CURF #3: End of the semester!

When I first started at Dr Kuwajima’s lab, I had a basic understanding of what Dr Kuwajima’s research entailed. Before joining his lab, I emailed a few other researchers whose research I was interested in, so I had a basic understanding of what they were all researching, and I feel like this is an important first step to do before you think about joining a lab. Once I joined the lab, Dr Kuwajima explained to me his research in more depth, and he did a decent job as I was able to get most of what he said on the first try. If I had any questions or needed any clarification, I always asked so that I could learn or continue my procedure correctly. Research of any sort can be intimidating, but from my experiences in the Kuwajima lab, I was able to learn that if I needed any clarification on anything, I was always free to ask my PI. It will be almost given that you will not know every single aspect of what is being researched or studied at the lab you work in, but asking clarifying questions will always do you good and it will help you learn more about what is being studied. So most of my advice for undergraduate students looking to get into research or who are already in research is this: do not be afraid to ask questions, because the research you are doing largely depends on your understanding of what’s going on. Another piece of advice I have for undergraduate students in research is to actively try to read more research articles in your discipline (or they could even be from another discipline) and attempt to understand them, because going forward, you will be tasked to write or even analyze other studies and research written in this format. Since I have enrolled in labs which have required journal clubs, I have been able to increase my understanding of scientific research articles, but doing this on your own can help you understand a lot of scientific jargon and be able to replicate it if and when you have to write an article of your own.
Now that the CURF is over, I plan on completing my experiment remotely. This summer, I plan on going back home, so I won’t be on campus and I won’t have the ability to go to the Kuwajima lab anymore until the fall semester. However, my experiment has progressed well and I can do the remainder of it at home instead of in the lab since most of the remaining parts just have to do with statistical analysis. Once I finish this experiment and return to campus, I plan on working on other experiments and research and eventually publish some of my findings.

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