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.”
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!).
The COVID-19 pandemic changed nearly every aspect of our lives. Schools and businesses shut down. Hospitals filled up. And many of us spent months alone or in familial ‘pods.’
But this dark period of global history had some bright spots, and many of them appeared in the scientific community. Rapid at-home testing became ubiquitous. mRNA vaccines were used to immunize millions against the worst outcomes. And funding flowed to scientists in virology, immunology, drug development, air quality and more.
As a society, we learned something else, though: science can save lives. More science, better science, and faster science can save more lives.
“Hey, I won’t be able to make it over for movies tonight. I’ve got to finish these timepoints… Yeah, I know it’s the third time this week, but I promise I’ll leave a early tomorrow… Okay, sorry. Goodnight.”