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Personal Development

Flashing Red Signs During a Job Interview

In all the stress of having a job interview, it’s easy to forget that it takes more than one to tango. In fact, a job interview is like a new flat mate interview. While your prospective boss and colleagues are interviewing you and assessing your fit for the lab, you should also keep your eyes…

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Can’t Decide Between Medical School or Graduate School?

For the longest time I just couldn’t decide between medical school and graduate school. I mean come on, being a physician would be great. I could save lives just like they do on TV! But on the other hand, being a biomedical scientist excited me just as much. You can’t tell me you’ve never dreamt…

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Recognizing Anxiety in Graduate School

Graduate school can seem like a constant battle between which of your friends works the hardest and which is the most miserable. However, if being miserable doesn’t interest you, I have some experience recognizing anxiety and seeking help. Depression and anxiety are conditions closely associated with getting a PhD. Experiencing these conditions can be isolating,…

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Coping with Bereavement as a PhD Student

Imagine being a PhD student whose life mostly revolves around the lab until you are hit by the worst news of your life. You have just lost one or both of your parents and bereavement sets in. You still cannot really believe it, spend your nights crying, and find yourself grappling with a whole pile…

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How a Career in Science Prepares you for Parenthood

Science is a career unlike any other. At times it can seem like the tools we gain can’t be used in any other profession. But that is where you are wrong! Unlike other occupations, going to graduate school and/or devoting your life to science actually prepares you for parenthood – in case you were worried…

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How I Learned to Love Science All Over Again

A lot of grad students have probably seen this blog post on the development of science and had a good laugh about it. Long story short, if you imagine that all of human knowledge is a circle, the specialized research that you do is just a small part of the circle. When you contribute to your…

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Advocacy for Scientists – Why and How

Advocating for the research that scientists perform is important.  Your advocacy helps politicians and the general public understand why funding is needed. In fact, many funding agencies require a disease to be associated with the research, because citizens and politicians do not typically care to fund projects unless they foresee a cure or treatment. Scientific advocacy…

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Be More Objective in Your Approach to Science

Part of the fun of science is the opportunity to conjure up hypotheses and ways in which to test them. Of course, being scientists, our ideas are highly thought out and logical. We aim to test the hypothesis which we think is the most likely explanation using the available supporting evidence. In addition, it is…

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Reframing – A Way to Cope With Stress in Graduate School

I’m an anxiety-ridden stress ball 90% of the time. Graduate school only amplifies my nervous energy, and it’s a struggle. However, recently, while I rushed to catch a bus, I had a life altering experience using a mental technique called “reframing” From “Flipping Out” to Flipping the Switch to “Cool” It rained heavily. I balanced…

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Dealing with tension and conflict in the lab

A busy research lab can be a challenging place to work for a variety of reasons. Science is a high pressure environment, often with looming grant or research paper deadlines, troublesome reagents, and experimental failure. Combined, these factors can cause many kinds of strife in the workplace, here are a few examples and some of my top tips for dealing with them!

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Taking Care of Your Mental Health

This article mentions of suicidal thoughts. If you are having thoughts of self-harm, I encourage finding someone to talk to. It can be a family member, friend, or professional counselor. Many countries also have suicide hotlines. Mental Health is often not a priority for institutions or individuals in academia. Making institutions friendlier will take time,…

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Perfectionism: Are you on the downward spiral?

Do you fear failure every time you do an experiment? Do you feel constantly stressed about obtaining poor results? Do you feel personally culpable when an experiment goes wrong? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, you may be suffering from perfectionism. For a scientist, this is a particularly damaging trait…

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