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179. Teaching Opportunities for Grad Students w/ Dr. Alaina Talboy

We’ve all met them – the unsung heroes of your Intro To (Biology, Psychology, History, etc.) class.

Sure, they don’t give the lectures, but that’s about the only responsibility they dodge. Instead, they’re leading lab sessions, holding office hours, proctoring exams, and grading papers.

They’re the Teaching Assistants, or TAs, and they’re a critical part of undergraduate education.

But who are these heroes without capes?

We learn more in this week’s show!

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176. Stop Calling Yourself a ‘Grad Student’ w/ Dr. Alaina Talboy

Titles are a part of our identity. If you meet a school teacher, computer programmer, or rocket scientist, you will instantly form an impression of what kind of person they are without any additional information.

The bias we impose upon hearing a title can be good or bad, of course. But we all invariably take these mental shortcuts, and it influences how we treat the people we meet.

What’s interesting is that these titles reflect on us, as well. What I call myself impacts what I expect from my work, and how I expect others to treat me in my role.

This week on the show, we talk with a PhD who helps current graduate students as they explore careers outside of academia. And she has some advice on how you can reimagine your graduate title.

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175. Four Research Traps (And How to Avoid Them)

The day-to-day reality of many graduate programs is that you’ll spend most of your time doing research.

Even if you don’t end up working in a lab or doing experiments forever in your career (and most people don’t!), being able complete experiments is going to help you efficiently progress through your program and eventually GRADUATE. And isn’t that what we all want?

This week, we cover some common pitfalls that suck your time and erode your confidence. We’ve got advice for avoiding those traps and making the most of your time in the lab. Yes, it’s about getting stuff done. But it’s also about getting the RIGHT stuff done in the right way.

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163. The 3 T’s of Successful Field Research

The only thing harder than hiking for three hours into a remote boreal forest is realizing you forgot your sample kit back in the lab.

For many researchers, running out of a reagent means walking down the hall to borrow more from a neighboring lab, but field researchers don’t have that luxury. They may be hours away from their labs, and miles away from the van.

That’s why planning is so important.

This week, we learn the three T’s you should remember to pack on EVERY trip.

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162. Get More Done with LabScrum w/ Dr. Lisa May

It’s 8PM on a Wednesday night, and you’re sitting in a quiet lab all alone. It’s your turn to present during lab meeting on Friday, and that familiar sense of panic starts to set in.

What HAVE you been doing with your time? You flip back through the lab notebook and remember how you spent the first week waiting on reagents. The second week is a blur, and the third week, every dish in the incubator got contaminated for reasons no one will admit.

Now you have a day to try to come up with something… anything… to show for yourself.

Of course, it didn’t have to be this way, and with some techniques from the tech industry, you’ll never have to fret over a ‘missing month’ again.

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