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Do Professors actually work in the lab or just write grant proposals?

  1. Feb 5, 2012 #1
    Do professors push most of their lab work onto graduate students and focus on grant proposals?

    How does the answer differ for assistant professors, associate professors, and full professors?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2012 #2


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    In my graduate department, professors doing benchwork was practically unheard of.
  4. Feb 5, 2012 #3


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    The professor in my dept who ran a lab didn't spend much time working in it, but then, he had been there for more than 20 years. New professors spend a lot of time in the lab. And the fact is that most professors don't have a lab, and don't need one for their research - it's all computer based in some way (observational, computational, theoretical) and in my experience they tend to do a lot more of that themselves than have their undergrads or grad students do it.
  5. Feb 5, 2012 #4
    Most of the one's I know end up doing more or less that. They'd *like* to spend more time doing "real research" and less time doing paperwork. The trouble is that you can get a graduate student to do most of the grunt work, whereas writing the grant proposal to pay for the graduate student is something that only the professor knows how to do.
  6. Feb 6, 2012 #5

    Andy Resnick

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    Personally, I (assistant prof.) spend time working in the lab and writing up the papers/proposals. (and teaching, and mentoring, and grading, and ...). I spend more time in the lab during summer and winter break than other times, and I have more (undergrad and grad) students working in the lab during the school year than winter/summer break.
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