Category Archives: Succeeding in Graduate School

“Writing Science” talk to be given by author Josh Shimel

The Distinguished Ecologist Lecture Series presents Josh Schimel from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

From Amazon’s description of Shimel’s book: “As a scientist, you are a professional writer: your career is built on successful proposals and papers. Success isn’t defined by getting papers into print, but by getting them into the reader’s consciousness. Writing Science is built upon the idea that successful science writing tells a story. It uses that insight to discuss how to write more effectively. Integrating lessons from other genres of writing with those from the author’s years of experience as author, reviewer, and editor, the book shows scientists and students how to present their research in a way that is clear and that will maximize reader comprehension.”

Writing Science” talk on Friday, October 28 at 3:00 p.m. in Forestry G002. also, see Shimel’s science writing blog.

Shimel , a microbial ecologist, will also give a talk on”The Biogeochemistry of Drought,”t 12:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 27).  Both seminars will be held in the Noblet Forestry Building Room G002.

Choosing an advisor – tips to getting the advice you need

Choosing an advisor is one of the most important decisions a graduate student makes in their career.  Having an advisor whose goals support your aspirations is essential to ensuring your success as a student and young professional in your chosen field.

This article from the Journal of Higher Education illustrates some of the ways students can shape their advisor experience by putting their goals first and leveraging each other’s strengths to get the most out of the partnership.  One idea, for example, is to ensure you get career feedback by asking for it.  Although good advisors are willing to give this advice, most simply don’t have the time to plan to provide this feedback at regular intervals.

Graduate Peer Groups – support for success

Finding support and taking responsibility for your graduate education are key to being successful in graduate school. This interesting article written by graduate students describes the formation of a peer support group, activities they found useful, and some of the challenges they faced.  They also talk about how to “manage up” to get what you need from your advisor.

What have your experiences been with finding support among fellow students? Let us know in the comments!

The Laws of Herman – advice for graduate students

Written in a (slightly) humorous fashion, and recommended by Dr. Andrew Storer, these “laws” for graduate students provide an overview of some of the guiding principles of being a graduate student.

For example, “Your vacation begins after you defend your thesis,” and “Your adviser wants you to become famous, so that he/she can finally become famous.” remind me that it is hard work to complete a thesis, and that your advisor really does want you to succeed – even if it might be for selfish reasons!

Tips on interviewing with administrators

Students interested in academic careers will find this article filled with helpful tips about interviewing with administrators.  It discusses what to expect and how to prepare.

Companion articles discuss how to interview in general, and how to conduct a teaching demonstration.

Faculty interviews often take place over one or two days, and contain multiple components. Preparing for the interview properly and knowing what to expect can help you be more successful and less stressed.

Tips for a Winning Research Proposal

The American Society of Engineering Education recently published a short article, “Tips for a Winning Research Proposal.”  This clear article gives concrete tips and additional resources for common pitfalls to avoid when preparing a research proposal. For example, did you know that for some agencies, half of the research proposals are rejected simply because they didn’t adhere to the proposal requirements? These tips could help your proposal be funded. These tips can be applied to fellowship proposals as well as research proposals.

Seminar: Completing your graduate degree

The Graduate School has recently launched improvements to our web page and MyMichiganTech that will help students, faculty, and staff understand the steps required to complete a graduate degree.  Join us on campus or online to learn about these improvements and have your questions answered.

The seminar will be taped and put on our web site for people who are interested in the topic, but unable to attend at that time.