Paid summer research?

sydfloyd
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 7:45 pm

Paid summer research?

Postby sydfloyd » Mon May 03, 2010 7:51 pm

The professor that I am interested in working for has asked me whether or not I'd need to get paid for the summer and I have no idea how to respond... I initially wanted to do research for the learning experience so this question has really caught me off-guard. Any suggestions?

Note: The professor has been traveling in and out of the country so we have been corresponding via e-mail.

pqortic
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:24 am

Re: Paid summer research?

Postby pqortic » Mon May 03, 2010 11:17 pm

that's a very good opportunity. you shouldn't hesitate. upon receiving stipend, professors want to see you commitment to the research so you may be asked to report your progress to another student or professor himself. but anyway that is a good experience.

AO
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:45 pm

Re: Paid summer research?

Postby AO » Tue May 04, 2010 3:42 am

As a general rule, if a prof asks if you need to be paid you should say yes. This holds true regardless of whether you get paid in the end. It is very important to consider your work valuable. Also, if you've worked for free for a while, it is completely acceptable to ask to be paid for the exact same reason. If you don't think you're time is worth money, why would anyone else?

J

pqortic
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:24 am

Re: Paid summer research?

Postby pqortic » Tue May 04, 2010 1:12 pm

AO wrote: Also, if you've worked for free for a while, it is completely acceptable to ask to be paid for the exact same reason. If you don't think you're time is worth money, why would anyone else?
J


I don't suggest this. he doesn't work for money. he wants to learn something. besides, talking about the money especially for the past time doesn't look right.

michael
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:21 am

Re: Paid summer research?

Postby michael » Tue May 04, 2010 1:22 pm

If you are currently an undergraduate, and you want to do a PhD in the US, then you will pretty much need to have research experience before you apply. So how you deal with the pay situation should depend on how much you need this particular research experience.

If you are likely to have other chances to get research experience before you apply for PhDs, or you have already got some experience then maybe you should tell him you would need funding - you could say for example that you are really keen, but you would not be able to afford to cover your costs for a whole summer.

HOWEVER, if you are not likely to have other research experience before you apply, then you should jump at this opportunity to get some. You could tell him that the experience is important for you - so you would take out a loan if he cant fund you, but you would obviously prefer not to have to increase your pile of debt. Hopefully he would pay you anyway in that case.

The research opportunities available to you will depend on your situation. For example if you are in Europe, there is a good chance that it will be very hard to get anyone to pay you to do research before you graduate. Many european students are put off by this, and dont have any research experience before they graduate, and then apply for US PhDs with little success. If you are in the US, chances are your school will have some scheme set up to help you get research experience, and you should therefore have other opportunities unless you are already in your penultimate year.

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HappyQuark
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Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Paid summer research?

Postby HappyQuark » Tue May 04, 2010 2:30 pm

I agree with Michael on this one. I'm not sure what your financial situation is but based on the reaction in your first post (i.e. you were surprised at the notion of getting any money out of it), I assume that you had planned on doing the research with or without funding. If this is true, then I would recommend that you tell your professor that getting the funding would be great but that your primary concern is doing the research. It isn't wrong for you to get paid to do research but the experience and the strength of your future admissions profile hinge on your research experience more than your wallet and you shouldn't do or say anything that might jeopardize that. If you indicate to your professor that you need to get paid in order to do the research and he can't get funding, he may assume you don't want to do it or offer the research to someone who will take it for free.

AO
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:45 pm

Re: Paid summer research?

Postby AO » Tue May 04, 2010 6:16 pm

Let me clarify my earlier statement. I think it's important to believe your work is worth money, and as such, you should ask to be paid for it, WITH THE QUALIFICATION that if that isn't possible, you'd like to still work for the prof.

I did this for my first RA gig, and my boss couldn't pay me at first but as soon as money was available (~9 months later) he started to pay me.

J




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