A PI I might potentially apply to is planning on making three or so offers. Said PI only has a few students at present which I think is the reason for their doing so.

I worry that I will not get my hands on very many projects and will not have enough time with the PI. So my question is: How detrimental is a large lab cohort to a graduate students’ success?

I think it is important to mention that this is a social-sciences PhD program with cohorts of around ten or fewer. This situation seems unique as the PI needs students this year. Most labs only take one student per year.

  • It depends a lot on how things are set up, what the culture in the "place" is. If students work effectively as a team, this can be advantageous and better than having a single student who is left alone with a research topic.
    – DetlevCM
    Mar 8, 2018 at 8:56
  • 1
    Related, but not necessarily a duplicate, given that it is about a field with potentially very different group dynamics: How many students are typical for an advisor?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Mar 8, 2018 at 8:58