To keep this short and sweet I was wondering if someone could a few questions for me:
1. In various people's profiles they state they have x years research experience in a particular field, I assume this doesn't mean they've been working full time in a lab for x years so does this generally mean x number of summers working on a project or is it some part time experience?
2. Being from the UK I'm somewhat unfamiliar on what exactly an REU consists of. Several people of spoken to seem to indicate on their REU's that they spent a vast majority of their time having to learn the physics behind their project before being able to do anything. So my question is (without trying to offend anyone) is an REU more of a sampler of a particular area of research?
3. Looking at profiles from years past I feel that compared to many applicants I possibly lack experience. As far as research projects go, by the time I apply I will have: Spent 3 months with a Professor and Post-Doc testing various models of an Adiabatic Quantum Computer; Led a 3 month long undergraduate group project (8 peer group members) into creating a new method determining statistical uncertainties on neutron interactions; Spent around 4 months working on my master's thesis helping to optimise a PMT/Scintillator modules for use in timing electrons from double beta decay. In the eyes of admissions folks will I lack experience (i.e. should I wait until the following rotation to apply and try and get some experience in the meantime)? Will the diversity of my projects be seen negatively?
Thanks in advance for anyone that answers and sorry for the barrage of questions, booking my PGRE has started to make everything seem very real and scary :S