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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/10/2016 in all areas

  1. 2 points


    I'm just gonna post something that needs to be said. No matter how much you disagree with the quantification of political science, it is not going away and is only going to increase for the most part. And depending on your field (especially if you study American) qualitative methods may be nearly, or completely dead in the water. The name 'Skocpol Wannabe' is alarming. Every graduate student reads States and Social Revolutions and there is a lot to learn from it. However, political science is NOT done like this anymore in basically any capacity. Some of the posters have advised taking extra-departmental qualitative classes, I don't think that is really a good idea (outside of something like a survey qualitative methods course or comparative-historical studies). Archival work isn't a big thing in political science. Ethnography simply does not exist in the field. Interviews, while can be a part of a comparative politics research design, are usually just reserved for theory building and getting information that isn't available otherwise. Furthermore, the critical and gender theory that is heavily used in fields like Women's studies and Anthropology have virtually no standing in political science. If you don't have abilities in quant you probably won't get a job nor publish in top journals; it is as simple as that. You need to think about perhaps looking at other disciplines if you are dead set on qualitative methods, it's going to be a huge uphill battle throughout your career if you try to go against the grain.
  2. 2 points

    Potential Laboratory Sabotage

    I think you should leave that lab, but I don't think you should drop out/switch careers because of this. You said it yourself, you could've done "great things"...and you still can (in another lab). Please don't allow her to sabotage your career plans. Maybe there's another lab within the department that can meet your needs. If not, don't rule out other institutions. Regardless of your next step, I really hope things get better.
  3. 2 points
    St Andrews Lynx

    Potential Laboratory Sabotage

    Yeah, it was probably not a good idea to talk to your everyone else but your PI about the sabotage. Regardless of the validity of the concerns, pumping it through a rumour mill rather than going through professional channels undermines your case and leads to too many hurt feelings. It sounds like the comments you made about Sarah prompted your friends to behave in ways - as you said - out of your control. And now she has the opportunity to play the victim, not necessarily without justification. I get the feeling that the sabotage described is only the tip of a whole f**ked-up iceberg of a dysfunctional lab. If the situation is really worse than this anecdote, I'd consider leaving the lab as diplomatically as possible before (i) you are fired (ii) something even worse (professionally or personally) happens. You don't want your future career tarred with what has been going on around you.
  4. 2 points
    Hi slp2be01, If you're as uncomfortable with 'math' as you say, then there will be a limit to how high you can score on the GRE. That having been said, much of the Quant material that you'll face on Test Day isn't too hard, so you should be able to train to face the 'gettable' questions and train a bit more to make smart choices when handling questions that are just 'too hard' for you. To help you built up your basic math skills, I suggest that you set up an account at Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org). The site is completely free and makes the learning more fun and 'game-like', as opposed to most books that focus on the dry, academic aspects of the math. While the site is vast, you should limit your work to basic arithmetic, algebra and geometry. After spending some time there, you should restart your GRE studies. While it's understandable that you wouldn't want to spend too much money on your GRE studies, there are a number of online Courses that are reasonably priced. Most GRE Companies also offer free online practice materials (practice questions, Trial Accounts, etc.) so that you can 'test out' a product before you buy it. We have a number of free resources at our website (www.empowergre.com) that you should take advantage of. If you have any additional questions, then just let me know (and you can also feel free to PM me). GRE Masters aren't born, they're made, Rich
  5. 1 point

    Vanier CGS 2016-2017

    Hello everyone! I`m applying to Vanier CGS 2016-2017. Is there any other applicants here? If we could count with the help (some tips, guidelines, etc) of those who are already accepted that would be great. Thanks!
  6. 1 point
    Disclaimer: I can only speak to my own experiences, and these are shaped in part by being in a well-funded science program at a top university. I can’t speak to the issues I talk about below in the context of humanities, though I imagine things may be worse (?). Grad school as a student from a low-income background can be difficult, even for me, someone in the sciences who gets paid a great stipend that means I don’t have to worry about accruing any debt. It’s just kind of an odd cultural situation. Honestly, things were much easier in undergrad. I attended a very small SLAC that prided itself on being inclusive and diverse. It had its problems, but as a low-income student I felt really welcomed by the no-cash campus and low-income-specific student groups. Even if we had problems with the administration, at least we weren’t alone. I held several jobs, but I didn’t have to. I just tend to be someone who squirrels away money ‘just in case.’ When it came to grad school, I was accepted to what is arguably the best school in my field. I would be attending for free and would even be paid a living wage stipend, and I didn’t even have to teach! I thought having the same stipend would even the playing field even more between myself and my peers. Or so I thought. I didn’t realize that in grad school that it’s common to receive significant financial support from your parents. No offense intended if you happen to be one of those students; I just had no clue that that was commonplace. Because I got a full-ride scholarship to undergrad, and did research internships (or other random things) during summer, my parents haven’t had to really support me in a serious way for years. I recognize that I was incredibly lucky to have received those privileges and it’s not nearly so easy for others who just miss cutoffs for financial aid, or who go to a less well-funded college. I realize my experience is nowhere near the norm, but what surprised me the most when I got to grad school is how every other first year grad student seemed to think that their life was the norm. For example, my program is small, but of the 15 or so of us in my year, I think everyone has parents that are professionals: doctors, lawyers, or professors/scientists. One guy even published a paper recently with his dad. For comparison, my dad works in a factory and my mom didn’t work while she was raising myself and my sister. My set of experiences are very different from my peers. Not necessarily better or worse, but so different that it's often hard to relate. I'm pretty candid about my background, but I can tell it makes others uncomfortable at times. Sometimes the differences make me feel uncomfortable too. For example, some other classmates and I went shopping together. I am very money-conscious and enjoy window shopping, but a lot of the time won’t get anything unless I feel like it’s a good deal. My grad school friends bought new winter coats and boots and used their parents’ credit cards to pay. I’m not bitter about it; if I could I would totally do that as well. I just can’t relate. And I don't think they could relate to me either. I just loaned my family $2000 for my sister to pay for college because my parents couldn’t afford the expected parental contribution. Loaning my parents money was a very odd thing for me, but whenever I try to talk about those kinds of experiences, I usually get blank stares or weird concerned looks. I just wish I knew someone who has been in my shoes; someone who I could share these experiences with. I was wondering if anyone else is in a similar boat, and if you are, how did you find people like you/relate to your peers who seem to come from totally different worlds?
  7. 1 point
    Aldi is German! So it's a place you can actually get good chocolate in the US! (My high school German teacher, who's from Germany, still does all her shopping at Aldi.) I'm currently obsessing over the best way to get bedding upon my arrival back in the states so I don't have to sleep on a bare mattress on my first night. I was going to order it and have it waiting for me, but it turns out the mail room isn't open on weekends, which is when I arrive. I think I have to get my friend (who is an amazing human being and agreed to pick me and all my crap up from the airport) to make a stop at Target on the way to my new place.
  8. 1 point
    You should look at the ingredients on their products. A lot of their food is vegan, non GMO, and preservative free. I get chicken nuggets there for my daughter (in the shape of DINOSAURS!!!), and they are hormone and preservative free. I agree though that the stores are a bit cramped, but its sort of the Allegiant Air of grocery stores, so one can't expect much.
  9. 1 point
    Well...we finally move tomorrow. Gonna be super busy. And I'm sure the cats will be all pissed off.
  10. 1 point

    School Holidays, No Break?

    I just want to reply to this part to say that this makes a *lot* of assumptions about a person. I know many people who cannot concentrate in an environment where others are talking around them and who struggle to work in cube farms because of this, even after years of doing so. Some people need quiet to concentrate and do work and that isn't always possible in an office setting. Sure, things like noise-reducing headphones help but, depending on the workplace, these can actually be seen as a negative by others and lead to trouble integrating with the team, getting promoted, etc. For all we know, the OP has ADHD or another mental or physical health issue which makes concentration difficult even in the quietest of settings. It's always good to be mindful of things like that when giving blanket advice about what one can or cannot do. That said, OP, if you genuinely have issues concentrating in a noisy lab environment and have tried workarounds, I highly recommend talking to the PI and others in the lab about this. Perhaps people can agree to "quiet hours" in the lab where people aren't having conversations and where those who want music listen through headphones. Such changes are more likely to be made if you put in a good effort to work in the existing conditions and modify your personal surroundings first so that people can see that you're struggling with being productive in that setting despite your efforts. Good luck!
  11. 1 point
    I can't answer the "own data" question, that seems too field specific. Mine is different enough that I can't have an informed opinion. As for the "not earth shattering" part, that's the part you leave up to the judges. You may win and you may lose. The only thing that's sure is that if you never even try, you are not going to get anywhere. If the only thing holding you back is fear that you won't win, that's not a valid consideration as far as I am concerned. You're going to get so many rejections as part of an academic career, you need to be able to brush them off and try again. This is no different. I say, if you are proud of the work and your paper meets the competition criteria,* what's the harm in trying?** This is work that you are doing anyway and it is part of your research profile, I see no reason not to try to win awards for it. You can always choose not to highlight it in job applications and your CV later on, if your dissertation research takes you in a different direction; you are generally not required to put everything on your CV, you can choose what to concentrate on. So yeah, I'd probably go for it.*** * caveat 1: check to see if there are restrictions on authorship, source of data, or anything else relevant that may prevent you from submitting. Those do occasionally exist. ** caveat 2: in some fields it's said that you should hold your publications close to your vest until they are in print before presenting or giving away too much. You may also not want to publish too much from your dissertation if you are in a book-based field. *** really the best course of action is to consult with your advisor, who knows you, the work, and your field, the best. S/he can help you make a more informed decision than we can.
  12. 1 point

    MPP vs JD

    Immigration law is a field that one can realistically expect to break into, but international law isn't. If you're talking about working for the Hague, UN, State, etc., those jobs are ridiculously competitive, and are typically only reserved for the top 10% at a T14 (+ moot court awards, review publications, etc.) or top third at Harvard/Yale/Stanford. Yes, they do. If you're coming in straight out of undergrad, I wouldn't expect to necessarily be making $60k starting salary--a master's with no experience yields GS-9 in the government, which is $50k. But after a couple of years, you'll be hitting the $60-$80k range pretty quickly. Lawyers progress through the pay scales much faster than analysts/traditional civil servants--they may take 5 years to hit $110k+ range, vs. civil servants taking 10-20 years--but their jobs are A LOT harder to get in the first place. Federal government lawyering is more competitive than big law. Fields are very different, and so there isn't necessarily an "advantage" in one or the other. I know that MPP programs are more about implementing/analyzing policy with regard to their goals/objectives. I'd imagine that lawyering is focused on complying with regulations, or if you're in the hypercompetitive like nat-sec constitutional law or clerkships, it's more about argumentation, regardless of whether the position you're fighting for is necessarily right. Depends on the school and the field. You need to look at the school's employment reports for this and what types of employers students are placed at. Different MPP schools will have different focuses (e.g. CMU Heinz is very focused on domestic, quantitatively analytical work; Michigan Ford is fairly strong in both domestic and foreign policy). I've considered both fields, and I feel like MPP jobs are not as competitive, partly because of the attitude of job seekers and the nature of the field. Because the jobs are so different, you really need to consider what you want and what you're probably going to be able to get out of your education. Merit scholarships are something you need to consider. For law school, conventional wisdom says you really need to go to the top school you can get into (e.g. Harvard over some place among the CCN), especially if you're going for clerkships/big gov. Because scholarship prospects greatly decline at the top schools and because law school tuition is so expensive, that means your education is probably going to be more expensive per year (note law is 3 years, vs. MPP 2 years) than an MPP program. MPP programs don't appear to have such a strict hierarchy, and so students can select applications and school enrollments in a much more financially strategic fashion. Among the big nine on these forums (CMU, Harvard, Princeton, Michigan, Georgetown, Berkeley, Columbia, Chicago, and Duke), there are some informal tiers (Princeton >>> Harvard > Berkeley/Columbia/Chicago > Duke/Georgetown/Michigan/CMU), but students regularly choose less selective schools over seemingly more prestigious schools because of how they might fit their goals better. Employers don't seem to make such rigid distinctions either as opposed to law (Y > H/S >>> CCN >>> remaining T-14 >>>>> everyone else). So, like many students here, you may be able to choose a school because of the funding they offer you. That may mean a much smaller financial burden than that held by law school graduates.
  13. 1 point


    Wow, why would you recommend that site? It is selling papers and even claims to do your dissertation research for you! And the site itself is terribly written... Someone who actually used it would get exactly what they deserve.
  14. 1 point
    Have you contacted the CSD department heads? I've found that some schools are fine with applicants who have all but 1-2 courses. I've yet to find a "working with multicultural populations" CSD class available online and my 2nd bachelor's doesn't offer voice or fluency. I might take those latter two elsewhere but it depends on my final list of schools.
  15. 1 point
    I'm taking 3 classes but 1 is 'independent study' (essentially just research), so 2 real classes. Program requires 15 courses, but we're on a quarter system.
  16. 1 point

    Fat-Friendly Campuses?

    How did I miss this thread before. God damn.
  17. 1 point
    I know that many schools insist you have the post baccs/prereqs done before starting in the fall. In theory you could get accepted to a school, sign up for those two other classes for the summer at that location, and complete them before fall semester starts and be good to go.
  18. 1 point
    I will be applying to PhD programs in molecular/cell biology programs this cycle, and I have heard that it looks good if grad schools see that I have taken a grad level class. Does anyone have any more information about how much this actually helps or hurts people during the application decision? Additionally, I would assume that taking a grad class is only helpful for the application if it is in a field related to biology. Would schools not care if I have graduate credit in a different subject? Finally, even if I take a grad level class this fall, will schools get to see this? They will see it on my transcript when I apply but the grade won't be in until after the deadline has passed, so I'm not sure if the schools would even get to see it. I am asking because I am currently deciding between a few options for my schedule this semester. Basically, I am already done with the bio major so I don't technically need any more classes in it. Additionally, I have a second major in statistics that I still have classes for. I also want to devote as much time as possible to the lab I am a part of. So my three options are to (1) take one less class and devote the extra time to my research, (2) take a graduate level class in statistics (which would count toward my major), or (3) take a grad level bio class. The major con against the bio alternative is that none of the classes offered are really related to cell bio, most are evo/eco or behavior type classes. I should say, that no matter which of those three options I choose, I will be taking a 2 credit Distinguished Majors Program seminar and 2 credits of independent research (in the lab I mentioned before). I'm not sure if grad schools all know exactly what this program is, but basically it's a research-driven honors program in the bio department. If anyone can give me some advice on this, that would be great!
  19. 1 point

    "Scientist" or not?

    First of all, this is truly an exercise in semantics. Is someone an 'athlete' if she is in high school sports? What about a rec soccer team? What about pick up soccer? I haven't played competitively in years, does that mean I am not one? Or take business, for example. Which persons are "businesspersons"? The CEO? What if the only thing she does is wine and dine clients? What about the President who relies on the CFO for actual understanding of financial performance and the COO to execute her business 'ideas'? In the same way that all of these people are in some way 'businesspersons', I think that in the realm of science--especially given the sophistication and diversity of the field today--it can only be for the sake of vanity to decide who is "not" a scientist.
  20. 1 point
    I'm super excited for my classes! I'm taking museums collections management, principles of heritage management, and curatorial methodology. @pterosaur My program reccomends only taking three classes ( nine credits). There's no shopping but i'll get more freedom in my second year.
  21. 1 point

    Whatcha reading?

    Just started The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. Hoping to finish this book and maybe one or two more before I need to start reading for school. Was going to start on it early but I don't quite feel in the right mindset yet..
  22. 1 point


    My pleasure! If you have any questions, feel free to ask
  23. 1 point
    @Danger_Zone, have you tried using a lectern/standing desk to read? I sometimes read while standing or on the elliptical and find it keeps me from getting as antsy.
  24. 1 point

    Whatcha reading?

    Today I just started reading Mary L. Dudziak's Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy and Thomas Borstelmann's The Cold War and the Color Line: American Race Relations in the Global Arena. I'm still creeping through Maggi M. Morehouse's Fighting in the Jim Crow: Black Men and Women Remember World War II. For two days straight I was going through old Ebony magazines, which really did my head in. I must admit that going through periodicals have been the worst part of my research.
  25. 1 point

    Whatcha reading?

    I'm the opposite, really. I didn't like reading in middle/high school, but started to love it by the end of high school and beginning of college. I had a totally different attitude from school then and basically hated any kind of reading I had to do associated with school. I haven't had much time to read with moving and getting ready for school but I recently read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and am currently reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick.
  26. 1 point
    I can relate. I'm about to move to a different continent and I will be coming back to visit at most twice a year for the foreseeable future. I will most likely break up with my girlfriend and the fact that I won't be seeing my friends and family freaks me out the more I think about it. It's funny that I never used to think about the distance being an issue up until now, about a month before I leave. For some reason I always thought I would have an easy time going away and leaving everything behind in order to pursue my goals, but I find that these days I become increasingly nostalgic of things I haven't even lost yet. As others have said, I believe new experiences will be worth the sacrifice, and though I haven't yet managed to mitigate the anxiety over what I'm leaving behind, the fact that I've already scheduled to visit during Christmas gives me a slight dose of relief
  27. 1 point
    I have been reading up on this extensively to make the transition as easy as possible and have a life that is not completely consumed by my program and stress. Reddit has some great info on this and it seems widely agreed upon that learning to say "no", not biting off too many projects/service commitments, and keep a work-like schedule make life easier. I noticed when TA'ing last year many of the other TAs spent most of their days talking to other TAs or profs and then stressing and claiming their 20-hour a week position was more like 40. The TAs who kept their doors shut got things done, never complained about "all-nighters", and were much less stressed. This idea was echoed in a few threads where many posters who say they work (or thought they used to work) 60-80 hours a week acknowledge that many of these hours are spent off task and not actually working. I'm not saying there is not a lot of work in these rigorous programs, I just want to be as productive as possible and avoid wasting time to keep the number of hours spent "working" down. Another thing that has been echoed by current grad students in my program is practice the term "good enough grad school". In that, you do not have to be perfect in your coursework (dont abandon it either) but put more focus onto your research (Im at an R1 that employs a clinical science model and most benchmarks are research related). I believe the view is it is about building a CV, not a perfect transcript. My goal is to keep work like hours from 730-330 or so and limit work to being done while on campus so I'm not consumed once home. Keep the home area for relaxing and enjoying life. I'm also avoiding buying a parking pass so I have to use the bus, this should help me keep those hours and avoid doing unnecessary tasks during my work day. I've also put in some filters so between the hours of 7am and 4-5pm I cannot check FB, reddit, and other sites that I spend too much time on. That way during work hours I can stay focused on getting things done.
  28. 1 point
    I think that you need to talk to your advisor about this, and promptly. You do have evidence at this point: the things that you have told us in the post. Experiments don't work when she is around; but do when she isn't. Setting out decoy reagents and the reactions work. Unless you set up CCTV cameras in the lab, you aren't going to get evidence that is much better than this. My advice would be to talk to the advisor with your fellow group members. Bring along a written summary of the evidence and concerns. Leave out the aspects of Sarah's personality (micromanager, ridiculing others, etc) and stick to the "sabotage facts". Keep calm: your PI might respond with shock or anger (if they have suspected nothing up until this point), you don't want to derail the discussion. If your PI refuses to admit there's a problem or does nothing, then you might consider talking to a university ombudsman (impartial mediator) to get advice on what to do next. Or resigning from the lab if you don't want to support unethical research. Hopefully the PI will listen to your concerns. In the interim, try to keep your research secured and confidential. That might mean locking up your lab notebooks, setting up decoy reagents/hiding your own reagents. Sabotaging other people's work is an awful thing to do - but it isn't as bad for the PI w. respect to their tenure/funding/publications as if this student was faking positive data (that subsequently got into their grants or papers). I don't think that concern for the PI's wellbeing should stop you from reporting the suspicious behaviour.
  29. 1 point
  30. 1 point
    It would depend on your title and duties, of course, as well as the firm. The government has a salary schedule that you can look up; generally speaking, a brand-new PhD would be GS-12 in scientific professions. The base salary for GS-12 step 1 on the government salary schedule is $62,101. However, there's also locality pay for higher cost of living areas; many large urban areas in the U.S. have special locality pay. So if you were to work in DC at the NIH, your starting pay would be $77,490. If you worked for the CDC in Atlanta, your starting salary would be $74,260. However, your salary does increase somewhat rapidly; advancing between the first 4 steps takes 1 year per step. So in the DC area, at the beginning of year 4 on the job you'd be earning $85,238 (plus about 1-2% more due to annual cost of living increases). That's a jump of almost $10K in just 3 years. And you only need one year of specialized experience to apply for GS-13 jobs internally, which come with an even bigger salary boost. In short, the earning potential in the federal government is pretty good. In biotechnology I'm pretty sure starting salaries for most scientists are in the $80,000 to $100,000 range, depending on the size and resources of the company you apply to. Genentech, for example, seems to be starting its new associate scientists in the $100-110K range or so (it's a bit hard to tell, but Glassdoor and Payscale data seem to reflect that). Celgene looks to be starting new scientists in the $90-100K range. So I think it's reasonable to expect to start somewhere in the $80-100K range - top end at larger well-known and well-funded biotech companies and lower end of the range at smaller, newer companies and startups. Glassdoor seems to indicate that pharmaceutical scientist salaries are a bit lower (maybe in the $70K to $90K range), but I'm less familiar with that field. I find Glassdoor to be relatively accurate in my corner of the professional world (tech), but it relies entirely on people actually entering their starting salaries into the tool so it's going to be biased a bit. The thing to remember when comparing salaries in the private sector is that these are just base salaries, and private sector jobs come with other forms of compensation. For example, a lot of companies (most biotech and many pharma, probably) have profit-sharing in which you get an annual bonus that's usually some percentage of your income (e.g. at my company it can be up to 20% of your salary). There are also potentially signing bonuses, relocation coverage and/or reimbursement and the value of your benefits.
  31. 1 point
    Oh wow, I totally have to listen to some pumpkins now. I haven't listened to them in years, but I have an overwhelming urge to hear "obscured" "mayonaise" and "stumbleine". I miss the mid-90s too
  32. 1 point

    Fat-Friendly Campuses?

    Well, the OP logged on asking for advice on which campuses might be more accommodating--not to be "concern-trolled" on how to lose weight. I'm sure that she knows where to find advice for weight loss. The internet is pretty big. And I've never met a fat person who was completely surprised by a) the fact that they were fat, or b. the fact that being fat isn't healthy. The world pretty much makes sure that they know this.
  33. 1 point
    Contacting professors. Getting good GRE scores -- but don't hesitate to apply because of a low GRE score in one area if that area isn't absolutely crucial to your field. You CAN get into good schools with good funding with a low GRE in one area if you have other areas that are shining. I'm proof. Making sure I only applied to programs that I was an absolute fit for. Demonstrating through EVERYTHING that I was an absolute fit for that program. I mean writing sample, resume, SOP, everything. Highlight what makes you fit for that program, but remain absolutely honest at the same time. They will appreciate that you know you fit, and appreciate that you have other facets as well. Finally, stay in contact with the department. Show you are interested. Be proactive. Don't be a pest, but don't sit in the background invisible and wait for some rain from on high. Let them know that you care about their program, and most importantly - make sure you really do care about the program. I deeply care about every program I applied to. I seriously love them all and don't know how I am going to choose. And, I think that came across in my applications. Oh, and did I mention that contacting professors is probably the most important thing? By the way, I must repeat that contacting professors helps. Even if you don't get in - you get a network of scholars that can be invaluable in the future.
  34. -1 points
    This is just my two cents, but I think you need to love your body as you are, even if you do gain a few sizes in school. You are beautiful!!
  35. -1 points
    I gained a lot of weight in school, but I didn't let it get me down!!! Good luck you guys, and stay true to yourselves!!!

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