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How to approach "can I join your lab?"


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Hi guys!

I've been MIA but hope things have been going well for you all. :)

For those of you who have already chosen your PI, or even those currently rotating, how did you go about confirming with your rotation adviser that you wanted to join their lab for your thesis? Just wondering.

I really like my current rotation, and it's really the only lab that I would like to join. Did you just drop a casual line like, "hey, can you take me?" or did you email? or did you set up a formal meeting? or did you put out feelers first?

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I did it in a face-to-face meeting. I like doing important stuff that way. (I should add: that way, if the PI says something like, "I would take you but I have no money" you can tell by expression/body language if he's lying or not. Because if he doesn't really want you, you don't want to work for him.)

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You can also ask other grad students in your lab for some advice on how they popped the big question when they were rotating. And occasionally, you would hear what your PI thinks of you from them... This is also a way to get a feeling if your fellow labmates welcome you or not. And then you can go "Hi, I would like to talk about the rotation with you, would you have time?", your PI will know what you are implying.

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