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Blogs

—from the PI's desk

Ask relevant questions for a successful interview

Each semester, when you select your classes, you apply a methodical approach. You no doubt consider several factors such as: what will satisfy major requirements, help you prepare for the MCAT or GRE, add weight to your transcript, and, of course, what sounds the most interesting. Essentially, you don’t play “registration roulette” and find yourself in advanced string theory when you really need a cell biology course.

26
Oct

10 Things to Expect Your First Semester of Research

—from the Lab Manager'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 what you're expecting.

09
Oct

Choose Your Research Position Wisely

—from the PI's desk

Why passion for a research position will help you get an interview, and faking passion will hurt your chances

Each semester, I post an advertisement for the open undergrad research positions in my lab. The ad includes a description of the project, methods my lab uses, and overall objectives of my lab's research focus. Yet, each semester, several undergrads with interests completely unrelated to my research program apply for a position in my lab.

27
Sep

I'm Published. Now What?

—from the PI's desk

We received an inquiry from an undergrad about how to use their co-authorship on applications (edited here for brevity and to maintain anonymity):

I have been working on research projects for a year now. Just this summer I have received a co-authorship on a study. I was wondering, how do I record this information or something along those lines to be used for graduate school applications?

Dear Undergrad In The Lab,

Congratulations on your publication!

21
Sep

How You Doin'?

— from the Lab Manager's bench

One of the reassuring things about taking an undergraduate lab course is knowing exactly what you need to do to earn the letter grade you want. For most instructional labs, you can calculate your grade at anytime to know whether or not you’re excelling, and opt for the extra credit assignments if needed.

05
Sep

I Need a Reference Letter in Two Years. Should I Ask Now?

—from the PI's desk

We received a request for help from a former undergrad in the lab (edited here for brevity and to maintain anonymity):

Hi Undergrad in the Lab, I have a question for you. I recently finished a 4 month summer research project. I understand the importance of references and I was thinking of asking my supervisor for a reference for professional school but I'm planning on applying in 2-3 years. Should I be asking for a reference letter now while they still remember me or is that a bad idea?

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