Research Opportunity -- should I take it?

I recently attended an engagement party with a friend that was hosted in the home of a board member for a local medical school (unbeknownst to me). After a few glasses of white wine, I was coerced into performing a few piano selections for our hosts. They were impressed by my musical ability, and after brief conversation I exchanged info with the hostess. She and I have since had brunch, and she has eagerly put me in touch with a physician who is part of the MD/PhD program at the hospital. To make a long story short, the Dr. invited me to her office and showed me her research, which for the most part went completely over my head. But she also offered to help staff me on a project with a physician who is doing research for the hospital. I took a look at their directory of research, and let me tell you – their research projects are INTENSE!

I’m looking for advice – I’m literally just beginning my postbac experience, so my science skills are really basic at this point. I question my ability to add any value to a top medical school/hospital research team. I have no idea what I may be committing myself to by accepting a position. Have any of you ever done research, and if so could you shed a little light? Also, in general, do you think it is a good idea to accept a position, or should I wait until maybe next semester?

I think you should go for it and ask as many questions as you can… That is a wonderful opportunity… however, be honest about your abilities and knowledge base…

Stay Blessed

I did some biopsych research as an undergrad. It was a great experience because I was usually able to relate, if not apply, everything I was learning in class to something going on in the lab where I was working. As a student, I almost always (with the exception of critical periods during experiments) was able to set a pretty reasonable schedule. I should mention how easily I found myself running into time management issues when I became really interested in some particular aspect of the reseach.

Honestly, were I in your shoes, I would probably jump at that opportunity without reservation. You really do need budget your time wisely, however. Don’t get in over your head as I had a tendancy to do on occasion.

I did some biopsych research too before. And I’m not a psychology major. Having taken only 2 psychology courses in my life, the whole psychological aspect of the research was completely new to me! They needed help, and I was ready to offer my time + learn new things. People in the lab were very helpful and ready to answer all kind of questions. Before I know I felt very comfotable with what I was doing!

I’d take the job! You’ll learn a lot and you never know when you mind find it useful! Ask lots of questions and let them know when you feel uncomfortable with something. They will explain stuff you!!!

Good luck,


I think it’s a great opportunity! Also, like another poster said, be honest about your knowledge and abilities. Most people in that position understand that you are starting out and thus, your subsequent role will be to do entry level work. It is the opportunity to be exposed to that environment that is the great experience to be had in this situation. Go for it!!