So I will try to be as brief as possible.
I have just started an undergraduate final project (which is supposed to last 3.5 months but I thought I would stay for longer, like 6-7 months if it was good). Due to regulations at my university I was not able to continue in the lab that I've done a ~4 months research project as I would have an "unfair advantage". In general I have done, until now, mostly short research projects which lasted mostly 2-4 months. I love science and at this moment I am 100% sure this is what I want to do, so I applied for PhDs and got some interviews.
Anyway, so I started this project and - in short - I am really disappointed. It seems that I will assist with what a current PhD is doing - basically just repeat her PCRs and flow cytometry. Moreover, the PI (who came to UK recently and has very little funding as for now) is not very interested in me doing anything independent. The PhD that I am supposed to work with is of a kind "do-as-little-work-as-possible" and just follows whatever she is told. She doesn't know the answer to any question I am asking about what she is doing (to be fair I do ask a lot of questions but they are questions that if you are carrying out experiments you should know the answer to). Overall, it seems that I will learn not much in this project.
My question is a) if anyone has any advice for such situations, b) should I invest myself or not?
I could, potentially, dig super deep into the topic and try to come up with some stuff and propose it to the PI but a) they have little money so they most likely will not be happy to do it, b) the preliminary data I've been shown are not very persuasive. I could try and get involve and research the topic super thoroughly - but the PI doesn't seem to be interested at all.
The other option is to invest as little time and effort as possible and focus on learning. Reading literature, going to as many seminars as possible, perhaps trying to play around with bioinformatics/computational biology. Finish as quickly as possible and then (before starting the PhD, if I get accepted) go back to my previous lab or another lab and try to pick up some useful techniques.
The question is basically what strategy would be the best? I really don't want this 3-4 months to be a complete waste of time. I love learning and it is just unfortunate that I ended up in such situation.
Hopefully, I didn't come as egotistic or anything. I know this is their opinion how it should be, but it just troubles me.