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Summer Research

by winterwind
Tags: research, summer
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winterwind
#1
Mar12-10, 06:24 PM
P: 29
Hi guys,

I have an important decision to make in the next couple of days regarding my plans for the coming summer, and I would appreciate any input. I applied to the Amgen Scholar's Program, and have recieved an acceptance from UCSF. I'm interested in pursuing research in the area of chemical biology, and UCSF has a very strong department in this area. I'm also doing research at my home institution (Yale), which is also related to chemical biology (mostly organic synthesis). The question is, should I accept the UCSF Amgen Scholar's program, or should I stay at Yale and continue my research onto the summer?

I'd really hate to pass up the Amgen Scholar's program. Apparently, last year UCSF received 800 applications for 25 spots in the Amgen Scholar's program (you do the math), and it keeps getting more and more competitive every year as past admissions statistics show. Plus, it's in San Francisco, a beautiful city that I'd love to live in for the summer. I will get paid on top of free housing. I'd much rather be in San Francisco for the summer, and in addition, it is only 45 minutes away from my home. I think this program is also an amazing opportunity to network with faculty from another institution. They also pay for a weekend conference in the middle of July at UCLA where all the Amgen Scholar's meet and talk about their summer research.

If I stayed here at my university, I could continue my research that I will eventually carry out into my senior year for my thesis. The main benefit may be that I can get more research done (I actually work in two labs, and I could probably work on my main one in addition to the other lab on the side).

I plan on going to graduate school and doing research as a career. Which summer option is best in my case?

Thanks!
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bluedevils23
#2
Mar12-10, 07:57 PM
P: 1
Hi winterwind,

I was in a similar position last year. I go to a big research institution and I wanted to apply to research opportunities away from my home schools. My PI begrudgingly agreed, and I got into a few programs. Ultimately, he convinced me that it would be better if I worked for him that summer, and my work led to a few publications in Nature subdivision journals. When it comes to letters of recommendation, quality is definitely more important than quantity, and I was recently accepted to basically all of my top choice graduate schools (Harvard, Berkeley, MIT, and Stanford). I understand what an amazing opportunity would be to spend the summer in San Francisco, but I would recommend that you stay at Yale.


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