So, I've heard 2 years of research over and over again. Does it have to be self-directed? I worked at NIH for a 1.5 years, but all I did was run PCRs and maintain cell cultures. I worked on a different independent research project for 3 months where I went to an intra-campus conference and won a prize for my poster, but it was only three months worth of work. Currently, I'm working in an organic chemistry lab and plan to go to a larger conference next year. Cumulatively, I probably have 4-5 years of research (I'm a post-bacc student). Does this count as 2 years, or is there something more specific I'm missing, like self-directed research or continuous research? Thanks!