Show us the money

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Nine months into working in the lab as a Ph.D. student, my professor called me into his office. I expected that he wanted my typical weekly research update, so I was dumbfounded when he told me that the grant supporting my research would expire in 3 months. He went on to say that I needed to start working on one of the other, funded projects in the lab or take on teaching assistantships to cover my stipend. I remained calm on the outside, but inside I was overwhelmed. I worried that changing my research direction would delay my graduation and hurt my publication record, making me less competitive for postdocs down the road. I was also kicking myself for not asking for details about how he would fund me and my work before I joined the lab.

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