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Simultaneous physics research projects

  1. Sep 13, 2013 #1
    I am currently doing research for credit with two professors (separately), one in theoretical particle and the other in experimental atomic/molecular. I have an interest in both, however I think that one may increase in time commitment and make me unable to perform both simultaneously. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is this common? I have to submit a plan of study for a program I am doing and would like to have a good idea of what I can expect to do. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2013 #2


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    Do these professors know that you are working on another research project from there own?

    You need to sit down with both of them and figure out how to either do both, or pass on your responsibilities (and either withdraw from the credit, or defer until another a semester). You don't want to have wasted someone's time by abandoning your work halfway through.

    Discuss the options with each professor individually. Look at exactly how much time each one is going to take, even with the increased time commitment.

    You made a commitment to the work. It would be highly inappropriate to drop one because the other one turned out to be more fruitful, especially since you're doing it for credit. The best solution would be to find another student capable of taking on your duties and as such, I hope you have an easy to follow lab book.

    Additionally, what is the withdraw/drop deadline policy like at your institution?

  4. Sep 13, 2013 #3
    Oh man Im sorry, I will be able to complete both research courses this semester without a problem. I was talking about future semesters! I am essentially wrapping up one project this semester, and if maintaining both would be impossible I would end with this project rather than go through the trouble of starting another. But I'd still like to work with both professors if it isn't unreasonable. I guess I really should ask each professor what sort of time commitment they expect and then make a decision.
  5. Sep 13, 2013 #4


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    Oh, see, this is much better than I originally read it! I apologize for not getting to the point of things.

    Though, the meat of it still stands: talk with both of your professors about this situation. Perhaps the project that is wrapping up, you can do some sample prep/assist one of the graduate students with something trivial (comparatively to the real analysis bit of research). You could also do some data scrub/programming work if you have those skills.

    In short, something not cumulative, but something you could pick up 10 hours a week and if you missed a week, it would be understandable. And I'm sure a grad student wouldn't mind capable hands doing a bit of the grunt work. You can still learn a lot just from being in the lab.
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