I have read a few replies to the thread asking about how to go about research opportunities as an undergrad. Any suggestions about finding opportunities for someone who has graduated from college yet wants to gain some bench or clinical research experience while not enrolled as a student anywhere. I currently work but have ample time to pursue these interests. Has anyone out there done this? If so, please tell me a little bit about your experiences.
I did it by getting a job as a lab technician at the medical school for one year. I even managed to get my name on 2 publications that year.
If you don’t want to change jobs. -You could probably also just go and talk to someone at the med school in whose lab you want to work (here you have to do a little research on the school’s website) and ask if you can help on a project without pay. Then you’d have more freedom to pick your area or professor.
I think you can also apply for some fellowships as a graduate. (but you’d probably have to quit your job)
It shouldn’t matter that you aren’t a student. Getting paid for it would though. Most research positions in academia are paid for as grad assistants or undergrad work study. You could get paid as a full time tech, but that would require skills and experience. If you are just looking for experience and not pay, just check out your nearest academic institution. Go to websites or the department and find faculty research interests. If you find something that floats your boat, find a couple of the faculty person’s articles and read up on them. Then approach the person and tell them you would like to be involved in research, what they are doing interests you. A couple of dont’s 1) don’t be presumptuous (sp?) 2) don’t be hurt if they say no 3) don’t expect to do much. If you are a recent graduate, you may have some marketable skills, but it is more likely that you will be performing meanial tasks until the PI or your supervisor feels you are ready to progress. If the first person you approach doesn’t have room or desire to accept you into the lab, try somebody else.