which undergrad project should i take ?

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sleepyjean's picture
which undergrad project should i take ?

Hi all,
I'm pretty new at research and working at the lab, but the lab I work at is offering me one of two projects.. and I would love to hear some advice from you guys and which would be a better project. Since I'm new, I'm excited to do anything, but I dont really know much about the procedures, so any suggestions anyone has  will be greatly appreciated.

project 1:
generate chromosomal mutants in e. coli and then test their effects. techniques include transformation, western blots. I will be working with a graduate student on this project.

project 2:
screen for mutants in e. coli using the beta gal assay. I will work on this alone.

ok, those are the stuff that I've been told.
Let's say you were in my position.. which project would you pick?

the main concern I have is, which project would take a shorter time to compelete. I officially graduate in 6 months, and that's all the time i have left at the lab; and i really dont want to leave a project unfinished..
and also, i want to learn as many techniques as i can.
so yes, please.. any suggestions.

marcus muench
marcus muench's picture
 Although it is always nice

 Although it is always nice to aim for finishing a project, it may be a bit too presumptive of a lab head to assume an inexperienced person will finnish something for them.  It is nice to hope this may be the case, but 6 months in research can fly by with little to show for it.

In your case I would go for #1, mostly because you will be working with someone to show you the ropes and hopefully teach you something.  Part of this suggestion depends on how far along and how communicative this grad student is.  You want to learn a few techniques, learn how to keep a notebook, how to work through problems and trouble shoot.  You may also be looking for a letter of recommendation for future schools/jobs. If you take job #2, who teaches you and supervises your work?  Go with whatever job feels like you'll have the greatest personal hands on training.  Actually finishing a project is secondary.

My 2 cents.

sleepyjean's picture
 hey carson, thanks for your

 hey carson, thanks for your advice! :)