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samman1994

Starting your own Project

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Hello everyone,

I've started a project my current PI has given me, but after working on it now for a couple weeks, I have some concerns. First and foremost, this isn't his project, it's someone else's that they gave to him (his names apparently on the grant), but he knows very little about the project and system itself. Secondly, I have my doubts about whether or not we're really going to be able to accomplish what the project outlines and sets out to do. I feel like this project 2-3 years from now is going to hit a dead end, and probably end up in a....eh publication or 2. My PI has informed me however, he was hoping I would pick this project up as my own. 

All that being said, is it possible to start your own project? If I'm going to be on my own, I'd like to pick at least a system I'm invested in that I think might go somewhere. I also don't know how PIs take a student picking their own project, and dismissing the PIs project. 

As always, thank you ahead of time!

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Where does your funding come from?  Your PI or your department?  If it is from your PI - my guess it would be challenging to dismiss a project outright and try to do something else especially if this project is grant funded and the grant is paying your stipend and tuition expenses.  What you could do is to work on the current project and start a side project. This assumes that you could find time to do a side project and you might need your PI's approval if you are using lab resources. 

That being said - I think you are in your first semester, right? I guess I would let this play out some more and see how I am feeling about the project and my relationship with my PI after the first year. By then you will have a better understanding of the project and its strengths and weaknesses.  You also will have a stronger relationship with your PI and know how best to advocate for starting your own project (if you decide that's the best way forward).  Or you could spend time this year on grant writing to start your own project. 

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Yeah my PI is funding me, I don't know if it's from the grant money for this specific project I'm working on. My plan was to do this for the first year, maybe see how much I can really get out of my first year. I was just curious if it was even possible,. 

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