of ongoing projects, but because we work with animals and not cultures, the work is often slow paced. Most weeks I come in less than 10 hours (but sometimes I need to do reading or work on a paper at home), and as long as we complete the work we're asked to do, we are rewarded with a good grade (which is helpful for you GPA).

So, whatever research you can do is limited by the professors doing research at your school, but most med/dent schools don't care what you're doing research on as long as it is scientific research. Hope that helps!
 
So guys, what kind of research a freshman student can do ? Other than, cleaning labs for a professor.

It depends on your school. Find the school you want to go and go to their page for the majors you are thinking and just search under faculty or undergraduate research. All of those options are open for you. All labs need labware cleaned so any lab you work in you will start out doing that, but after a few weeks you will keep getting more responsibilities. So basically, just find an area of research that interests you and go from there.
 
Go to the departmental website of the field you are interested in and search around to see what sorts of projects the researchers are involved in. You should even browse through a few papers from projects you think may be interesting to get a feel for what it is the researchers are actually trying to figure out. Then you could just try e-mailing faculty whose research you are interested in to see if they would be willing to take on an undergraduate. Many (most?) will either say "no thanks" or won't even bother to respond, but eventually you should find one who would be willing to help you out. This is one way, of course, you can also always apply to various research programs that are offered either through your school or through some national entity. Research can definitely be fun, as well as very frustrating and time consuming at times. Either way, it's a good experience to have. Best of luck :)
 
Go to the departmental website of the field you are interested in and search around to see what sorts of projects the researchers are involved in. You should even browse through a few papers from projects you think may be interesting to get a feel for what it is the researchers are actually trying to figure out. Then you could just try e-mailing faculty whose research you are interested in to see if they would be willing to take on an undergraduate. Many (most?) will either say "no thanks" or won't even bother to respond, but eventually you should find one who would be willing to help you out. This is one way, of course, you can also always apply to various research programs that are offered either through your school or through some national entity. Research can definitely be fun, as well as very frustrating and time consuming at times. Either way, it's a good experience to have. Best of luck :)

Well, the university I am going only have a small amount of professors coz its small university.

Should I email or talk in person ? Which one sounds better ?
 
Well, the university I am going only have a small amount of professors coz its small university.

Should I email or talk in person ? Which one sounds better ?

Well, personally, I've always been an e-mail type of guy. I would just feel like I was wasting the prof's time if I actually went to their office or called them to ask if I could get involved in research. On the other hand, e-mailing may be too passive, although it has worked for me (but I go to a huge research university, for what its worth). If you feel comfortable asking in person though, it definitely wouldn't be a bad idea. It is pretty much a personal decision as to how you want to go about this.
 
Well, the university I am going only have a small amount of professors coz its small university.

Should I email or talk in person ? Which one sounds better ?


Your best bet would be to wait until you are enrolled there and then go ahead and email him/her first and say your are interested and ask if you can meet or if he/she has any openings for undergraduates. You mgiht not be able to start right away.
 
I agree with everyone else's comments. Undergrad research is highly variable based on the institution. You can research in the summer, during the school year, or even as part of your course work. Some professors already have ongoing projects, while others are welcome to your ideas.

In my sophomore year, I manipulated FSH and LH hormone levels in live mice to test the affect on bone density over time (an analog to osteoporosis in humans). I also worked on some molecules which interact with inhibit the DNA replication machinery. Both these projects were ideas brought to me by my professors, so as you can see, it's possible to do some neat stuff.

Research is definitely a plus for apps as it gives you something to talk about during the interviews. Also, if you're still skeptical about medicine being your career, research is something you may enjoy far more as a profession. It's a field that'll utilize your love for science, but from a slightly different angle. :laugh:
 
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