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ss2player

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ss2player last won the day on January 13 2015

ss2player had the most liked content!

About ss2player

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    Mocha

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    Houston, TX
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    Already Attending
  • Program
    Immunology/Oncology Ph.D

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  1. ss2player

    2016 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    This is tough, since most of the West Coast schools are rather elite, especially in our field. Would you consider Denver? They have some cool research going on, both at Anshultz and in Boulder. Also University of New Mexico just got new directors for their Cancer Center, who were formerly at my institution, they have done great work.
  2. ss2player

    2016 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    AHHHHHHHH IT BEGINSSSSSSS! Also chiming in to say I'll poke in here pretty regularly to offer any insight I can. PMs are more than welcome, it's great chatting with passionate new students. About me: Going into my second year, studying how epigenetic disruption can improve current cancer therapeutics, including immunotherapy. I'm what you would call a "non-traditional" student in that I worked for 4 years post-undergrad and come from a low SES background. I applied twice to grad school and got in my second try. You can look in my past posts for my stats and schools I applied to, and I'm especially interested in advising folks whom are investigating non-academic career options. Best of luck to everyone!
  3. Thanks for the thoughts, y'all! I chatted with some classmates and my PI, and I'll be taking the course. I figure if I don't like it, I can drop it and take one of the courses in the spring. As was pointed out, it should help with my thesis even if it's not publishable, and I like the idea of also doing a lay version in case I want to go into science writing as a career. My thesis work is in a rather esoteric type of brain tumor that isn't well studied, so a review might already be needed! I should note I very much intend to publish original articles (hell, I need at least one 1st author to graduate), I just wasn't sure of the benefits of a review article outside of academic circles. If anyone else has any thoughts, would still love to hear them! Dog knows I'll sure need pointers come the fall term when the class starts.
  4. Hey y'all, My school requires us to take a scientific writing course in order to graduate, which I'm fine and dandy with, the issue is which one I should choose. My specific program is new and doesn't have its own course yet, so I was planning on taking one in a more established program. Talking with the course director today, he has changed the course format and we are now required to write a review article with the goal of publication. Now, I don't plan to stay in academia, so will a published review really benefit me all that much? Is the effort I would put forth worth the return? I could take another course that is currently in development, though I don't know what the requirements are for it yet. It's for a different program that just got a new chair, and the chair has a reputation of bucking traditional trends, so I'd expect the course to be more realistic and less "academic". On the other hand, a review would help me when writing my thesis, as I could probably use a lot of it for my background chapter(s). From the experienced folks here, what say you...suck it up, impress my PI, and work like crazy? Or ignore her wishes, feel out the other class, and just try to publish enough to graduate?
  5. ss2player

    Favorite current TV show?

    Steven Universe all the way. I know it's aimed at teenagers/college kids, but it's so rare to see any show (animated or otherwise) with such genuine emotion and well-developed female/POC characters. Plus the music is ridiculously boss.
  6. ss2player

    Venting Thread- Vent about anything.

    Why do people at the gym insist on making borderline-sex noises while they work out? Both men and women. I don't need that in the morning.
  7. ss2player

    Choosing Mentor

    Good point, ERR. They might be unfocused and have poor technical skills, though the chances of a lab having two such students seems low. If it *is* their advisor never being satisfied and keeping them there forever, you don't join that lab. Period. No F31 potential? Departmental money? How does PI #2 feel? You'll have to be very careful about this process. I'd write up some kind of agreement and have them both read and sign it. Not a legally binding document, of course, but it gives you something to reference. Otherwise you are at their mercy. I trust what I see, not "promises". Your advisor holds all the cards on how long you will be there, a post-doc has no clout in this situation. He might train you amazingly well, but if your PI won't let you graduate because you're just that awesome now, then you're screwed. People in the lab will change; maybe this post-doc gets a sweet gig at the FDA and bounces, then what? Your advisor relationship is the MOST important factor, hence why you have to address ERR's question.
  8. ss2player

    Choosing Mentor

    I always say go for the mentorship over the research, which sounds like Lab 1 in this case. I'd talk to PI #1, get them to spell out the funding situation, it may not be as dire as you are led to believe. Plus, you can always apply for fellowships and help the PI with grants. As for co-mentorship, that can be very messy and I'd avoid it unless the PIs involved are super close and already collaborate. If they don't do that now, it's not likely they'll do it for you; grad students just aren't that important. P.S. - If you hear the words "8th-year student" in a STEM lab, and it's MORE THAN ONE, you run. You run far away.
  9. ss2player

    First Year Students Fall 2014 How's It Going

    Thanks for the explanation, still pretty awesome! It also seems like your program has a faster timeline than mine, as I only just finished my last rotation 2 weeks ago. But now that I'm in my thesis lab, I can actually get this thing going. I hope I get as lucky as you!
  10. ss2player

    First Year Students Fall 2014 How's It Going

    Wowza, that's really impressive! Can computational labs really pump out data that fast (i.e. ~6 months) for a poster/talk/full publication? I chose the wrong field!
  11. ss2player

    The Ph.D. Pay Gap

    Ha, I have to agree with you. I live in Houston, a 33K stipend is hella generous! I get 29K from my school which is ~2150 a month after taxes. I pay $875 for my 1BDRM and bike to campus or live close enough to take the shuttle system. I can afford a car payment and fund a savings account and after that a Roth IRA. Am I taking exotic vacations and eating at lavish restaurants? Of course not, but I am more than comfortable and have enough fun money every month to do some things and visit home every 6 months or so. When I applied, I had a spreadsheet where I assigned scaled numbers to stipend and COL in the school area. I had other categories computed in and ran it through an algorithm to get a raw "score" for each school. It really helped make my decision easier and I'd recommend getting things down on paper like that. Don't forget an X factor category for "gut feeling"; that can often break close ties betweens schools.
  12. ss2player

    PhD and Internship

    Same, I plan to look into tech transfer, patent law, or science writing internships as well as traditional "industry" ones. I mentioned this to my PI (as I was requesting to join her lab) and she'd be fine with it, even encourages it! Likely won't be til after my quals next year though, I want to get those and classwork out of the way so I'll have enough time. Luckily I don't have to TA in my program.
  13. Do you really need to tell them at all? Unless you want to work with them in the future, I don't think it's necessary. *Footnote: I go to a school with >500 faculty, so if your department is small, I can see this may be different. Thank you email?
  14. ss2player

    Lab mate continually steals ideas?

    Accidental downvote click! I actually really agree with this, as I've naively been very open about my ideas in the past and the other folks benefited HARD. Nowadays, when trying to collaborate, I'm very vague about my ideas until it comes time for the nitty-gritty. Then I draft a formal proposal and have them look it over and we all sign it. Obviously it's not a legally binding document, and if something is very promising I'd suggest trying to get a patent first!
  15. ss2player

    Weekends?

    I keep a set (8-9)AM - (5-6)PM schedule, but since my SO often works weekends, I will go in during those times if I have nothing else planned, just for a few hours to prep for the next week or do a small experiment. As was said, you will likely have a flexible schedule, but if you prefer a 9-5 and can be productive, go for it! Your advisor may have different expectations, however. During one of my lab rotations the PI said her expectation was 8 hour days, 6 days a week AT THE MINIMUM. Most of the lab worked harder than that, pushing 70 hour weeks, because of intimidation, not desire. Needless to say, I didn't join that group.
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