Welcome to Undergrad in the Lab!

Undergraduate research can be incredibly rewarding, but where do you start and how do you succeed? Navigating this unfamiliar territory is not easy. Here you will find advice on how to find a research position, and how to get the most out of your experience.

Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.

— Albert Szent-Györgi (1893-1986) U. S. biochemist.

— from the Lab Manager's bench

For some undergrads, this summer will be spent lounging on the beach reading and hanging out with friends. Days will be spent blissfully sleeping until a parent annoyingly insists that it’s time to get up and do something.

But alas that’s not for you.

If you’ve decided to make the most of your summer by participating in a full-time research experience, you’re about to embark on a new, challenging adventure, and it won’t include much time for lounging. Below are 10 things that will be part of the experience.

    Guest blogger Kyle Arola is an IT specialist at the University of Florida.

    In light of the recent malware attack known as WannaCry, I have listed the most important things you need to do while working online to keep yourself safe. These recommendations are for PC, MAC, and Linux users, even though the latter two were not impacted by this attack, this time. Don’t worry MAC users, your time is coming!

Stuff Happens So Back Up Your Stuff

Last semester, I spoke with a graduate student who was almost done writing his thesis and then--you guessed it--his computer crapped out on him! 

Unfortunately, he didn’t have a backup. His reasoning? "I’ve never backed up, not even as an undergrad and I never had a problem before.”

Above all, avoid the wishful thinking that because you’ve never had a virus, been a victim of ransomware attack, never driven your car over your computer, or had an untrained puppy pee on it that it could never happen to you.

Got Stocks? Remind Your Mentor

If you're taking a break from your research experience, or won't be returning when the next semester begins, there are some specific tasks you'll need to do before saying goodbye to your labmates.

One task that is easy to overlook, but is so important, is reminding your mentor about any living stocks you worked with during the semester.

Here We Are!

If you're in search of quick tips, awesome photos, or in-depth coverage of STEM research topics, we have a social media channel for you.

Finding a research position is hard. Getting the most out of the experience-- without sacrificing your GPA or social life-- can be challenging.

We're here to help.

We have two Instagram accounts, and of course we're on Twitter and facebook too.

—from the Lab Manager's bench

Should I stay, or should I go?

For most researchers, working in the lab over a holiday break is somewhat different from working in the lab during the rest of the year. For example, if an experiment has flexibly, it can be started or stopped when it's convenient for the researcher instead of planned around seminars, classes, and campus parking issues.

In addition, some researchers take a vacation, adopt unconventional work hours, or hide in their office to work on a manuscript and only visit the lab to search for inspiration, a snack, or a temporary distraction.

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