Username: Nafisa Send personal mail
Subject area: Life Sciences
Pursuing degree: Post-Graduate
School start date: 09/2008
Expected/Completed graduation date: 09/2012
Stage of research: Post-Graduation
Research topics/interests: - Behvaioural Neuroscience - Histology - Cell Culture - Molecular Biology - Biochemistry - Grant writing - Teaching
- Behvaioural Neuroscience
- Cell Culture
- Molecular Biology
- Grant writing
No questions asked.
I'm on the stage of revising my dissertation and I'm so close to get my degree, but my advisor made me think that I'm not qualified to get this degree, which she contradictorily assured I will get. Due to the horrible design of my graduate program, I didn't get to learn the content that I should and wanted in my field, so right now I have no confidence in my dissertation at all. Part of me want to leave my program without the degree; I don't like academia anyway. But my friends suggested that I hang in there and get that piece of paper. I can't make up my mind. Do you have any thoughts or comments?
Hi! I think it's great you will finish your degree! Graduate school is hard and often there is not a lot of support, it's the sad truth. I have also had a negative graduate school experience, but with a lot of persistence and support from friends I made it through. It's important to develop a life outside of school, that is a lesson I have learned over and over again. All the best with finishing up and remember you aren't the only one!
I'm an undergrad and thinking about studying cognitive science/ neuroscience. I love neuroscience and I'm thinking of getting PhD in it, but I'm not very sure that I really love it. But I'm sure that I love psychology. Do you think it?s better to give myself chance to study both or it would be a waste of time if I realized that I love neuroscience after a while? Does neuroscience knowledge I get from cog sci will be the same or even near to that got from neuroscience only? I came here because I really need advice from elders especially in neuroscience. Thanks.
I would recommend doing an independent study or some sort of research during your undergrad to determine what you really love. I just recently completed my PhD and it's hard, believe me. Graduate school requires a lot of self motivation, so you need to really like what you do. I would recommend determining what you like/love this first. Then talk to people in the field about their experiences, etc.
I am a fairly new PhD student but want to change my school. So I contacted with another school and after their positive attitude I began my application. Should I tell about that to my current advisor or keep it as secret until getting an admission offer? Though my current advisor is nice, we haven't built a close relation yet. Plus I am not funded by him or by the current school. They haven't involved me in any of their teaching/research yet.
This is a tricky situation. I would most likely wait until I have been accepted into the new program before letting anyone know.
I think every graduate student in Neuroscience should read/own Principles of Neural Science (Kandell et al.) or Neuron (Levitan), but it's more cellular.
I am a second year PhD and I want to change my school for a couple of reasons. Given that currently I am in one of the best schools in my area, I don't have many choices to improve my current situation. At the moment I want to contact a prof. to be my future supervisor and I don't know how to initiate. How to explain my current situation without making a bad impression. After all I'm leaving a very good school in favour of a hypothetically better one. Is it possible to start in a grad school from the point where I am leaving the previous one? Are they gonna accept my qualifying exam? Please help me with any advice for contacting a potential future advisor.
I think it maybe possible to start grad school again. I think you may have to redo your qualifying exam if you choose to leave your current program, although I am not 100% sure. Is there someone at your current insitution that you can talk to about your situation. Some one that won't say anything to your current supervisor (e.g. graduate coordinator, dean or departmental chair)? You may want to speak to someone in your field to get some ideas of what you could do. I am not sure if you have already done this.
In terms of contacting a new supervisor, maybe send him/her an inital e-mail expressing your interest in their research and inquire if they are taking on any graduate students. Then if they are, maybe you can have a phone conversation and explain your situation and go from there.
From my experience in graduate school, I think you should be able to find another supervisor if you are in a bad place with your current situation, however, remember to be honest with your new potential supervisor.
I'll be submitting my first Master's level paper in the next month. I wanted to be sure that I'm submitting something that is up to "par". Are there any resources for this at McGill? I found a link for a writing centre but the domain cannot be found. I'd appreciate any leads. Thanks!
Hi - Did you try this website, http://www.mcgill.ca/study/2011-2012/university_regulations_and_resources/graduate
I would also recommend getting someone (Ph.D. student, post-doc, supervisor or another professor) to read over you paper.
I am not sure where you are submitting it, but be sure to check the journal's specifics (e.g. referencing style, cover letter requirements, etc.).
I would also recommend talking to someone in your field about publishing in general. I think it varies between fields and I am not sure what field you are in.
From my understanding I think you have to publish work in the field and then may be invited to write a review. Also, making connections with people in the position to ask you to write a review is a good idea. I think one could also submit a review article to a journal - but I am not sure if this is true for all fields of research.
I am having a hard time with my thesis. I can't seem to get it started. I know once I start writing I will get it to flow, but I don't know how to begin. I don't want to be stuck on my first paragraph for 3 weeks. My thesis is on the differential responses of generalist and specialist insect herbivores on Arabidopsis mutant lines.
I would also recommend writing your materials and method sections first. I think you will get information written on the page and then the confidence to write the other harder parts. Like others have mentioned you don't have to write your thesis in order. Also, if you can look at past thesis's that were written by people in your lab and/or department. I think this will give you some sort of guidelines and ideas for writing. Good luck! Persistence!
I am a 26 yr old female who moved across the country to attend a graduate program in male dominated field, and I just found out I was pregnant. I have no significant financial savings, no immediate family nearby, and the father (we have been close friends) wants to abort the chid. I have health insurance through the school. If i was to keep the baby, he/she would be born with 1 year left to go in my graduate program. I do field research and a lot of the work involves manual labor, occasionally lifting things and being out in the heat. My sister and husband have agreed to help raise the child if I want to move to where they live (and drop out). Is it possible to be pregnant, take care of a newborn, and finish graduate school? Should I drop out of school? Should I terminate the pregnancy?
Do you have a supervisor? Or a graduate program coordinator that you can speak to? I guess someone you trust. I think talking to someone in your program will help you with the decision. Perhaps setting some expectations for what needs to get done in terms of work during your pregnancy and afterwards. You did mention that you were in a male dominated field, so I am not sure if there is anyone you can talk to. Hopefully you can find someone.
I agree with both FirstAuthor posts, in that this is your decision and no one can make it for, expect for yourself. Good luck and all the best with things.
Hi there I have got admission of mcgill and university of montreal, I am confused and dont know which one I should choose. I like the research of both PIs. The PI at u of montreal is full prof, head of department with strong networking and his a really nice and easy going person. The PI at mcgill is an assistant prof and I would be his first grad and PhD student. I dont know him much,I tried to get some information, almost nothing. my field is biotechnology, on one hand mcgill is a big name and having phd from there is very accredited. On the other hand I dont know about the PI at mcgill (maybe because I know the one at u of montreal I am confused like this!). And you know it is a phd program, 4 years! Please give me some ideas, any help is appreciated!
Hi - I am currently working at McGill on my Ph.D. Yes, it is a good school and there are lots of people doing some great research here. However, I would strongly suggest going with your gut feeling. If you can not find any information on about the PI at McGill it might not be a good choice. When I was selecting a lab for my Ph.D. I knew I wanted a lab that published, had money and the PI was around/answered e-mails promptly. I also spoke with students in the lab. Is there anyone in the McGill PI's lab you can speak with? Even a research assistant? Speaking to someone will give you a good idea about what the PI is like to work with. I think it's very important to speak with students/employees of the PI before making a decision. Working with a new PI might be more work, as you may have to set up new protocols, etc. however it could also be great because you may get the oppurtunity to really develop your own project.
Also, getting a Ph.D. from McGill with no publications does not look great. However, getting a Ph.D. from UdeM with 3-4 publications looks great!
I wish you all the best! Good luck!
I think I just answered one of your other questions.
In terms of finding a good program, I would strongly suggest talking to professors-students in the field. Are there any at your current school? Or the city you currently live in? If there are I would strongly reccommend that you contact them via e-mail. Send them your CV and explain what you want to do in the future and ask for recommendations.
You can also do a literature search, if you haven't already done one. When you read an abstract/paper that really interests you do some research on the authors and then contact them to see if they are accepting students.
Also, do a general google search and that may turn up something.
If you can attend a meeting/conference in the area of interest that may also help you find a potentional program that you may like to look into.
Have you spoken to professors are your school about doing your project under their guidance? Like you said, it's hard to do research on your own because you need ethical approval from your insitution and that usually requires the support of a professor. If you can not find a professor to support you, I would suggest volunteering or even trying to work in a lab. I would highly recommend getting involved in research as early as you can. Graduate school is hard and not meant for everyone. In terms of your research idea maybe you can put it on the back burner for a while - maybe over time it will grow and develop into something - perhaps a interesting thesis topic? You never know. Also, you could try doing a honours thesis in your final year of undergrad you maybe able to find a professor to support your research idea.
If you like animals, you should volunteer at your local animal group as well. It won't look bad on your CV.
I am working on my first research proposal, and am really struggling with it. It is due VERY SOON, and I am not sure how to structure the thing. The challenging part is how to introduce the research question and sub-questions. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
Writing a research proposal can seem like a very daughting task. When I began working on my I felt very overwhelmed. What helped was being able to break down my proposal into parts. I had a introduction/background section, go from broad to specific interms of infomation. I used my intro/background section to lay out the framework to introduce what I would be doing and how my research would be contributing to the field, by identifing lack on information/knowledge within my field. After stating my thesis objectives, I discussed how I would accomplish each objective. Then I presented some preliminary data and conclusions.
In prepartion for writing my thesis proposal, I also asked other students in my department who had written a thesis proposal if I could read their proposal. That may also help you, if you haven't already done that.
Maybe start with making an outline for your proposal. Fill in the parts you already know. I find once you have words on your screen things just start to flow.
I am sometimes facing a dilemma that if I should go to the presentation of my colleagues. However, I feel bad that I did not go to my colleague's PhD proposal today. It seems unfriendly not to go to his defense and everyone else in our group went. I always prefer to go when the topic is related to my research interests and it does today. However, I have been in his rehearsal a few days ago and made my suggestions to him. I'd rather having this time working on my research (I had an idea and was trying to figure it out). I really do not know if I should go? (show nice to people or focus on potential progress?)
I have been in grad school for 5 years and I still find managing research and attending seminars. I try and focus on my priorities at the time and sometimes experiments or whatever don't go right.
I think that supporint colleagues is important, becuase oneday you will want that support too. Let your colleague know that you can't make it and wish them well.
Sometimes you can't do everything, keep that in mind.
Also think about the potential repercussion of not attending a colleague's seminar. Not attending a seminar (even if it's not in your area) may make you look like you are not a team player or that you can't manage your time.
I do not have a concrete answer for you, but some food for thought.
In the end, it up to you. I always think its better to make an informed decision and consider all the points of view.
I would suggest putting your univeristy address. I have seen a number of CVs and they all had a university address on them. I also suggest using a university e-mail address too, I believe it looks more professional than using a hotmail/gmail e-mail account.
I find when I am writing a research paper, I begin with making all the figures for it. Then I write the eaiser parts (e.g. materials) and leave the harder parts (e.g. dicussion) for last.
As for your applications to doctoral studies, reviews articles are aways a good place to start.
I've been admitted to a PhD program (with a BS) in a department that requires completion of a masters degree before continuing on to the PhD. After a year in the program, I've come to realize that my research interests lie elsewhere and have identified several labs at other universities whose research suits my interests better. My department has stated that there is no shame in stopping at a Masters, but has very little to say about stopping at a Masters in order to switch to another program elsewhere. How should I handle stopping at the Masters to reapply to these other PhD programs without buring bridges?
Do you have an advisor or supervisor for your research that you can honestly talk to? I would suggest doing that first. Make it clear that you want finish your Master's. If you don't have a supervisor or advisor to talk to, I would suggest talking to one of your committee members or someone you can trust. I am sure they will have some ideas on how to handle the situation. This is a tricky situation, as I am sure you understand. I think if you are honest and clearly say that your research interests have changed, people should understand, but they also may not. I guess that's the risk you have to take. Do you have enough people to get reference letters from for funding applications? Research is very self motivated, if you don't like it, it's hard to get anything done. Good luck!
How do you manage your time/get motivated to do work when there's very little forced structure in your schedule? How do you plan to get work done while still being free enough to spend time with the people who are your social supports?
In addition to tlockyer's advice, I personally make a 'to do list' for what I would like to get done in a week. It really helps when I look at it, because sometimes I forget about things I need to do.
From personal experience, I would suggest to be sure to have some time for yourself. It's sooo easy to burn yourself out in grad school. Time away from your research is totally OK and NEEDED!!! It's good for one to get away from their work. When I don't work on my research for a day or so, I come back refreshed and ready to take it on again!
Hi, am new to grad school. I am doing my master's in biology. I am paying for my univ. through my education loan. How and when is the right time to ask for funding?. there was a break in my career, so my ignorace in the field / experience in comparison to others makes me hesitant to ask for the same. I was wondering if someone could give me some good tips of finding sources for funding and also on ways / and the right time to ask for one.
Where are you doing your graduate work? Funding situaltion depends a lot on where you are.
You should have access to a list of awards you can apply too. Maybe your department has this?
I think the best thing is to speak to your supervisor and/or other people in the program and get some ideas about what do interms of funding. You can also look up funding from government websites (e.g. Canada - NSERC, CIHR). I am not very familar with other countries.
Hello! I am a first year master student in sociology and i am currently attending the same university where i got my ba. I am wondering if i should consider going to another school for my phd or stay here? Will it hurt my chances on the job market if i receive all three degrees from the same school? Thanks!
I did my B.Sc. and M.Sc. at the same University and then moved away for my Ph.D. I would highly recommend moving away and getting a new experience at another university/college. For my undergad and Master's degree I attended a very small, undergrad focused school and then for my Ph.D. I am at a fairly large university. I have been able to determine what I like about each type and which one I much prefer. I also feel that I have been able to grow more as a researcher with the move, I have developed other skills that I would not have had the oppurtunity at my old university.
On the other hand I know people who have done all their education at one university and had a successful career, it depends on your situation.
If you can I would recommend moving, yes, it's harder and it might take you longer to finish (but it might not). It really depends on what you want.
I agree wth JM, if you don't have a thesis committee try and set one up. They play a role in determining when you can graduate. How about your department chair? Can you speak to him or her? Do you have any post-docs or research associates in your lab that can help you with your project?
One a completely different note, can you take some time off? Maybe you have burnt yourself out and need to get away for a bit? I find that happens to me from time to time and I try my best to get away from the lab to get some space. Usually when I come back I am refreshed. You don't have to go anywhere exotic, maybe you can go back to your parents or just do some fun activities in the city you live in.
I sincerely don't think you should give up. You have put four years of your life into this degree and I am sure you can come out with something.
All the best,
Have you contacted your deparment or graduate student association?
How to choose a lab ( for phD ) If one is to think on this seriously, what are the points that a student should consider and what are the common things that students take for granted / over look while making this most important decision?.
When I was considering labs for my Ph.D., I asked myself the following questions:
1. Do I like the research in the lab?
2. Does the PI have $$? (this is important, esp. in Life Sciences)
3. How often does the PI publish?
4. What do I want out of my Ph.D.?
I visited the lab and met with students in the lab.
A Ph.D. is not easy, you get beat down alot and you need to pick yourself up and get back to your research. It's not a decision that can be made lightly.
I think that you need to have some desire/passion to pursue your research. I don't mean to say that you absoultely have to love it, but you have to like it. A lot of graduate school is dependent on internal motivation. Yes, there are deadlines, but in the end it's up to you to do the work. Your supervisor will most likely not hold your hand. I think it's imporant to ask yourself if you could see yourself researching topic/question XX for the next 4-6 years. Good luck!
Some nice experimental results came out from student's sudden ideas after hundreds of attempts. Is it ok for the advisor to take his/her data and explanations to submit a paper to a journal as first author and corresponding author and the student is the second author with several other co-authors? If not, what shall the student do when the advisor insists so?
Both the first and last authorship positions are key on a paper. The people in between don't really matter, yes, they did some of the work. From what I have learned the first author did most of the writing and the last author has the lab and funding.
From previous experience - if I were you I would talk my advisor, explain your concern and see how they respond. Be honest.
If you can talk to people that have worked with your advisor in the past, their imput may also be helpful.
Graduate school is hard and don't ever let anyone tell you any difference. I am in the sciences. The pressure to publish and generate data is huge. Everyone wants to find something novel. Success = lots of publications in high impact journals.
I am not sure if I have found way to deal with this yet. I take one day and a time. I focus on my data and what they mean, so that I can come up with some sort of story. Which I think will lead to publications, etc.
Some people deal with isolation during graduate school. I didn't experience that till I moved away for my Ph.D. I did my M.Sc. at the same university I did my B.Sc. at, so I already had a social life. It's really important to create a life outside the lab/school. Your research does not define who you are.
A lot of people go into graduate school for the wrong reasons. In my opinion one needs a fair bit of drive and motivation to get through it, so going to into graduate school for the wrong reasons is a HUGE problem for some people.
You should do what is best for you, if you are enjoying your current program and feel that it will provide you with tools to be successful in the future then you should stay. However, if it is a negative environment, etc. then leave. Many couples do the long distance thing for a while.
I am interviewing with the director of my first-choice PhD program today. They say they were "very impressed" with my application, and wanted me to come in to meet some people. Do you have any advice for me for when I meet the director?
I would recommend asking questions, this will benefit you and also allow the director to see that you are motivated and interested. Ask about publication opps, presenting data at conferences.......
Be sure to meet with people in the program and lab too. Ask them a lot of questions to get a feel for the supervisor and lab environment. Both those are key components in a successful graduate degree.
I am a Ph.D. student, I have met with my committee every year of my degree. I did the same for my M.Sc. degree. I think it's important to keep them updated on your progress. Some colleges or universities require that you get approval from your committee to write up your thesis.However, every university varies.
I would suggest speaking to other students in your department, departmental coordinator and also, your supervisor. Most colleges and university have guidelines in regards to committee meetings. I would suggest following those, so that you can graduate on time, etc.
How do you like to stay up-to-date on journal articles? Do you get any actual print editions (either passed around or through student subscriptions) or go to the library stacks specifically for the newest issues? Do you get RSS feeds or use any aggregators?
If you are a science major, try http://pubcrawler.gen.tcd.ie/index.html
You can get the table of contents e-mailed to you from most journals. It takes time to weed through sometimes, but I alway find myself staying fairly ontop of things.
Prism Graphpad is awesome. It can't do three way ANOVA's, but makes great graphs!!!! It's a bit pricy, but you can get a student discount. Also, you can get a 30-day trial version for free off the website, to see if you really want to make the investment.
What should someone do when their supervisor urges to define a project in an area in which he (the supervisor) doesn't have any experience and doesn't know where to look for making a contribution? It is a critical situation that might lead to a shallow and useless PhD work!!!!
See if you can get a co-supervisor in the area or someone in the area to sit on your committee.