Inside Higher Ed Q&A with the author of a new book on career advice for faculty members and grad students. The article is HERE.
August 5-7, 2015, University of Washington, Seattle campus
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is sponsoring a workshop to convene 100 graduate students from diverse domains of science and engineering and data scientists from industry and academia to discuss and collaborate on Big Data / Data Science challenges. Graduate students are invited to apply for participation by submitting by June 22, 2015 a white paper (no more than three pages in length) that describes a Big Data / Data Science challenge faced by their scientific or engineering discipline or an idea for a new tool or method addressing a Big Data / Data Science problem. Travel support is available.
Do you have a favorite example of the early, unseen research that makes today’s technologies possible? The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is speaking out in social media and blogs against efforts to gut funding for earth science and social science research. As OSTP’s Jo Handelsman notes, “People’s appreciation of game-changing new technologies frequently ignores the long, often twisting path that transforms an idea from fundamental discovery to practical application.” OSTP encourages you to share stories on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more with the hashtag, #BasicResearch Read more
Graduate students and postdocs in NY area: Consider becoming an Academy mentor at Dept. of Youth and Community Development summer camps during July, teaching food and nutrition science. Mentors who complete 24 hours of teaching and training will receive an Academy Mentor Teaching Credential, as well as a $1,000 stipend.
Start planning ahead: From Scientist to CSO: Experiencing the Scientific Method as your Guide to Career Success takes place October 27 – December 5 at the Academy.
The Graduate School-New Brunswick is organizing a workshop, led by Rutgers faculty, on issues to consider in turning your dissertation into a book or article.
Monday, April 6
12:00 – 1:30 PM
College Ave Student Center, Rm. 411
Please RSVP to: email@example.com
Visit NYAS Science Alliance for professional & career development opportunities for grad students and post-docs. For example:
Feb. 12: Perspectives in STEM: An evening with Dr. Cherry Murray discussing her career trajectory, sharing insights on innovation, followed by Q&A and networking
April 18: Personal branding
From the project newsletter via Dean Harvey Waterman: “The Survive Grad School Essay Project launched a year ago.The project collects essays that show how authors’ experiences prior to, or outside of, grad school helped them to develop the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind that lead to their success in grad school. Each essay, in some way, completes the sentence: “All I needed to survive (and succeed) in grad school, I learned ….”
Eleven essays are published on the project website, and more are in development. Our authors come from many disciplines: geophysics, English, meterology, neuroscience, education. They attended schools across North America. Some are still students; some have finished their degrees. All have stories to tell. And their stories offer surprising lessons and sound advice.”…
When bemoaning the lack of government funding for scientific research, sooner or later one does start to wonder: how is it that more people aren’t worried about this? And shortly thereafter, one arrives at the conclusion that it is because not enough people place value in it. Those who do not conduct research as a part of their livelihood are not worried about the budget cuts to scientific research, unless something like an Ebola outbreak occurs. That’s extremely frightening. Historically speaking, when there is little interest in scientific research, there is also little innovation and progress.
Science is one of the pillars of humanity and scientific research has provided us with an invaluable way to experience our humanity. It has provided meaning to our surroundings, a context for our existence and even predictions for our future. Historically, leaders have recognized research as a powerful way to empower their people, sustain their growth and even preserve their culture. In a manner of speaking, scientific research has allowed for humanity’s almost “democratic” evolution: of the people, by the people, for the people.
Therefore, for science to continually thrive and flourish the people must act as its stewards. Continued support and encouragement of research efforts requires public interest and accessibility to scientific research. Scientific education at a young age is largely the responsibility of parents and the American education system, and after that it becomes the responsibility of an individual. Whether or not an individual chooses to remain scientifically aware is strongly influenced by their environment. As scientists, we can modulate this environment. Scientists are perfectly poised, if not perfectly trained, to convey their very personal passion for research and discovery to a broad audience. No one knows the work better, and no one else is as committed to it as they are. This is not only outreach, but also a part of their responsibility for advancing science. So this is an informal call to arms to all my fellow researchers – yes, we are all consumed by our work but we need to make sure we are not the only ones that care about it.
Luckily, several creative ways to generate public interest in science have started gaining popularity in recent years. One such way of increasing scientific awareness is the phenomenon of the “science festival”. These are a week to two week-long events, where there are workshops, seminars and demonstrations on a wide variety of topics of general relevance. Anyone with some scientific interest has an opportunity to see demonstrations, hear talks and participate in intelligent dialogue on scientific ideas. From the neurobiology of anger, to the chemistry of brewing beer to the science of weather, these are just a few examples of the ways in which such events bring scientific concepts to a large audience, and illuminate how incredibly pervasive and relevant science really is to our routine lives. Currently, such events are limited to larger metropolitan cities with many technological institutions that cover the organizing costs. As a result, they can be open to everyone, and several events are either free or low- cost, and therefore have significant outreach potential.
Rutgers would make an excellent venue for hosting a festival such as this. We have numerous world-class labs doing research in a wide variety of disciplines. An expert in almost any topic can be found within the different Rutgers campuses, and we have a ton of energetic and enthusiastic students who would love the opportunity to organize something like this for the entire community. First and foremost, this would foster a “culture of science” where people appreciate the relevance of science and exactly how pervasive it is in our routine lives. An added benefit is that science festivals also serve as great platforms for scientists to get an insight into public needs, and to get feedback on their work. Merely providing a venue for open scientific conversation is invaluable, and by promoting such events, we can build a strong community where the scientists and the public are equal participants and share common goals and visions.
Rutgers Recreation offers over 200 classes, trips, and workshops in activities such as dance, yoga, swimming, scuba diving, sports, group fitness, wellness, rock climbing, and techniques for taming stress. Try classes for free Sept. 8 through 14. Get the details and see the schedule at recreation.rutgers.edu.
Following is a link to a recent article in the Chronicle’s Vitae
Debating whether or not to go? Already there, and just looking to survive? Either way, here’s a look through our back pages that’ll help you out.
In response to requests, selected Project AGER workshops will now be recorded, when feasible, and posted on the new “Podcasts” page on this blog.
Two podcasts are now available: Turning your dissertation into a book or article, presented by Chie Ikeya, Assistant Professor, History Department, 2/12/2014, and Careers in Academe: Issues to Consider, presented by Dean Barbara Bender, GSNB. They are here.
This interactive workshop is organized and sponsored by the Graduate School-New Brunswick and Project AGER (Advancing Graduate Education at Rutgers) and will be presented by Rutgers faculty members from the social science and humanities disciplines. RSVP not required, but preferred. The workshop will be held:
Wednesday, February 12
3:00 – 4:30 PM
Rutgers (College Ave) Student Center, Room 411
Kickstarter School: A workshop for scientists, engineers, and educators at the New York Academy of Science, Feb. 13
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”
And So It Begins…
With its perennial mix of enthusiasm and anxiety, the academic year begins. For some of you it’s the beginning of graduate school, for others the return of routine or the continuation of ongoing work. In any case, here we are again.
Unfortunately, graduate study resembles “school” (we even call it “graduate school”), with its suggestion of tasks being set by others and students dutifully completing them (or not). This is terribly misleading. For master’s students, the resemblance is particularly close, and disguises the importance of shifting the control of what’s going on toward the student, not the taskmaster—er, professor. For doctoral students it’s all the more urgent that the student start creating his or her own box in or out of which to think.
Like weddings and bar mitzvahs, graduate study is the beginning of the rest of one’s life. From the start, the student needs to figure out where she or he wants to go. Not just how to get to the degree, but what it is for and what needs to happen in pursuing the degree so that the longer-term goal is reached in good shape. This is not just the choice of which subject matter to emphasize or which courses to take. It also means thinking about which relationships to cultivate, to whom to reach out beyond the faculty members of the one’s degree program, what skills are needed to complement the standard ones of the field of study.
For doctoral students, it means thinking early on about the kind of research that will best prepare for the career goals chosen. And, therefore, the mentor(s) best suited to supporting those goals.
The risk is drift. Take courses, read a lot of stuff, spend time working in the most convenient lab, postpone the real decisions, let fate unroll its verdict. These are childish things.
Be, as the French say, sérieux. It’s your life you are beginning.
At the same time, do remember to smell the roses.