Ideal for: Graduate students desperate for a good idea for a thesis.
Job Specifications: Why look for a cure for cancer when you can devote your research efforts to studying…flatulence? Join the team of Minneapolis gastroenterologist Michael Levitt, who is looking for assistants that will inhale the, er, “gases” emitted by subjects who have consumed nearly half their weight in pinto beans. The goal of this rigorous experiment? To find out if fart can be an accurate symptom of intestinal health. What, ultrasounds not good enough anymore?
Drawbacks: Any job that involves placing your face near someone’s butt and telling them to fart on you will never be worth the money you’re paid for it.
Perks: You work with a brilliant (if slightly bonkers) scientist who will give you credit in assisting him in this largely neglected field of medicine. (Of course, it’s easy to understand why it’s been neglected, but as a struggling graduate student you can’t afford to be picky.) Costs of the experiment are relatively low, especially if you clip enough supermarket coupons, though it is rather difficult to find a corporate sponsor.