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Research Intern: Harvard or Scripps?



Hi, first time writing here but I really need some others' opinions about this.

First of all, I am an Asian junior year undergrad attending one of the universities in HK, majoring in chemistry.

Our university selects a very limited number of students for fully-funded research internships and luckily I am one of them. And also I was super lucky to get three internship offers one from Harvard medical school and two from Scripps. (all chemical biology areas)

To explain each lab's situation, Harvard one is a very new lab they just have two post-docs right now and accepting rotations for Ph.D. For the two Scripps offers, the labs are already well-established and have plenty of workforce to carry on research.

I had a discussion with two Scripps professors separately. (I will call them Scripps Prof. A & B) 

The thing is they don't really need to sell themselves because they already got funding and tenure, but after realizing I am holding several offers, they do.

Prof A said he/she can definitely write a ref letter for applying graduate school later, and Prof B said he/she usually gives intern students a co-author for the paper they publish which is true, I cross-checked.

The problem is, in my situation, there should be a two to the three-year gap between the internship and the time when I apply for grad school. (It is a personal reason, and I really should)

I shouldn't whine about getting several offers but I am still not sure which one is the best choice for later applying for a postgraduate degree. 

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It's great that you have multiple options to choose from. First, I think you need to ask them which project they would want you participate in and who will be your direct mentor in lab. Given the situation you described, you may have more direct mentoring from the Harvard PI, which will be very good for your future grad school letter. With the Scripps lab, you may work under postdoc/ graduate student, which is totally fine, but if it is possible, you should request to talk with your direct mentor. Project topic should also be an essential factor (choose what excites you most). For all options, as long as you completed well your task and responsibility in lab, they should give you letter ( just nicely asked by the end of your internship). Being a co-author on the paper is great, but what you will do during your internship and how well you understand it are even more important. Good luck. 

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