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Applying for funding as a 1st year student (biomed PhD)?


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I just finished my second rotation and I absolutely love the lab, the research, the people, everything. This is definitely where I want to place. However, the PI isn't sure yet about the state of his funding. This particular project is looking at a rare disorder, and as a result all of the funding comes from a private foundation. He doesn't yet know whether he has the funding for a student. Since normally the PI's lab starts paying for the student after their 1st year, I need to know that there's funding for me before I join.

If I were to join this lab, I would be co-mentored. This PI doesn't have much experience with mentoring PhD students, as he's an MD who just recently started his lab, so I'd be working with another person with more experience as my co-mentor. Because of this, my 3rd rotation would ideally be with my co-mentor. If I DIDN'T join, my 3rd rotation will be elsewhere. So time is sort of of the essence (I have about 2 months to declare my next rotation, as my school alternates course blocks and rotation blocks). If I knew where the next ~2 years of funding were coming from, that would be enough to get me started.

I want to make this happen. Are there options out there for a first year student to apply for funding? 

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