Please give me advice on research

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disoph
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:20 am

Please give me advice on research

Postby disoph » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:08 am

So I'm a freshman in my first semester. I'm currently at a large state university, with a good reputation in physics. The only downside is the school is HUGE so there is very little individual attention. I want to get involved in research immediately, but I want to make sure I do it the right way. This is a shallow question yes; but how do I make sure I join a research group where my chances of getting a publication are higher? How do I even get a first/second author publication? Also I would like to eventually get paid for research, how do I make this happen? Any recommendations in terms of prof/group selection etc.?

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Nishikata
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: Please give me advice on research

Postby Nishikata » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:07 am

disoph wrote:So I'm a freshman in my first semester. I'm currently at a large state university, with a good reputation in physics. The only downside is the school is HUGE so there is very little individual attention. I want to get involved in research immediately, but I want to make sure I do it the right way. This is a shallow question yes; but how do I make sure I join a research group where my chances of getting a publication are higher? How do I even get a first/second author publication? Also I would like to eventually get paid for research, how do I make this happen? Any recommendations in terms of prof/group selection etc.?


In your faculty website, there should be pages for professors’ academic profile.
In these, usually they put up a list of recent publications. You can also browse their names in google scholar, anyway, you want to join a group that publishes often. So find out if the group publish 3-4 papers per year in the recent years. If the group hardly publish anything recently, maybe they’re short on resources so you aren’t likely to publish with them.
In the group that publishes, seek the group members’ names in author placement. Are they first authors, or are they n-th authors (which probably only did small part of the work) ? Some groups specialise in sample preparation (like watanabe/taniguchi in condensed matter) or sample characterization (microscopy groups) usually publishes a lot but not as first authors, as they are more of supporting other groups’ research. They create or measure samples for others’ ideas and get rewarded by having their names added in the author list.

No, you’re not getting paid just yet. You’re freshman, so do some charity work first to build up expertise and experience. They have better use of their limited funds to pay postdocs or phds that have more skills than you. If you’re lucky in your senior year you might be sent on a paid trip for conference or summer schools, but you aren’t getting real salary until you graduate.

disoph
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:20 am

Re: Please give me advice on research

Postby disoph » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:23 pm

Nishikata wrote:
disoph wrote:So I'm a freshman in my first semester. I'm currently at a large state university, with a good reputation in physics. The only downside is the school is HUGE so there is very little individual attention. I want to get involved in research immediately, but I want to make sure I do it the right way. This is a shallow question yes; but how do I make sure I join a research group where my chances of getting a publication are higher? How do I even get a first/second author publication? Also I would like to eventually get paid for research, how do I make this happen? Any recommendations in terms of prof/group selection etc.?


In your faculty website, there should be pages for professors’ academic profile.
In these, usually they put up a list of recent publications. You can also browse their names in google scholar, anyway, you want to join a group that publishes often. So find out if the group publish 3-4 papers per year in the recent years. If the group hardly publish anything recently, maybe they’re short on resources so you aren’t likely to publish with them.
In the group that publishes, seek the group members’ names in author placement. Are they first authors, or are they n-th authors (which probably only did small part of the work) ? Some groups specialise in sample preparation (like watanabe/taniguchi in condensed matter) or sample characterization (microscopy groups) usually publishes a lot but not as first authors, as they are more of supporting other groups’ research. They create or measure samples for others’ ideas and get rewarded by having their names added in the author list.

No, you’re not getting paid just yet. You’re freshman, so do some charity work first to build up expertise and experience. They have better use of their limited funds to pay postdocs or phds that have more skills than you. If you’re lucky in your senior year you might be sent on a paid trip for conference or summer schools, but you aren’t getting real salary until you graduate.

Hey man thanks a lot for the reply. Yeah I pretty much expected that about the paid part, its just there is a freshman I know that will be getting a stipend for research but he's probably the exception and not the norm.

TakeruK
Posts: 936
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Please give me advice on research

Postby TakeruK » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:55 am

I disagree with the above about not getting paid for research as a freshman.

Research work is work. It should always be paid. I was always paid for research work at all levels (I'm a postdoc now) and I always ensure students I hire get paid or course credit for the work they do for me. Work should always be compensated, it is unethical for researchers to expect free labour from their students.

Generally your pay is commensurate with your experience. At my undergrad school, you get paid something like 1900/month for full time research work in your first two years of undergrad and rising to 2100/month for your final year. However, unless it is during the summer, most undergrads do not work full time and probably get paid for 10 hours/week of work. As an senior undergrad, I worked for about $18/hr as a research assistant. I think a fair wage for undergrad researchers is at least $15/hr but it depends a lot on your school and location.

At my undergrad, we also had a co-op work program where you do effectively 4 years of classes and 1 year of full time work as part of your degree (so it takes 1 year longer). You must be paid during the co-ops and that's how I got research experience for grad school and how I got money to pay for my degree. This past summer, we hired a co-op student and our institution policy is to pay co-op students very well, something close to $3000/month. This is more than most grad students in physics. (My institution generally hire engineers which are paid a lot more so this co-op salary is very generous for the physical sciences but quite low compared to what an engineering student can make at an industry job).




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