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Survive and Thrive

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Graduate School Edition

A PhD, like any worthy endeavor in life, requires hard work, patience and perseverance. It also involves challenges that will make you doubt your choice to pursuit an advanced degree in the first place. It is inevitable that a series of failed experiments or that one paper rejection will bring you down and temporarily make…

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Staying Ahead of the Pack in Undergraduate Research

Whether you’re just beginning, or nearing the end of your undergraduate career, getting involved in research can be overwhelming and stressful. There are many factors to consider, so keep it simple and focus on the most important ones: What area of research motivates you? What organisms do you find interesting? Are there any research professors…

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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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Are you being bullied by your boss?

There are many kinds of supervisors out there, ranging from the amazingly laid back to the crazy micromanagers. There are various strategies for dealing with all of them, but what do you do when your boss is a bully?

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Multitasking in the Lab by Not Multitasking at All

Working in a lab can be stressful, there is so much to do, and so little time to do it that we often feel overwhelmed. Sometimes you come into the lab and there are 15 experiments that just need to be done, so you throw on some music and start doing a bunch of them…

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5 Things I Would’ve Told Myself Before Starting Graduate School

Having just finished graduate school, I have been given the privilege of nearly unlimited time to reflect (Yay! Unpaid, Boo!). Graduate school was, for me, a juxtaposition of intellectual growth, real-world learning and great fun. An introduction to adulthood with training wheels—while simultaneously being a blur of anxiety, work, sleepless nights and existential crises. I…

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7 Helpful Tips to Get You Through Your First Grad School Week

It’s official. You’ve signed on the dotted line and you are about to begin the most exciting and frustrating journey into the depths of the unknown: a journey otherwise known as a PhD. You’ve heard the horror stories from previous students; the cloning that wouldn’t work for reasons unknown to man, the data that indicates…

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Why You Should Talk to Sales Reps

People often joke about hiding from sales reps, but the fact of the matter is that valuable opportunities are lost when scientists disappear into thin air. Think twice before attempting your own vanishing act; a brief chat could reward you with amazing deals, introduce you to faster, better technology and keep you in the loop…

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How to Switch Mentors, Part 1: Recognizing Red Flags

Grad school is a long, hard, long, time-consuming, and–wait for it–long process. A bad relationship with your primary mentor can make it worse, and may even drive you away from a science career.  Unfortunately, you often can’t spot incompatibility until you’ve spent time with a mentor and lab.  Even then, how do you tell the…

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