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Undergraduate Research Advice

  1. Aug 17, 2008 #1
    I'm going to be a second year student majoring in chemistry this fall and a professor wants me to work on a research project (or with a group) either with him or with another professor. I performed well in his class (in the top 2-3 students of several hundred). I'm really excited about getting to work on a research project and willing to work very hard, but I'm concerned about doing something foolish because I don't know very much about chemistry and there are some things I didn't fully understand from general chemistry like thermodynamics and quantum theory. What exactly is going to be expected of me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2008 #2
    Depends on the project, ask him what it involves, he would know moreso than anyone here. Could be you just working in his lab, or could be you doing real research. Ask him what the project is about and your role will be.
  4. Aug 17, 2008 #3
    Don't worry too much about doing something foolish. If you don't understand something, ask stupid questions and be willing to learn. He's probably asked you to work with him because he sees ability/research potential in you, rather than a thorough understanding of thermodynamics and quantum theory.
  5. Aug 17, 2008 #4


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    Just remember that you're there to learn more than give a large contribution to whatever project you'll be working on. So don't be afraid to ask questions and tell them that you don't already know something. Asking questions shows you're willing to learn, which is probably why he wanted you to help research.

    You'll probably be working in the lab and helping out with some stuff that they want done, doing some basic lab work and getting to know how research works.
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