I was wondering if it is okay to work in different lab during summer.

I am first year master's student and currently I am working in the lab as volunteer at my college. During summer (May through August), because of housing/financial reasons, I have to go back home which is in different state. Despite wasting my summer without doing anything, I want to work in the lab in the different college that is working on similar project and the lab that is located near my home. Can I do that? I guess I care about if it would be rude or not. I will definitely tell my current P.I. and potential summer P.I. about it but I wanted to make sure it's okay before I proceed.


2 Answers 2


Ask your advisor.

Whether it is okay or not will depend entirely on him. He may have some reason why he wouldn't want you to (rational or not). It shouldn't come across as rude if you ask him openly and express your reasoning (have to go back home but would still like to be research productive and may be a good opportunity to network with the other lab).

Whether the other lab will let you, is a different question entirely. Another option is working remotely with your current lab.


It depends on funding.

If your advisor at your master's program is providing you with a year-round stipend, then you should secure permission in advance, as suggested by Austin Henley.

On the other hand, if you are in fact volunteering in the laboratory as part of your master's program (or are doing it for course credit), and are not receiving either a salary or stipend for your work during the term, then your advisor really does not have the right to control your work during the summer if classes are not in session.

In any event, you should let your advisor know about your situation, as your PI may have advice or recommendations. However, this is purely informative.

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