Archive for the 'Late-stage PhD student' category

Snake defeated...

Aug 29 2013 Published by under Late-stage PhD student

...Ph.D. acquired.

 

pottersnake

Thank you everyone!

15 responses so far

Get on your feet!

Aug 29 2013 Published by under Late-stage PhD student

How I'm going to start my defense talk:

 

 

One response so far

A brief look back on thesis writing

Aug 21 2013 Published by under Late-stage PhD student

Last week, I handed my thesis in to my readers. So before I get back to my snake training, I thought I'd share a few observations on the whole process that may be helpful for those of you about to embark on this journey.

1. Check your university's thesis format. They get picky about page numbering and font sizes and where figures/tables/illustrations can go. There's also the adjusted 1.5" left margin to account for the gutter area (oopsy poopsy). Have all these set beforehand, especially if you plan on embedding figures and tables in the text. Adjusting the format after the fact will invariably bump your figures and tables and texts all over the place.

2. Of all the things I thought would hurt from sitting all day everyday, hips never occurred to me. I imagine this is what having creaky, old door hinges for joints would feel like. I knew I should have kept up with my yoga.

3. If you plan on using Word to write your thesis: bookmarks are your friends. I used them to jump back and forth between sections of my thesis when the length got too unwieldy for simple scrolling up and down. (Still dreaming of a word processor that let's you scroll through a document horizontally rather than vertically.)

Also, you know all those periods in the table of contents? If you're about to manually type all of those, let me stop you right there. Use tabs with leaders and the decimal alignment if you want it all aligned to the right side of your page. Or you can have Word automatically generate one...if you have that much faith in Word.

4. If you live near your parents, milk that. I was able to convince them to bring me home-cooked meals. I'm kidding, I didn't ask. They offered, and it was awesome of them.

5. Half of my committee wanted my thesis as a pdf, and the other half wanted a hard copy. I had the hard copies spiral-bound at FedEx/Kinko's (or whatever they're called these days) where apparently, there's a limit to the size of a document they can have bound. They told me they would try to bind my thesis anyway. If you do this, insist that they call you if they encounter any problems. The person handling my order messed up the hole-punching on ~20 pages and ended up using photocopied replacements. If they had called to inform me of this goof up, I would have gladly reprinted those pages.

6. I didn't touch my computer or thesis for 48 hours after turning it over to my committee. I won't lie, there was quite a bit of separation anxiety.

Alright, bring on the serpent!

2 responses so far

Editing the third chapter of my thesis

Jul 18 2013 Published by under Late-stage PhD student

2 responses so far

A font even better than Comic Sans for my thesis defense

Jul 11 2013 Published by under Asian Americanism, Late-stage PhD student

If only it came with a β symbol...

Chinese Takeaway

 

5 responses so far

Maybe I was a little bit harsh...

Jun 18 2013 Published by under Late-stage PhD student

nmeth.1618-F3

(from B. Wong 2011)

 

That moment during lab meeting when I demand from an undergrad if he's convinced whether 2 proteins really are colocalized based on overlapping red-green immunofluorescence and he frustratingly replies, "I can't tell you that...because I'm color blind."

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l7S1hnRPF0%&start=5&w=480

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What's the gender ratio of your references for letters of recommendation?

Jun 12 2013 Published by under Issues in Science, Late-stage PhD student

A few weeks ago while going through old resumes and updating my CV, I noticed that my references have historically been women-centric. I started wondering what the gender ratios were like for other people's references, so I threw this question out into the Twitterealm.

Here were some of the responses:

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What's the gender ratio of your references?

  1. Peoples - what is the gender ratio of your references?
  2. @AmasianV Mostly men. Most of them seem to be called "Al".
  3. @AmasianV all women currently. Historically about 3/4 women.
  4. Depends on job/app. For any single app my range was 0-33% female. MT @AmasianV: what is the gender ratio of your letter writers?
  5. @AmasianV @27andaphd 50/50. The strongest and most influential = female.
  6. @AmasianV @27andaphd Most of my women colleagues very familiar w/ me and my work are at similar stage as I am, grad students, postdocs, etc.
  7. @AmasianV @27andaphd I've met more senior women who do great work in my field, but I don't know them well enough to ask for reccomendation
  8. @AmasianV @27andaphd Oh, absolutely. In my case it's just a matter of probabilities of being in same place/same time and getting their time
  9. @AmasianV @27andaphd Just like any other important, more senior researcher that I want to know well.
  10. @AmasianV @N3OX fo sho. Sadly, I've only had 1 female mentor in my field since I started grd school 10 yrs ago #structuralbiology

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Any advice for a Ph.D. student contemplating a leave of absence?

May 31 2013 Published by under Late-stage PhD student

Folks, I have a friend who just finished her first year of grad school and is wondering whether she rushed into this whole Ph.D. business (sound familiar?). Now she wants to take a leave of absence to get some "real world experience" before committing the next 5-6 years to finishing her Ph.D. I counseled her as best I could and told her to consider several things: 1) her department's policy wrt to taking a leave of absence, 2) how long of a leave did she want to take and whether "real world experience" jobs would hire her for that length of time, and 3) whether to do it before or after finishing her qualifying exam.

Thoughts?

31 responses so far

How is your PI training you to write grants?

May 07 2013 Published by under Late-stage PhD student

An interesting thing happened during last week's lab meeting. Rather than spending the first 30-40 minutes on mundane lab issues like who left the dishes in the sink or who's responsible for teaching the undergrad how to dissect Drosophila larvae, my PI held an impromptu Q&A session on grantsmanship. Being the old-blood, gray-beard, grad student that I am and having lived through (and helped in the process of) writing grants, progress reports, and renewals with my PI, I've heard her thoughts and experiences at various points during my grad school career. But, I could see that her advice on to how to craft each one of these things as well as cultivating a relationship with your program officer was enlightening to the newer students and foreign postdoc in the lab.

It got me thinking about if and how other PIs were directly preparing their trainees in successful grant writing.

7 responses so far

(data not shown) Hypocrite

Apr 25 2013 Published by under Issues in Science, Late-stage PhD student

Earlier this week, I spent a good chunk of time complaining about data not being shown in two papers I had read. Normally, I'd be apt to take their word for it because "data not shown" results tend to be inconsequential footnotes to the larger story and conclusions. This time it was different, though. The data not being shown was being used to make claims that were pertinent to a little thing I've been working on called my thesis. It didn't help matters that the results that were published were less than convincing. I really would have liked to see the data--I mean, isn't that what Supplemental Information is for? Some have suggested that I contact the authors to see if they'd send me the data but I'm not sure how to craft that correspondence without broadcasting a big, fat "Yo, I don't believe you."

Well anyway, now's a good time as any to check myself since I'm totally guilty of pulling the "data now shown" card, too.

 

 

5 responses so far

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