The Curse of a Bad PI

Scientific research, just like every other career on the planet, has bad bosses. Characteristics of these individuals include poor management skills, inadequate abilities to lead, train or motivate their employees, an inability to fulfill responsibilities, and/or questionable ethics. Outside of scientific research, employees who want to escape their bad bosses can turn to human resources... Continue Reading →

How to Become a Unicorn Scientist

Unicorn scientist: A scientist with the unique ability to communicate their work to diverse audiences. A unicorn scientist uses public speaking and written works to get scientists and non-scientists alike excited about cutting-edge research and/or the pursuit of scientific knowledge. This past week, my program help its annual Student Research Day, an opportunity for students... Continue Reading →

Which Words Don’t Matter?

Scientific writing is of paramount importance to any researcher looking to communicate, disseminate, seek funding for, and convey the importance of their work. The phrase "publish or perish" has become a mantra for a reason, though scientific writing extends far beyond publishing your research. Writing is a process involving multiple chances to improve the writing... Continue Reading →

Starting at a Sprint

Completing a PhD is like running a marathon. You can approach it as a race and attempt to finish first, or you can merely focus on finishing. You can change up your pace, run for a cause, run with someone else, and/or stop for a water/bathroom breaks. Instead of pacing myself in anticipation of the... Continue Reading →

Diminishing Returns on Exams

Exams, short for examinations, are supposed to test whether the examinees (i.e. students) know and understand the material that has been presented to them. In high school, you take exams during the semester as a separation between each topic taught; once you've completed the exam, you move on to the next topic. You may have... Continue Reading →

Fellowship Failure

This past December, I applied for a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship (information on this and other fellowships can be found here). If received, this fellowship would fully fund my graduate education, providing me the freedom to join any lab I wanted at my institution. The application requires a 3-page description of... Continue Reading →

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