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About Butterfly_effect

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    Espresso Shot

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    2015 Fall
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  1. You're right that 'bar' is too strong, but it might be uncomfortable given this: If the PI independently had the 'exact same idea' they might want to continue that line of research in their own lab (funding situation be damned) and could view it negatively if you want to take that idea to work on with someone else (outside of an agreed-upon co-mentorship or amicable split). Do they think of this more as a project they thought up and gave to you or one you thought up and developed primarily on your own? It's not really that your current PI could really stop you from working on it, and g
  2. I would recommend not switching labs and instead focusing on fostering a co-mentorship and if possible, a formal collaboration where the new superstar lab can contribute more funding/resources but you can remain primarily in your current lab working on your current project. I would bring this up with your current PI (the idea of a collaboration) and see what they think. I've known students to be co-mentored by 1 new PI and 1 established one and some that work in both labs and use resources from both labs. If both PIs are enthusiastic, it can be a great productive relationship for everyone.
  3. I just read an article directed at young scientists that ends with: Does science feel like a job, or is it the case that vocation matches avocation, such that you can’t wait to get to the lab, such that it does not feel like work at all? If so, nothing can stop you and may you indeed “stay, forever young.” Does anyone actually feel that way? I think the idea that grad school doesn't or shouldn't feel like work is ludicrous...
  4. I'm in a neuroscience program so my advice is probably most applicable to those in the life sciences: In general, no, you should not be expected to hit the ground running. It's pretty hard to just teach yourself new techniques and typically the lab may assign a post-doc or graduate student to be your point person. If not, I might recommend asking your PI who in the lab would be good to go to with questions about the particular techniques you'll work on in your rotation project. Typically the rotation project is something you A) might choose from a list of options your PI presents or B) yo
  5. For Harvard Housing (apartments) the cost varies quite a bit depending on property. You will have to live with roommates. The cost for a one bedroom is usually around $2,200 per month to 2,400 per month. Two bedrooms are 2,400 to 2,800 (the range is actually even wider and depends a lot on the apartment building and amenities. These costs do include all utilities and internet though.
  6. You pay it up front, like room and board for college. See below: Last year, the meal plan (mandatory if you're in the dorms) cost $2,379 for the academic year. Also know that you have to move out during the summer and these rates do not reflect the cost of additional summer housing.
  7. I would recommend subletting from someone for a few weeks if you can. I was in the same situation and sublet for August. It may be harder to find something for just a few weeks, but you might have some luck on Craigslist or the Harvard off campus housing list, which often has sublets. https://www.harvardhousingoffcampus.com/
  8. You should really check out the Harvard University Housing page here: http://huhousing.harvard.edu/our-properties/cronkhite-center I think most of your questions could be answered by looking at the page for the Cronkhite center. You should know that unless you qualify as an 'active Harvard affiliate' the summer before you start, you can't get a sublet in the Cronkhite center (details are available in the policy manual on the website. I don't know when your program officially starts but getting a sublet through HH will depend on that. You should also know that Cronkhite doesn't happ
  9. Hi I live in Harvard housing. I'm not sure the exact range of view and select windows though mine was also in May. I have heard that some programs like law students and students with families get earlier windows. Some apartments are definitely reserved in part or whole for certain groups of students (like Terry Terrace). It sounds like you're interested in the dorms though (based on you saying you want to live alone and no Harvard apartment being cheap enough for that). I live in an apartment though I have a friend who lives in the dorms and she likes it. One negative is that they requir
  10. Just curious, what do you mean by this?
  11. It's actually not that uncommon based on asking when I interviewed at other neuro programs. I think it really depends how you're funded though. If you TA, you get a W2 for that work, but students who just research get no forms whatsoever. Since my program doesn't have a teaching requirement, we are never given W2s. It kind of sucks; I'd much rather get paid normally and be able to have an IRA.
  12. A note about this: be careful about IRAs. I was told by a financial advisor that grad students aren't actually allowed to contribute to Roth IRAs (or any IRA) unless you get W2s. I've looked it up as well and it seems true in the tax code. It's weird and dumb, but at my school we don't get any forms about taxes whatsoever (and no withholding) and thus our stipend isn't considered "earned compensation." So we have to pay estimated taxes AND we can't contribute to IRAs. Super annoying
  13. I haven't lived long term in SF, but I interviewed at UCSF and asked the grad students a ton of questions about housing. I learned that the lowest anyone pays per month with roommates is around $900 (at least in the neuro program) while most pay a bit over $1000 per month (also with roommates). It's very expensive. I will say that you'd be fine with 36,000-37,000 though. I make around that much and live in Boston paying similar rent. It's surprisingly doable. Most people I talked with were roommates with 2 or 3 other people, so in a 3 or 4 bedroom apt.
  14. I know this is hard, but try not to compare yourself to him. It never helps to compare yourself to others, and you said yourself the other student had more experience in the lab before you joined so it totally makes sense that he had a leg up on you when you started. As you continue in your lab, this gap will close and those 3 weeks won't matter at all in the long run. As far as your project, I would try talking to your advisor. Can you think of a way to modify project B to make it more interesting for you? As a grad student, you control the direction you want your research to go in. Don
  15. I second what AP has said, but I would strongly recommend approaching your adviser directly rather than going to the DGS. This is based off your comment that you don't think she was being malicious, just insensitive/unaware. I think it would probably be better for your working relationship to talk to her directly (if you feel you can). Also, of course you belong. You're not alone in being from a low-income background. I started a thread about this very topic here. Feel free to PM me.
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