Sometimes, we use the words ‘research advisor’ and ‘research mentor’ interchangeably, but be careful – they’re not the same thing. When you join the lab of a research faculty member in your second year of grad school, you’ve chosen a research advisor. Whether that person turns out to be a ‘mentor’ remains to be seen.
You’ve either heard the stories, or worse, you’ve lived them. They’re stories of the research advisors who scream at their students in front of the whole department. The PIs who put two or three postdocs on the same project, expecting only one to succeed. The ‘mentor’ who makes you feel like you’re not even qualified […]