December 17th, 2012

  • jmae

Grad school hangups - poll!

Hi all:

I'm polling scientists (mostly grad students) for personal experience -- any comments or insight on the following would be great.

Throughout the grad school process, what do you wish people had just sat down and taught you beforehand?
What are some skills that you sort of had to learn on your own?
How to read papers effectively?
How to ask for help?
How to acquire new skills? (perhaps more effectively?)
How to network with collaborators?
Oral presentation skills?
How to use particular machines?
How to write grants?
Particular milestones in the process, such as the qualifying exam or the proposal?
How to achieve a work-life balance (or for someone to even tell you that it's okay to have this?)
How to elevator-pitch to a collaborator or to a famous scientist?
How to negotiate a postdoc or a faculty position?

I'm thinking about how we can better facilitate these "extraneous things" that prevent us from doing what we came to grad school to do - good creative science. So, any advice on how you might have done these things, or lessons you've learned, would be fantastic.