Science Career Advice

I tend to limit the scope of this blog to early career advice, but a faculty member sent this resource to me and I had to make sure to share it! The 2020 Career Handbook by, is a short introduction to the considerations you should have when thinking about the next steps after graduation. While it is mostly a focus on specific companies and career opportunities, it is a great introduction to become familiar with sciencecareers. Check it out as a source for career advice and a start to learning about other opportunities.

Updating your graduate school application through the season

I recently got an email from an applicant asking for advice about updating their application. I realized this is a topic that I haven’t discussed here before, so I thought I’d give my two cents. If you haven’t learned, I’ve got opinions about everything!
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Twenty things I wish I’d known when I started my PhD

I have recently posted a number of great articles with advice for young scientists. While some of the advice can be similar, you could never hear this too often! This list of 20 pieces of advice might seem a bit daunting (I might have been overwhelmed reading this during my graduate career!), I think you should really take it in and try to incorporate at least a couple of these things that you don’t already do! It is spot on! Don’t worry, no one will be perfect in following all of this advice, but hopefully doing some of this will make an impact!

Is “optional” really “optional” for submitting GRE scores?

As you may be aware, many biology and biomedical graduate programs have eliminated the GRE as a requirement for their applications. While some schools have completely removed the GRE as a part of the application, many others now list the GRE as “optional”. So, what does “optional” really mean and are committees still expecting you to list scores?
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Simple Beginnings

To those of you at Vandy, you are familiar with our Simple Beginnings, white coat ceremony. For those of you not here, you should know that we celebrate the beginning of our students’ scientific journeys with an event that equally congratulates the start of their graduate experience while also highlighting the importance of their position in the community. It is open to friends and family, and it is one of my favorite parts of the year! This year, one of our older graduate students delivered a meaningful speech that highlights the transition to graduate school. I thought it was worth posting, both to repeat this for our first years and to highlight the journey for prospective students. Enjoy!
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An SDS Excerpt: “Writing to Understand”

Today I am thrilled to highlight a guest post from “Sabrina Does Science”, a blog started by a Vanderbilt IGP student, Sabrina Van Ravenstein, during her first year at Vandy. Sabrina decided to start her blog about the academic sciences to offer her own unique perspective as a woman in the scientific field as well as offer advice to newer or potential grad students. This is a great example post, and you should check out more of her stuff on her blog!
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Letter to My Younger Self: Advice for Graduate School

Have you heard of the NIH BEST schools? These are graduate programs that won a grant to fund initiatives to support career development. Vanderbilt was among the first to win and has served as the coordinating institution for all BEST institutions. They also have an incredible blog for grad students and postdocs. One of my favorite recent posts provides incredible advice for students starting a graduate program! Read this now and read it often to remind yourself of these important points!