I'm in a neuro masters program where you can do your thesis at any lab (in the world), as long as you can demonstrate that it is related to biological neuroscience. I was in a lab for a year and due to a personal illness had to leave, unfortunately I also ran through my savings that year. Now I am better, but I have medical debts. I don't want to keep putting off my education for the time it takes me to pay them back and save money to support myself for another year. I've been thinking about applying for RA and lab coordinator positions, but I'm worried that I might not get the kind of focused project I need to complete a thesis. Is it fair to ask that of a lab that is paying you?

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    Is it fair to ask that? In my opinion, yes, if you do so professionally and with the understanding that they might say "no". But you also sound like you need to sit down and figure out exactly whether or not you can support yourself as an RA -- if you had to take time off again for personal illness and already had to deal with significant medical debt, could you manage without racking up even more debt? It may be worth it to pay the debt now and go back to school with less risky financial prospects later. That's for you to decide, however. – tonysdg Jun 17 '16 at 3:45

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