My main responsibilities this summer all targeted to prepare myself for graduate school. I focused in on reading the literature to help build a better foundation of knowledge. My main project was creating a FDA application to be approved for future studies in the lab. I also assisted with analysis of data previous collected and writing a manuscript to be submitted for publication. Through all of this, I was also assisted with ongoing data collection and screening visits in the lab. Here, I performed standard anthropometric measurements, worked with lab equipment (local heating, laser doppler flowmetry, iontophoresis), and any other small projects that may have come about.
My greatest accomplishment would have to be assisting with writing a manuscript to be submitted for publication. While this was not my main project for the summer, it was a great feeling when I was filling out the publication form, knowing that this may be my first co-authorship.
What advice would you give?
My advice to any students looking at going into graduate school would be to read and process the literature. Try to set a goal that is achievable for you. This may be something like 1 article a day, or 3 a week. Then, write a short summary of the hypothesis, methods, and results/discussion to use for future reference. Making sure you absorb the data is so much more important than reading and forgetting.