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187. Pro-Tips For Creating a Scientific Poster

Scientific conferences are a great way to meet other scientists and share your research. Perhaps your advisor got lucky and was invited to give a talk. If your research doesn’t get time on stage, how can you make connections and tell others about your project?

The poster session is your ticket to fame and glory. Nearly anyone – from tenured faculty to summer undergraduate – can submit a proposal and tack up a poster.

That unlocks a world of opportunity to share your science, meet like minds, and network your way to a new project, job opportunity, or collaboration.

But creating a poster is more than simply clicking ‘Print’ on a few figures. Crafting your story takes planning, and we’re here to help with advice from real-live poster presenters!

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186. Scientists Share Their Goals and Strategies for Attending a Scientific Conference

Since the pandemic, we can honestly say that Josh and Dan “don’t get out much.” But we broke out of that rut to attend the annual conference for the American Society for Cell Biology – Cell Bio 2022 meeting in Washington, DC.

A scientific conference is a unique experience AND opportunity. Thousands of academics, researchers, students, and vendors are all in one place in order to ‘talk science.’

There’s so much potential to build relationships and drive breakthroughs, but there are also plenty of pitfalls. A meeting with this many people can be chaotic, overwhelming, and well, just plain exhausting.

So we got out the mobile recorder, dusted off the microphone, and asked attendees for their advice on navigating a large scientific conference with the best chance of success.

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071. Practical Advice for Overcoming Impostor Syndrome w/ Dr. Maureen Gannon (R)

Impostor syndrome might make you feel all alone in the world, but ironically, many graduate students, postdocs, and faculty members experience the same feelings of inadequacy.

This week on the show, we interview Dr. Maureen Gannon, PhD, about the sources of impostor feelings and the practical steps you can take to work through them.

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070. Impostor Syndrome (R)

Meeting a new cohort of graduate students on your first day of class can be intimidating.  These are the brightest students from their undergraduate programs. Some of them have years of research experience, first-author publications, and a depth of knowledge that seems encyclopedic.

Feeling intimidated by your new colleagues is normal, but some of the people you meet will suffer a more insidious type of anxiety. Some students actually see themselves as charlatans who are just play-acting at a scientific career. So far, they feel, they’ve successfully bluffed their way through college, entrance exams, and interviews.

But they fear that at any moment, they will be discovered as frauds and rejected from the program.

This daily battle is the emotional reality for people suffering from “Imposter Syndrome.”

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185. I got accepted! Now how do I choose a PhD program?

We often talk about the myriad factors you should consider when choosing a PhD program.

Location. Research. Stipend. Work culture. Livability. Peers. Prestige. The list of things to remember seems endless.

But way back in pre-history, we were just humble undergrads ourselves, feeling our way around and trying to make life-changing decisions with very little information.

This week on the show, Josh regales us with insights he learned from his own PhD journey. (Check out 178. I Didn’t Even Know “Research” Was a Thing! for the beginning of his tale.)

Just a year after learning that research existed, Josh applied to several PhD programs. He talks about the interview process, knowing how many applications is too many, and trusting your instincts.

We also discuss the power of prestige. Is it worth it to go to a big-name private university for your graduate training, or can you get a good education at a state school or small college?

No matter where you are on your training journey, it can be helpful to hear stories from others who walked the same path. We invite you to reminisce about your OWN life-changing choices, and maybe share them with a fellow traveller who could gain insight from your successes (and failures!).