Jump to content

Choosing PI


Recommended Posts

I spend most of my free time now a days reading about PIs and their Pubmed pages, trying to figure out where to go for rotations. Since I'm interested in translational research more, I found most of the PIs publish their work in journals with impact factors range from 3 - 10. Ones publish in Nature and Science are usually basic research, at least at this school. As you may know from my previous post, I'm not quite happy with the school ( and the only option ) I'm going to this full. I thought I'd compensate this low achievement by working harder in grad school and publish in top journal. 

Another thing, which might sound horrible stereotype, I was advised by two friends, one of them is a postdoc. other is a grad student to avoid PIs from China and India. Their reasoning that PIs from those two countries are usually demanding and expect their students to stay for longer time in grad school than average. But again I'm aiming to publish at top journals, which might require staying for longer time. 

What do you think? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone trying to figure out rotations as well, I highly recommend that you try to contact PIs and their lab members. You don't need to set up all of your rotations before coming to graduate school but it's fairly common for incoming students to have their first one set up. Realistically, all basic research can be made translational (since that's how many many labs get more grants). For example, people might think work on insects is irrelevant to humans but that is completely untrue. Also, if you have PI's available that are getting CNS publications, then I don't know why you are hating on your school. It is an immense achievement even at top tier schools to get a CNS publication. These faculty members getting the publications will usually have the most funding and will be able to do the top notch research that you need to get your own CNS publications.

Finally, to figure out how much prospective PIs expect from their graduate students and postdocs, ask to speak to some of them. While there are some PIs that just want their graduate students/postdocs to always be "busy," there are others where they are able to motivate their lab members to do so on their own. Ideally, you want to get to the point where you are working long hours because you want to.

Personally, I found this article very inspiring and recommend that you have a read too: https://www.statnews.com/2015/11/06/hollywood-inspired-scientist-rewrite-code-life/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading about research and publications of prospective PIs is a good thing. But you can't really decide your final PI unless and until you meet them personally and spend some time doing research under them. This experience will come through lab rotations. On deciding which labs to rotate I would suggest you to wait until your orientation where most of the PIs who will be accepting grad students for rotation will give a brief presentation of what research is going on in their labs and also which project is open for the student. So who knows? The proffs doing basic research (good ones) might start a new project in translational research for a new student.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say that you focus more on research and personal fit rather than the amount of top tier publications put out of by the lab. If you hate the research or the environment, it'll affect your performance and motivation, which will then impact the work you publish. Since you're already going to a school you don't want to go, I'd suggest going with the lab you feel happiest with, regardless of research output. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/30/2016 at 0:01 PM, AjjA said:

Another thing, which might sound horrible stereotype, I was advised by two friends, one of them is a postdoc. other is a grad student to avoid PIs from China and India. Their reasoning that PIs from those two countries are usually demanding and expect their students to stay for longer time in grad school than average.

This shouldn't be nationality specific, at least based on my experience. I know Pis (who are not from China or India) make their students to go to the lab on Saturday for lab meeting in the morning, and then it is up to you whether you will stay and work for the rest of the day, or the weekend. I also know PIs (who are from [originally] from China) does not micromanage their students, and let their students to take breaks when they want to. It all comes down to how a specific PI likes to run his/her lab, regardless of nationality or ethnicity. If you are going to a competitive program, then you are more likely to see hard working individuals regardless.

Similar to what @Bioenchilada said, focus on the research fit and environment in the lab way more than the impact factor of articles that were published from a specific lab. There are many factors that influence where an article published (e.g. pedigree/reputation, topic, fields, connections), let alone journals can also have fluctuations in their impact factors over a 5-year period (i.e. Acta cryallographic section D).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.