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Kaede

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  1. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from AllieKat in 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results   
    Current Harvard BBS student. Can confirm that interview invites will be out tomorrow.
  2. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from Some violinist in 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results   
    Current Harvard BBS student. Can confirm that interview invites will be out tomorrow.
  3. Upvote
    Kaede reacted to NoirFemme in Ford Foundation Predoctoral fellowship 2017   
    List is up! 
    http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/FordFellowships/PGA_084507
  4. Upvote
    Kaede reacted to biotechie in undergrad grunt work?   
    I've had several undergrads (and high school students) come through the labs I've been a part of, and their experience are all similar to what I experienced when I started out. When I started as an undergrad researcher, I started doing things just as you are... taking out biohazard trash, cleaning benches, maintaining equipment. Then I moved on to handling and weaning the mice, genotyping, etc, then to sterile techniques for mammalian cell culture, and finally I started my own projects, but that took about 6 months. They cannot (and should not) let you start contributing to their expensive experiments until they know you've learned enough to do the experiment appropriately. This is far different than most psychology research studies, and you have to build a skillset for this.
    No matter what people say, doing experiments in the biology lab is not the simple step-by-step that it is in your classes. You have to put in quite a bit of time to learn how things in the lab work and what needs to go into an experiment. Remember that their experiments are going to be funded by grants. That funding is limited and experiments are expensive. In addition, wouldn't you hate to generate some "data" that derailed the direction of the lab only to find that it was wrong later because you didn't do it correctly? I've seen this happen, and it isn't pretty! It takes a lot of experience with seemingly menial things to do well in the lab. Cleaning up biohazard trash means you're less likely to contaminate yourself with a virus, etc when you're doing a real experiment. You might spend a couple weeks pouring gels for western blots for people in the lab to use, which seems menial, but now you have a valuable skill that is one of the most important parts of a protocol that you likely won't mess up when you get to run a real experiment.
    Also, 20 hours is nearly nothing. That's the minimum amount my current PI allows for time for undergraduates in the lab. If they can't be in at least 20 hours a week, they're not going to get to join the lab because they won't ever be able to get anything meaningful done except for what you call, "grunt work." Was your 20 hours in a single week? If you've only alloted 5-7 hours to lab a week, you're only going to get grunt work. This is because experiments take a lot of time! A western blot takes about 6 hours the first day and 4 hours the second day with some incubations in between. That doesn't count the 3 hours it takes to prep protein for the blot, or the 6 hours I spent dissecting mice to get the tissues for the experiment, or the 2 hours a day I spent treating mice for two weeks before the dissection. That's just one experiment. A typical grad student has 3-4 of these going on at a time while also doing data analysis on the previous ones. In our lab, we expect an experienced undergrad to handle one of these on their own (with guidance from a grad student). However, we don't let them do an experiment like that right out of the gate. They have to do exactly what you're doing first so they can show that they're committed, but most importantly that they're careful and they can follow direction. Once they show that they can do this, I start them with small, bacterial cloning experiments for things we need in the lab. If they do a good job, they get to move up to something more exciting. I have a high school student, now, who moved up to doing mouse experiments in about 2 months, and she's an author on my last paper.
    Don't be so negative. I would not call what you're doing suffering at all; in fact, I think it is quite nice of them to have you handling biohazard trash rather than starting with gross dissection (or worse, poop processing). If you're disgusted by biohazard trash, which should be nicely bagged or boxed up so you just have to close it and autoclave it, then I would question how well you will be able to handle the real experimental work. Mice are gross, and if you're not working with those, you'll be working with human samples, bacteria, viruses, or cell llines, which can also be quite stinky and gross. You need to evaluate if you're going to be able to deal with these things.
    Finally, your reasoning for being in the lab might affect what you get to do. If we get someone that is just fleshing out their resume for med school, it is usually obvious even if they don't tell us; they're usually not as committed to being in the lab when we need them and don't do A+ work on what we assign them to do. Because of this, they don't do as well with the grunt work, and usually get a smaller project, if any. However, if a student wants to go to grad school or is genuinely interested in research, they're also usually willing to be in lab a little more and they really put in the effort. Those are the students that get the cool projects because they ask for things to do, they ask questions about the research, they raise their hand in lab meeting, they read papers, etc. If something goes wrong with their experiment, these are the students that come up to you and say, "Well, this didn't work, but here are the things that could have gone wrong and here's how I want to troubleshoot it." If that's the kind of project you're wanting, you need to be that kind of student.
    If you're still concerned, send me a message. I'd be happy to talk more with you about this. You should also talk to the faculty member in charge of your lab, but don't be disappointed if they tell you everything we've just told you.
  5. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from whybanana in Laying Down the truth, sorry, not sorry   
    This post is appalling for many reasons, but it bothers me that you think that you don't need a PhD to go into many of these fields.
    Are you telling me you don't need a solid understanding of how to interpret data in a rigorous scientific context when you're a science journalist conveying to the public whether a study is legitimate or not, or whether its findings are correlative? Well that explains why we have so many popular science posts claiming that "scientists have proved that intelligence comes from the mother" or whatever crap is in the media nowadays.
    Are you telling me you don't need a rigorous foundation in scientific analysis for science policy, when Trump has now stated that the future of the EPA is dependent on whether politicians (who likely have zero experience with rigorous analysis of scientific data, or any data at all) are able to find the EPA's data conclusive?
    Sorry not sorry, but we need scientists (WITH PhDs) in these fields more than ever.
  6. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from BlueNahlchee in Summer before Graduate School   
    I understand that and am happy for those people but your original post was patronizing. Let's just support the needs of each individual, whether they feel like they need to prepare for their courses or take time off. Neither is a "waste of itme."
  7. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from Cervello in Summer before Graduate School   
    I understand that and am happy for those people but your original post was patronizing. Let's just support the needs of each individual, whether they feel like they need to prepare for their courses or take time off. Neither is a "waste of itme."
  8. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from Cervello in Summer before Graduate School   
    Yeahhhhhhhhhhh no. I've been in school for 17 year straight. Taking a few months off before committing to a job for the rest of your life with few breaks is not a waste of time. In fact, having studied student affairs quite a bit, students who take time off are less likely to be burnt out several years into their program than those who did not. You'll probably be fine without it, but equally as valid is taking a break and enjoying life.
  9. Upvote
    Kaede reacted to FailedScientist in 2017 Biology Final Decision Threads!   
    Well this thread is quite intimidating. So many Ivy level schools. I'll be heading to Baylor in the fall. Good Luck to everyone!
  10. Upvote
    Kaede reacted to The Precambrian Rabbit in 2017 Biology Final Decision Threads!   
    Stanford Genetics!
    Anyone else going to Stanford?
  11. Upvote
    Kaede reacted to abcd1 in 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results   
    Finally got accepted to my top choice school today! Either I was not on a waitlist or someone declined an offer.
  12. Upvote
    Kaede reacted to dresdencodak in 2017 Biology Final Decision Threads!   
    Committed to Cornell BBS! 
    Been living on the West Coast my whole life so gotta get used to the colder weather for sure! 
  13. Upvote
    Kaede reacted to mitoticspindles in 2017 Biology Final Decision Threads!   
    UCSF BMS!
  14. Upvote
    Kaede reacted to blc073 in 2017 Biology Final Decision Threads!   
    @biomednyc
    I'm really happy for you! I think you will have a great graduate school career, and I know a lot of fantastic scientists at Penn. 
    As a Harvard student, I think it behooves me to make a few points: 1) We have over 800 faculty from which to choose, so you will find someone who fits your needs at Harvard, 2) I never feel isolated or like I'm just a number. The BBS office treats every student like it's a program with five students, 3) There is no evidence of high faculty turnover at Harvard. I asked about that when I was choosing a graduate program and I was given data that suggest nearly, if not every, junior faculty member at Harvard gets tenure. To corroborate, see this opinion piece. 4) You can, without doubt, get a place in many Boston cities/neighborhoods (e.g., Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Dorchester, Revere, Medford, Allston, Mission Hill) by yourself on the Harvard stipend. 
    Again, this is not aimed toward you to make you feel like you made a bad decision. Simply liking one program over the other is sufficient to make a decision. However, it is important to keep the facts on record straight for future applicants and recruits. Harvard's reputation for being snobby or whatever comes from people perpetuating misinformation. When I told my undergraduate PI of four years that I got into Harvard, he spent thirty minutes trying to convince me to go elsewhere using misinformation like faculty are always leaving, the city is awful, they will look for any reason to kick out a student and save money. None of that is true. 
    Anyway, good luck at Penn! For real, I see a lot of good research coming from faculty in CAMB. 
  15. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from turbidite in Summer before Graduate School   
    I understand that and am happy for those people but your original post was patronizing. Let's just support the needs of each individual, whether they feel like they need to prepare for their courses or take time off. Neither is a "waste of itme."
  16. Upvote
    Kaede reacted to biomednyc in 2017 Biology Final Decision Threads!   
    It ultimately came down to which school had the whole package of research, mentorship/support and location for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very hard decision. I definitely lost some sleep over it.  
    Long story short, the research fit was very good at both schools, and it would be very hard for me to choose solely based on that. 
    As for mentorship/support, I got along better with the faculty I interacted with at Penn. This obviously depends on who I happened to interview with/run into, but the gut feeling was there. I decided to listen to it because I got matched with POIs I was really interested in at both places, and simply could see myself working with those at Penn over Harvard. I’ve learned the hard way that personality is something that matters to me. 
    I also approached it from the angle of: “If (or maybe when) something goes wrong, who (other than my PI) can I go to for guidance?” At Penn I could name two such people after the visiting weekend, at Harvard it was a bit harder. I think this one is largely because CAMB is broken up into a few sub-groups, and each has a chair and administrator. It’s very different when you’re one of six or seven people, versus one of 65. Both of them at Penn sought the few of us in the sub-group out during the interviews to touch base and get to know us. Does not being sought out during the interview mean there is less support at Harvard? Probably not. But the structures of the programs are undeniably different, and I decided that Penn fit my needs better. 
    Also, there is a higher junior faculty turnover at Harvard than at Penn.  To me, this had a higher probability of translating into a high pressure environment that I didn’t feel would fit the type of environment I learn best in. Of course that will differ on specifics labs and it’s probably avoidable; but again, it’s there, and might limit who I get to work with. I tend to gravitate toward smaller labs (which tend to be led by assistant professors) so I did not want to be limited by this fear. 
    Finally, I preferred Philly over Boston. I can afford a one bedroom apartment about a 15 minute walk from campus by myself in Philly, in Boston that is nearly impossible. I wanted to have the option to live by myself comfortably. Ruled out NYC because of this one too. 
    All in all, I had to go with where I felt I would have the highest probability of being happiest and most successful. So it’s not really one deciding factor, but kind of the context of the whole program, including the location, that just made Penn the better fit for me. It was one hell of a personal decision.
  17. Upvote
    Kaede reacted to TakeruK in networking in grad school   
    Networking is an essential part of success in academia. My view is that academia is not just about producing knowledge, but also communicating and sharing it as well. In order to do your job effectively, you must be good at sharing your knowledge with others. So, I would say that networking is one of the core skills that an academic must develop as part of being a good researcher, not just as a necessity to find work! Academia is not about shutting yourself off from the world, putting your nose to the grindstone and producing good work.
    But as others also said, "who you know" isn't meant to replace "what you know". A lack of a good network might hurt your ability to find a good postdoc or faculty position. But, an awesome network with little skills to back it up won't get you very far. Your network gets you noticed by the decision makers, but your actual ability to produce good work will eventually land you the job. 
    "Networking" sometimes has a bad connotation because it brings up images of "sleazy car salesman" type actions and being overly aggressive. This isn't really how networking works in academia. To me, networking is really more about building good relationships with your colleagues and taking time and energy to maintain these good connections. We all take time to maintain our abilities, whether it's coding, keeping our equipment clean, reviewing the literature, virus-scanning/backing up our computers etc. so I think maintaining our connections are just as important. My view of networking is something like, "how I can help this person I just met? Do I have some particular skill to offer? Do I know someone who might?" etc.
    Some concrete examples for things I do as a graduate student to build and maintain these connections:
    - When visitors and guests come to the department, I sign up for meeting slots with them to ask them about their research and to tell them about mine.
    - Conferences are a great way to meet other people in my field. I talk to my peers, junior students, senior students, postdocs, faculty. I especially focus on catching up with people I don't normally get to see everyday. There are some friends that I only ever see at conferences so I ensure to have at least one lunch or dinner with them each time.
    - I have a research website and maintain an online presence that is related to my professional work
    - Throughout the above means, I will meet many people who are interested in my work. They often ask if I'm writing a paper and I say yes, I'll let you know when it's ready! Then, when I submit it to a journal, while waiting for the official peer review, I also send a copy to 3-4 other people who could help me make the work even better and ask for their thoughts. I pick these people in conjunction with my advisor based on how well I (or my advisor) knows them and how much interest they would have in the paper. After all, we're asking to impose on their time so we want to ensure this is something they actually want to do. (**Note: for some journals, you are not allowed to do this)
    - After the paper is accepted, I send it to a wider network, basically anyone who expressed any sort of interest in my work beyond just "polite interest". (I keep a list of names).
    - I volunteer to host visiting speakers or to join committees to select/invite speakers. It's extra work but people enjoy being invited to come give a seminar and they will remember you. When you need to give talks elsewhere, they will hopefully think of you and invite you to their institution. 
    - When people ask me for favours, I say yes when I can (obviously not to the extent where it is detrimental to my own work!). Usually it is just proofreading or providing my perspective on their work. Sometimes, it is because I have a piece of analysis already made and they want me to run their data through my code. I provide a nice little writeup and get coauthorship, but more importantly, developed a new relationship with someone who sees value in my skills/experience.
  18. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from facelessbeauty in Summer before Graduate School   
    Yeahhhhhhhhhhh no. I've been in school for 17 year straight. Taking a few months off before committing to a job for the rest of your life with few breaks is not a waste of time. In fact, having studied student affairs quite a bit, students who take time off are less likely to be burnt out several years into their program than those who did not. You'll probably be fine without it, but equally as valid is taking a break and enjoying life.
  19. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from jmillar in Summer before Graduate School   
    I understand that and am happy for those people but your original post was patronizing. Let's just support the needs of each individual, whether they feel like they need to prepare for their courses or take time off. Neither is a "waste of itme."
  20. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from thelionking in What might disability accommodations look like at the graduate school level?   
    In terms of being transparent with your advisor, is it recommended to just speak about the symptoms of your disability or is it better to disclose the disability itself? I'm thinking in particular of cognitive disabilities where there are misunderstandings about the nature of the disorder, such as dyscalculia or ADHD. For example, would one tell their advisor "I have dyscalculia" or "I am prone to careless mistakes in math"?
  21. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from LoveMysterious in Summer before Graduate School   
    Yeahhhhhhhhhhh no. I've been in school for 17 year straight. Taking a few months off before committing to a job for the rest of your life with few breaks is not a waste of time. In fact, having studied student affairs quite a bit, students who take time off are less likely to be burnt out several years into their program than those who did not. You'll probably be fine without it, but equally as valid is taking a break and enjoying life.
  22. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from Nomad1111 in Summer before Graduate School   
    I understand that and am happy for those people but your original post was patronizing. Let's just support the needs of each individual, whether they feel like they need to prepare for their courses or take time off. Neither is a "waste of itme."
  23. Upvote
    Kaede reacted to TakeruK in What might disability accommodations look like at the graduate school level?   
    I would seek advice from the campus' disability center to get help on the best way to present your needs to others. From my point of view though, it might be better to do both---just saying "dyscalculia" or naming the disability will probably not provide much info to the person who is not familiar with it, and if they look it up, they might focus on symptoms that you may not experience (since I am guessing that everyone would experience a disability differently). At the same time, just saying that you are "prone to careless mistakes in math" sounds like it's your fault somehow. Also, what do you mean by "math", are you saying that your disability makes it hard to understand abstract math concepts like derivatives and integrals, or do you mean small arithmetic mistakes, or something completely different?
    Again, seek help from people who are trained to do this. What I might find useful is if a student would say something like, "I just wanted to let you know that I have __(name of disability)__, a disability that leads to ____(list some symptoms here)_____. To help me manage these issues, I ____(list some things you do, don't have to go into too much detail and reveal only whatever you're comfortable)___. It would also be helpful if you ____(list whatever you need the prof to do to help you)_____."
    The last sentence may not be necessary if you just want to let the person know but aren't asking them to do anything. But I think that last part is really important for someone without a disability because I may want to help you but I might not know what to do. And I think this structure works well for both research advisors and course instructors, you'd modify the last sentence as appropriate.
  24. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from qt_dnvr in Summer before Graduate School   
    I understand that and am happy for those people but your original post was patronizing. Let's just support the needs of each individual, whether they feel like they need to prepare for their courses or take time off. Neither is a "waste of itme."
  25. Upvote
    Kaede got a reaction from Nomad1111 in Summer before Graduate School   
    Yeahhhhhhhhhhh no. I've been in school for 17 year straight. Taking a few months off before committing to a job for the rest of your life with few breaks is not a waste of time. In fact, having studied student affairs quite a bit, students who take time off are less likely to be burnt out several years into their program than those who did not. You'll probably be fine without it, but equally as valid is taking a break and enjoying life.
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