Category Archives: career planning

“Sabbaticals” for graduate students

Dynamic Ecology is a fantastic blog (written by a small group of contributors) on various topics in academic research and careers, especially in evolution and ecology.  They just featured a provocative new post advancing the idea of taking a “graduate … Continue reading

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Making the most of scientific conferences

Conference experiences have been explored a few times on this blog before, but given the apparent diversity of conference formats across disciplines, I think another perspective might be valuable.  The topic is particularly on my mind since I recently attended … Continue reading

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Informational interviewing: Getting your foot in the door before you need a job

As I wrote in a previous post, this past summer I was an intern at the Department of State in the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary.  In addition to experiencing the State Department work culture … Continue reading

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From the computer screen to the lab bench: A physicist learns to do wet-lab biology

As Kenneth described in a recent post, the Center for Integrated Proteomics Research and the BioMaPS Institute for Quantitative Biology at Rutgers recently held a two-week “boot camp” program to cover a range of basic topics in molecular biology and … Continue reading

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Event: Kickstarter School

Kickstarter School: A workshop for scientists, engineers, and educators at the New York Academy of Science, Feb. 13

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Crowdfunding – An NYAS eBriefing

See the New York Academy of Science (NYAS) Science Alliance eBriefing on Crowdfunding: An Emerging Funding Mechanism for Science Research.  Science Alliance is an NYAS initiative designed to “foster lifelong career and professional skills through education, development, and training”

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Communicating science: the elevator speech

In a previous post, I described my experience at a workshop (organized by the Rutgers Graduate School-New Brunswick) on communicating science.  I described the importance of preparing descriptions of your work for a spectrum of likely audiences – having at … Continue reading

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Communicating science: simple language for complex ideas

For those who don’t know, the Rutgers graduate school (through Project AGER) regularly offers a variety of outstanding workshops on professional development for grad students.  I recently attended one on science communication.  The workshop was run by Sangya Varma, of … Continue reading

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Teaching physics with social media

It shouldn’t be surprising to see social media seeping its way into classrooms these days, given its growing diversity and ubiquity.  I had the chance to try social media for a class I team-taught last spring, Physics 106 (Concepts of … Continue reading

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The Nurturing Paradigm of Scientific Training

Uri Alon, a biophysicist at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, likes to tell a story about when he first became a faculty member.  Already an accomplished researcher, he stepped into his empty new lab and immediately felt overwhelmed.  Despite all … Continue reading

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“Teaching Assistant” is a state of mind

Working as a teaching assistant implies a very wide variety of experiences. For some, it’s a full semester of two hours sitting in a lonely office every week and very little else. For others, it requires two new lesson plans … Continue reading

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“Desktop Faculty Development” — the Tomorrow’s Professor Mailing List

One of the best online resources for graduate students, especially those aspiring to academic careers in research or teaching, has to be the Tomorrow’s Professor (TP) mailing list: http://www.stanford.edu/dept/CTL/Tomprof/index.shtml Managed by Rick Reis, a professor of engineering at Stanford, the … Continue reading

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Identity, Goals, and Diversity in Interdisciplinary Research

While I was an undergraduate physics major, my interests and research experiences were quite clearly of the pure physics variety: particle physics, cosmology, astrophysics.  There was never any question about my scientific identity or goals — I was unambiguously a … Continue reading

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Feet in (At Least) Two Worlds

Every discipline has its subfields…and subfields of subfields. This is very much the case in Anthropology where the Cultural (and Linguistic) wing is a completely different world from the Physical (and Archaeological) wing. Of course there is a shared history, … Continue reading

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Spring Break as Conference Prep Time

When I was an undergrad, Spring Break meant a whole week to do absolutely nothing. Some years that meant traveling to a warmer locale with friends, others were of the “staycation” variety, but in both cases Rest and Relaxation were … Continue reading

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