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106: HelloPhD Guide to Grad School Applications – Acing Your Interview with Dr. Beth Bowman (R)

See our previous episodes in this series:

With most jobs, you’ll need to submit a polished resume along with a handful of ebullient references. Maybe you’ll pass through a phone-screen with HR and then spend 20 minutes with the hiring manager.  

To get into grad school, the interview process will take days.

Grad school interviews often start with a flight to a new city.  You’ll have a casual chat with the grad student assigned to retrieve you from the airport, then meet the fellow candidate with whom you’ll share a hotel room.

The moment you get settled, you’re off to dinner with some faculty, followed by an early bedtime.  That’s because tomorrow morning, you’ll pass through a series of orientation sessions, faculty interviews, a tour of the city, and finally, a late-night out with the current students in the program.

You’ll fly back home the next day, grateful to be sleeping in your own bed.  And just when you get settled, you’ll need to hop on a plane to reach the next school where you’ll start the process again.

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124: Demystifying the Research Institute

Most PhD students attend traditional academic institutions of higher educations. It’s the world of classes, campuses, and mortarboards you probably think of when you think about a University.

But there’s a less-traveled path to a PhD that may actually hold some benefits for certain students, including those coming back to school after working for awhile, or those with families.

We’re talking about research institutes, and it’s possible you’ve never even heard about this alternative path to a PhD.

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124: An Art Contest JUST For Hello PhD Listeners

We’re bringing you this bonus episode to encourage our listeners to submit their artwork to the Promega Art Contest for Creative Scientists. This isn’t for everyone – it’s just for listeners of Hello PhD!

The deadline is nearly here (December 1st, 2019), but you can still visit the contest page to submit a digital image of your fine artwork, photography, microscopy, or whatever!

Five winners will receive prizes by mail and have their art on display at the Promega Employee Art Showcase.

One Grand Prize Winner will win a free trip to the Art Show opening in Madison Wisconsin!

We called Dr. Aparna Shah, who was last year’s grand-prize winner. Her submission, “an image of an immuno-histochemically stained mouse brain slice acquired on a confocal microscope” came from a project she had since abandoned. Thankfully, that image was still a winner.

You can read all about her experience here:

So don’t wait! Submit your images today!

123: Anatomy of a Micropublication feat. Nate Jacobs of Flashpub

In a world where it’s “Publish or Perish,” you’d expect “publish” to be the more favorable option.

But, if you’ve ever spent a year or more performing experiments, crafting figures, writing a manuscript, finding a friendly editor and arguing with reviewers, that “perish” option might just sound pretty sweet right about now….

It’s no secret that the publishing industry has an inexplicable choke-hold on the scientific community. A handful of companies exercise editorial control, deciding which findings are permitted to enter the information stream. They charge the researcher who submits the paper, then charge exorbitant fees to the reader to see what was ‘printed.’

While the information age has flooded nearly every aspect of our daily lives, its transformative power sometimes seems to be walled off at the laboratory door.

Luckily, there are a few scientists who are willing to chip away at that wall.

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102: HelloPhD Guide to Grad School Applications – Crafting the Perfect Personal Statement (R)

Please recount your life story, all of your future plans, and why this graduate program is uniquely suited to fulfill those dreams.  Limit your answer to 140 characters.

Okay, okay, the typical “Personal Statement” prompt on your grad school application is probably not that outrageous, but they CAN feel both cryptic and overwhelming.

Here’s a real prompt from a real grad school application at a major university:

In 1-2 pages, describe your career goals, research interests, past and present research experience, and why you’ve chosen the [Name Redacted] Program for your graduate studies.

This prompt can induce instant writer’s block in even the most prepared applicants.  So where do you begin?

This week on the show, we share tips for crafting the perfect personal statement that will highlight your grad-school-readiness and potential for greatness in a career beyond the degree.

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