I contacted a professor last year through an online search and expressed my interests in his research and his advanced lab technique, in which I lack experience. I also asked for a PhD opportunity from him. He says that he has no money or limited funding now, so I agreed to work for 3-6 months for free. Would that be practical? Could this volunteer experience lead to a PhD application after these months? On one side I am not happy with working for free, as I had employment for 1 year as a research assistant. I doubt when PIs say no funding — isn’t the ability of fundraising supposed to be one of their qualifications?
I didn’t find the right solution from the Internet.