Former Undergraduate Researcher at University of San Diego
almost 2 years ago
In preparing for hands-on lab work, I read many primary literature on my research topic to gather a strong foundational knowledge. In the first semester doing hands-on lab work, I acquired the lab skills necessary to carry out an experiment, albeit in piece-meal. Also during this time, I applied for the Summer Undergraduate Research Award through USD. This grant offers you a stipend during the summer, half-off on-campus housing, and funds for research related materials. I was awarded the grant and was able to conduct full-on experiments during the summer. Research is slow, full of problems you will not have anticipated, and sometimes very time-consuming one day, and not at all the next. This gives you an opportunity to practice creative problem solving, work together with others, and gain important organizational data collection skills.
In short, a day in the life greatly varies depending on the stage in the research you are at.