Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How NOT to get a postdoc (or post PhD) position

Great story, with a clear message that is equally applicable to non-academic jobs after your PhD or MSc degree: you should be thinking about this during your graduate work, and not wait until you are almost done. Below, I have taken the her final paragraph, and I have made it a little bit more general (the bold sections are my changes):
"In general, I’ve seen that the people who get ahead in [academic ecology] the job market are those who have a clear vision of what [research] job they want to pursue and why it matters. As you finish your PhD, spend time thinking about a few possible future [research] job directions. What do you want to [discover] contribute to society? Why? And what will it take to make those [discoveries] contributions?"

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The bar is raised!

IB graduate students, if you want to make some more exiting defence announcements: twitter threw down the gauntlet, and the bar is now raised substantially.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Graduate click-bait: 4 Reasons Graduate Students Shouldn’t Have to Work Weekends

Despite the click-bait nature of the blog, this blog post has some perspectives that a lot of graduate students in our department will probably be able to relate to. Now I just wonder how many faculty members have a different perspective.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Release the kraken

What happens when you collaborate with non-ecology scientists?

- You create a Transposable Element (TE) simulation model called TEWorld, with this logo:

- One of your collaborators initials in this project are TE (and you only realize this after collaborating for 4 years)

- You need to run said simulations on sharcnet, and one of the clusters is you will use is called kraken (or orca, or requin, or saw; obviously computer scientists are not biologists, or they are and the inclusion of orca is reverse reverse psychology).

- You receive links to these types of youtube videos:

- You descend into philosophical rabbit holes, and come out transformed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Is doing a PhD a waste of time?

Some people definitely think so. These types of articles crop up regularly. Here is a recent version of this type of analysis that re-appeared in Medium, but is originally from 2010. These are like the villain in a horror movie, every time you think he is finally dead, ominous music fills the theatre. The linked-to article has some aspects that set it apart, though. It provides a voice of faculty members, in addition to some short-writing gems. The quote below has both:
"Monica Harris, a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, is a rare exception. She believes that too many PhDs are being produced, and has stopped admitting them. But such unilateral academic birth control is rare."