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Which research position should I take?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by CornellMan, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. CornellMan

    2+ Year Member

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    Current undergrad here majoring in bio. I am really interested in undergraduate research, and I was just offered two positions in pretty different labs. Both have great reputations are well funded. One is working in Cell & molecular bio and the other is in molecular medicine. The lab in the former is pretty large (good number of post-docs, grad students, undergrads) with a well-known PI, and I really wasn't given the chance to talk to the PI about what kind of work I would be doing (although I was told i'd be assigned to a grad student). The other lab is much smaller (there would only be three of us), and I'd probably have a much greater involvement in the work. The PI seems really nice and passionate about having me engage directly in his work. One thing I should point out though is that the hours per week demanded in the molecular medicine lab would probable be a lot more, but the opportunities for publications seem greater in this lab. Any advice on which lab I should pick? Thanks in advance for the input!
     
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  3. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery
    Rocket Scientist Physician 7+ Year Member

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    Whichever one you are more likely to show up to on a regular basis and get something productive done. Everything else is secondary.
     
    pbrocks15 likes this.
  4. MatttF

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    I currently work in a pretty small lab. There's three grad students and two undergrads (including myself) and I like the small lab setting a lot. I actually get to be involved in the research as opposed to doing bitch work (refilling pipette tip containers, cleaning lab glassware, etc.) I don't know how it would work in a bigger lab but I could say pretty surely that you would enjoy working in the smaller lab.
     
  5. womanofscience

    2+ Year Member

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    I would personally take the smaller, intense lab. My original lab was similar to the smaller lab since I had my own project and reported back to the PI whereas my current lab I am assigned to a post doc...and little contact with the PI.

    My original PI pushed me in my research endeavors so I was able to form a close relationship with this professor and I am still in touch with her even though I've graduated!

    Research is what you make of it though. My lab required 20+ hours/week during the semester and I knew people who did around 2 hours in large labs, but it was mostly grunt work and they were unhappy about it.

    Good luck!
     
    pbrocks15 likes this.
  6. knv2u

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    Which one interests you? Which lab would you learn more from? This should be dispositive.
     
  7. Uafl112

    5+ Year Member

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    second one ALL THE WAY. I worked in a lab that felt like the former and I barely had a relationship to the PI since the lab was so big. I didnt know what the hell our lab was about since I was always doing busy work instead of a real project. Worst part? My PI wasnt gonna write me a letter cause he didnt know anything about me.

    The research I do now is in a much smaller place, and I am the only student who does research with the PI. I have a strong relationship with the PI and I know exactly what my research is about, which makes me LOVE IT. Also, since im the only one there, I was put on my own project right away and ill be collecting my data very soon
     

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