What is summer student research like?

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Full Member
Jan 18, 2021
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I'm starting my first semester of dental school this fall and I may be getting involved in some research this summer. I haven't done any research before, though, so I don't know what to expect.
Can anyone who's done summer research tell me how their experience was? What was your role? What was the time commitment? Was it a ton of paperwork, or was it more hands-on? Did you find it interesting?

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Pretty much follow your PI's (faculty in charge) instruction on what things you need to do for lab and note taking. I conducted different mechanical tests on mice while the faculty gave a "drug of the study." I was expected to do more biochemistry tests, but it took longer to find the right dose of the drug and few other things. My program was 10 weeks. Towards the end I started putting results together and writing a paper. After like 10 revisions I got it done and made a poster where I presented at a conference. I have done more hands-on and more science involved experiments in my other research. This particular research was a bit boring as I had been told I will get involved in more biochemistry tests and not having it was disappointing. Your experience will differ as it depends who is your PI and what things they are comfortable letting you do. Remember its a part of larger research they are conducting and during that 10 weeks (very short for research) not much you can get done.