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How to explain that you come with potential research data...

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....without sounding like a condescending jerk. 

I have a former professor who has told me time and again, that if I get into graduate school, she will give me a portion of her research project to conduct archaeological investigations. In more detail, I would basically get a small household group to do extensive microscale analysis of (excavate ALL structures to aid in my dissertation).

How do I mention that I come with this potential data cache, without sounding conceited and full of it? How do I mention it gracefully and not sound like I'm begging? Because right now I feel like all I'm saying is, "Hey I have this potential data gold mine...PICK ME!"

I know some professors don't care about that. I want to be able to tactfully explain that I have potential data to contribute (They don't need to hold my hand in finding a place to do fieldwork) but I am flexible (if they want me to do fieldwork elsewhere, I won't complain).

First time posting, so I apologize if this may have been asked before.

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I am not 100% sure how I would approach this. I don't think I would really bring it up too strongly because of the reasons you said but also because I would not want to appear too close-minded about my future research paths. That is, I don't think it's helpful for you to imply that you will only want to do your PhD with this data, unless you really only want to get accepted into schools that will let you do this project for sure. Otherwise, I think being this narrowly focused at the time of application can hurt you a lot more than having your own data can help.


In addition, at this point, you don't actually have the data in hand yet. I would be hesitant to make future plans based on a verbal agreement like this, even if it's a professor you know well. I just would not make major research plans like this when you don't know your future plans just yet (since you are still in the applications stage). 


So, in my opinion, I wouldn't mention it at all. But this part might be more field dependent. I would use my SOP to mostly speak about my past experience to prove that they don't need to hold my hand etc. I would also briefly discuss what research I might want to do in grad school, which could be the research project you're talking about here, but I would stop short of making it sound like I actually have plans to go ahead and do it. Instead, I would just discuss what a potential project could be, and model this hypothetical project off this real possibility.


I would wait until I started grad school and bring up this other fieldwork opportunity as a potential project during an early meeting with my future advisor and see what they think. Again, this part might be more field dependent, because in my field, grad students are more like hired research assistant to work on existing project ideas, rather than to come in with totally new research projects/ideas. However, this opportunity is potentially something you can convert into a new collaboration between your new and old supervisors etc. after you start your new program.


But like I said above, I'm not 100% certain what I would actually do and that field specific practices might really be different for this scenario.

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