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grad schools

Elizabeth Horn ehorn at schadenfreude.mti.sgi.com
Thu May 26 15:54:34 EST 1994

Lisa Olson <lisao at psy.uq.oz.au> writes:
>stephan at hannibal.psych.ucla.edu (Stephan Anagnostaras) writes:
>>Unless you have two or three publications, a perfect undergraduate
>>record, and perfect GRE or MCAT scores, you should rule out MD/PhD
>>programs. I don't mean to discourage you if you actually have these
>>qualifications, but if you don't you shouldn't consider applying to
>>an MSTP program.  
>Will somebody please explain to me how an undergraduate is
>expected to publish anything?  Please disregard the Australian
>email address as I am American and familiar with U.S. schools
>and education.
>The only way I know that an undergraduate can even be in a lab
>is either by getting a lab assistant job (which doesn't lead
>to any research or publications) or by taking this class which,
>at UCSD, was called Bio [some number] ..it entailed some minor
>research which you then had to present in order to get academic
>credit (or you could opt for getting paid).
>Is it very likely that such research, done by an undergrad
>underneath the supervision of a number of PhD's, professors,
>and postdocs, would lead to an actual *publication*?

Lisa, there are opportunities to research while still an
undergraduate; during the summers (either at your university oratone
where you will be living for the summer), during the year(with your
academic advisor, perhaps?  Or someone else in the department?), as work-study
if you need the money, and without money if you don't, and you may
always opt to take a year off before applying to work on someone's 
lab who's work interests you.  You may not always be paid for your time, but the
experience, the contacts, the potential to assist in 
published work
are payment enough-not to mention the chance to really see if a life
of research is for you-

>Again, how many of these PhD programs *really* expect an
>undergrad to have done *lots* of good research.  Why would
>a professor allow an undergrad to do publishable research
>when they have postdocs (and themself) to do it?

There is *always* data collection and analysis to be done!  More than
enough work for everyone involoved in the project! Also, if you are on
a good research team (like I have been, even as an undergrad), you
will have the chance to discuss issues involving experimental design,
analysis of data, and theconclusions that are drawn, as well as
directin for spin-off studies.  Everything that you do will be
valuable, even if it is a little drudgerous at times.  

I don't think that there is a more important activity to spend time
doing if you are considering academia and research.

Good luck!



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