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nawrockp

Approach Researchers and Disclosing

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Hey guys, 

I'm an older student with a Bachelor's Degree in Microbiology, who decided not to go down the Masters/PhD route while completing my degree and a little bit after as well. However, it's been a few years at this point and I've found myself dissatisfied with writing off research without actually having tried it myself.

My question is: would it be ok if I approached a PI and saying that I'm very interested in their research/can I volunteer BUT I want to get involved to see if this path is right for me, and if there's some option for me to contribute to the lab without long-term commitment? I'm eager to get experience through volunteering or other opportunities in a lab, but I'm not comfortable with committing several months/years to doing it in the event where I see that it isn't for me. 

Anyone else began involvement in a lab with a conversation like this with their PI? 

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Honestly, you probably won't get very far with that approach. All new researchers are a massive burden on a lab. They need to devote time and resources to training you, and you're essentially saying that you aren't willing to make their efforts worthwhile by sticking around long enough to actually do something productive.

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Most of the tasks they would give you is data entry which doesn't really represent research as a whole(and could be quiet boring). How about you commit to a 3 or 4 months internship? You will get the hang of it much better

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