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I suck at research

xxluvforeverxxxxluvforeverxx 168 replies44 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 212 Junior Member
Im working on a project in a biology lab this summer and it’s my first lab experience. For the past 3 weeks, I’ve been working on the same experiment over and over again trying to get working results, but I keep on messing up the pipetting and the mixing in the wells. I’m also not quick enough at times and the machine missed the crucial reading. I feel like at this point, the principal investigator is just like maybe this person isn’t cut out for science or like this is the easiest experiment to do, why is she messing up. Idk I just feel very incompetent and frustrated. Any tips, advice, empathy, etc would be welcome
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Replies to: I suck at research

  • happy1happy1 22408 replies2184 discussionsForum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 24,592 Forum Champion
    Seek help from your supervisor in the lab rather than keep making the same mistake over and over. He/she may have some good tips for you.
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  • bopperbopper 13872 replies98 discussionsForum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,970 Forum Champion
    Maybe you do suck at research. or maybe you are a newbie at research. Or maybe you don't have good eye/hand coordination. Or maybe you just need more practice. Maybe nobody taught you properly.

    But let this be a chance to work on your self-advocacy skills.

    "PI, I am not being successful at the experiments and I would like to ask for advice on how to improve my results.
    I am having trouble with pipetting...do you have thoughts on how best to practice that?
    Also I am not fast enough at task Z and an unable to get the machine readings. Any tips?"

    No matter what you do in life, you will be in situations where you are not able to easily do the task.
    Employers would rather have people that realize they are having trouble and ask for help/training than people who keep quiet and screw up and surprise the boss.
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  • damon30damon30 1147 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,152 Senior Member
    edited June 4
    I agree with the above. Since you don't mention asking for help, that's your mistake. Technical knowledge and skills are the least important element of research. Much more important is understanding the process, and that involves the teamwork aspect.

    Edit: And asking for help here is good, of course, but you are unlikely to receive the type of specific assistance you would get from someone doing similar work in your lab.
    edited June 4
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