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Survive & 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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Aliens from Outerspace: Navigating a Lab in the West

If you find it very difficult to call your boss by her first name, feel obligated to wear business casual clothes to the lab, or reckon that it’s slightly weird that your fellow PhD candidates are inviting you to a casual night out instead of to the library to study, then like me, you just…

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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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