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159. Cultivating Resilience w/ Adina Glickman

Imagine a tennis ball dropped on cement – it immediately bounces back to your hand.

Now imagine dropping that same ball on a sandy beach.

The bounce of a tennis ball on pavement is a form of resilience, but it’s important to note that resilience is not just an inherent property of the ball.

Context matters just as much.

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157. The Three Mentors You Need

Most graduate students look on their research advisors as a mentor – hoping for guidance on science, career, and life in general.

But even a superstar PI can’t provide that kind of comprehensive mentorship for all students all the time, and those stellar advisors are rare indeed.

That’s why EVERY student needs to think about identifying and building relationships with three distinct types of mentor through graduate school and beyond.

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145. Ten Tips from Hindsight: A PhD’s guide to a PhD

How many times have you said “I wish I had known!” or “Why didn’t they teach us this in school?”

If you’re a graduate student, you’ve probably said it a lot.

For some reason, from the moment you write your first application to the moment you get your hood and mortarboard, you’ll be re-learning what thousands of students have learned before you.

You’ll be treading a well-worn path, but for some reason, you won’t get a map.

Why don’t successful graduates take the time to help their successors along? Well, partly because they immediately get busy on the next stage of their career.

And partly because they may feel they’ve barely escaped the gauntlet of graduate school intact. “What advice could I give?” they muse. “I almost didn’t make it myself!”

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137. Tools for Finding a Research Mentor

There are two conflicting truths for many early-career graduate students:

  1. The mentor you choose is vitally important, and can impact your ability to complete a PhD and your career trajectory years into the future.
  2. Many students choose a mentor based on feelings, hunches, and hearsay.

Truth 1 should be self-evident by now. A mentor trains you, helps you develop a research program, and ultimately has a say in when and how you graduate.

Later, they will also write you letters of recommendation and speak with the search committee that may consider you for a faculty position.

Toxic mentor relationships have driven countless students away from science altogether, and healthy mentor relationships have acted as a springboard for fruitful research careers.

But what about Truth 2?

Given the importance of choosing a mentor, why do so many students ‘rely on their gut’ when making this life-altering decision?

This week, we talk with a scientist who has developed the tools and framework for making that choice more rigorous, and hopefully, more successful.

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122. Tenure Tracker – The Life Non-Linear with Dr. Jimena Giudice

Dr. Jimena Giudice has all the traits of a promising new faculty member.

Through her training and early career, she has earned more than a dozen grants and awards. She’s co-authored two dozen papers. And she has trained students and postdocs, gaining a reputation as a highly effective mentor.

You’d expect that Dr. Giudice’s undeniable success was the natural result of an early immersion in science and a dogged adherence to the well-worn path through college, grad school, and postdoc.

But of course, you’d be wrong. Before discovering a love for scientific research, Dr. Giudice spent ten years answering a different calling.

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