I want to refer to a member of our lab, who is working with me on the same project, and I was wondering what would be the best term to use.

We are both mainly students, but we also work as Research Assistants.

I feel that co-worker might imply that we have a full-time jobs

I also feel that lab member might imply that we do separate/different things since the lab could have many students.

co-student seems perfect if this word existed - we're both students, but we also work together.

  • 3
    +1 for creativity, hell yes you can call them co-students, from now on I call other poeple in the bar my co-drinkers! You are my co-poster! I love it, I'll use this any chance I get, thank you for sharing!
    – jimjim
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 10:19
  • 1
    co-labitator similar to co-habitator should work as well!
    – jimjim
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 10:24

9 Answers 9


The more usual term in the UK would be fellow student. Academics who work together are colleagues.


How about lab partner? That would imply the two of you are working jointly. Research partner might work, too.


They are your peers not your co-students.


When I was a student, we referred to students who shared our lab as lab mates, and those who shared classes as classmates.

Lab mates were specifically peers. Lab members could include anyone from techs to profs.

  • as to it already existing, the word 'co-student' does not show at all in google books and 'costudent' is very rare

  • it is not a terrible sounding neologism and would be understood with no problem, but there are other existing terms that are sufficient. In comparison to 'fellow student' it is rare.

So it all depends on what you want to emphasize.

  • If it is the education part, then classmate or fellow student

  • if working, whether fulltime or not, then colleague or co-worker. In your particular instance, lab member, or group or team member, would also work.

  • 'costudent' is not recommended, since it is not very common. A plain google search shows that it is used sometimes (COCA shows nothing), but it looks like telescoped 'headlinese'.


Collaborators? (Co-lab-beraters?) :)


You can also use, Project Mate, to refer to a person who works with you on the same project.


What about fellow students? What's wrong with that?


Actually, the correct term is co-student. Fellow student or class mate refers to the male gender. Since college also enrolls females, it is more appropriate to use non-gender or androgynous reference terms. Hope that answers you question.

  • 1
    You wrote, "Fellow student or class mate refers to the male gender". Actually, these terms are not gender-specific.
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 7:17

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