new to lab

Label Bottle Tops

At the start of a wetlab research experience, there is often more information to learn than is possible to remember. Even those who take great notes inevitably lose some details. One of the most common mistakes a new researcher makes is storing a chemical or reagent incorrectly.

21
Aug

Why Choose Research?

Why Choose Research?

—from the PI’s Desk and the Researcher's bench

If you’re considering undergraduate research, you probably already know some of the potential benefits: looks good on your resume, can help you explore a potential career path, and can lead to recommendation letters.

However, an undergraduate research experience can also support your long-term professional goals (regardless of what your career path turns out to be), foster personal development, and give you an academic edge. Here are only a few of the advantages to participating in an in-depth research experience.

Technical Challenges in Research Aren't Embarrassing. They are Expected.

For most new researchers, lab work turns out to be more difficult and more complicated than anticipated--even with a solid background of lab classes. It takes time to gain the skills needed to be successful and learn proper technique.

Are You Doing Too Many Lab Chores?

Depending on the academic discipline and type of project you have, washing lab dishes might be part of your research experience.

However, if you’ve been in the lab for eight weeks and your entire research experience thus far has been washing dishes and doing random chores in the lab (such as dragging bags of autoclaved waste to the disposal site) then it’s time to ask the PI for a research project.

—from the Researcher's bench

We heard from an undergrad in the lab about an awkward situation involving a friend in search of a research position. As usual, we edited the conversation for brevity and to remove identifying details so the student remains anonymous.

26
Oct

10 Things to Expect Your First Semester of Research

—from the Researcher's bench

Even if you have previous lab experience from a high school or college lab class, the first few weeks of a new research experience in a professional research lab will have its challenges, surprises, and likely be quite different from you expect.

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