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Last week, I had spoken to a professor regarding a research project (I am hoping it will get my “foot in the door” and benefit my graduate school application). I had been in contact with this professor for a few months regarding a potential research project. The professor finally got the project approved and described it to me. She then told me to think about it (it would be fairly extensive) and to get back to her. She had mentioned some things I would need to familiarize myself with before I begin. I want to do the project. So my question is, should I begin learning all of the concepts she mentioned / doing research into the topic before getting back to her? Or will I be making too many assumptions about my place in the project by doing this?

  • If you want to do the project then tell her you want to do the project and begin familiarising yourself with the topics. I can't see what the issue is here. – Ian_Fin Nov 29 '16 at 15:45
  • I want to look motivated, but at the same time I don't want to make any assumptions that I already am "in" and come off as entitled. – aspire94 Nov 29 '16 at 16:03
  • Presumably she just wants you to get back to her to say whether you'd like to accept the offer or not. Whether you've done the reading before or after doesn't seem to come into it. You may be overthinking this. – Ian_Fin Nov 29 '16 at 16:05
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The professor got the project approved and described it to me. She told me to think about it and to get back to her. She had mentioned some things I would need to familiarize myself with before I begin. I want to do the project. Should I begin learning all of the concepts she mentioned / doing research into the topic before getting back to her?

(1) Let her know right away that you want to do the project. (2) Start learning some of the concepts she mentioned. You do not need to work on this full time at this point. Don't take time away from your other obligations, but do make a start.

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