How to Have Your Voice Heard in the Lab

Today, we have a guest writer by a member of the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy, Vandy’s summer undergrad research program. Mary Barber is an undergraduate Chemistry major and English Literature minor at Belmont University. She currently works in a cardiovascular research lab at Vandy and studies ways to model cancer therapy-induced cardiotoxicity in human heart cells. When she’s not doing research, she loves writing her own blog and hopes to one day be a physician scientist. Check out her excellent advice on a very important topic.
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Excel at an undergrad research experience

For many of you undergraduates, a summer research experience may be your first time in a biomedical lab at a research-intensive institution. For most it is likely your first time in a new lab. Getting started in a new environment and only being there for 8-10 weeks means learning and accomplishing a lot in a short period of time. Here, I outline tips for how to have a successful summer.
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Tips to communicate science to non-scientists

Today, research and scientific data are severely undervalued. Thus, it is increasingly important that the scientific community be able to communicate the value of our work broadly. You may be familiar with the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT), which has the goal of cultivating just that! The 3MT is a competition among PhD scientists around the world to communicate their theses to a lay audience in only 3 minutes. We’ve got a pro in house: Archana Krishnamoorthy, an IGP student, recently won first place in the Vandy 3MT competition! Because scientific communication is a pillar of training, I’ve asked Archana for her tips. Keep reading to check out her insightful rules!
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Final questions to ask before selecting a program

Congratulations! You have almost completed the graduate application season! You have your offers in hand and now all of the remaining decisions are yours. Exciting! You learned a lot about your options during your interview but now you may have some remaining questions. Here, I outline the final things you should ask before making the choice of where to go to graduate school. I have highlighted some of these considerations in previous posts, but I want to emphasize their importance.
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Inspirational “Beyond the Lab” career videos

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Kate Stuart, the Program Manager for the Vanderbilt Office of Career Development. Her team has created a series of videos called “Beyond the Lab”, which feature Vanderbilt graduates in various careers they have followed. No matter where you are in your graduate school path-learning the fun of biomedical research, applying to graduate programs, rotating through labs your first year, or further along in your thesis work-these videos are a great resource for understanding different career paths on a personal level. Kate has separated the videos by different career paths for ease of navigating. Take a look…I know you’ll enjoy them!
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How the application review process works

Happy New Year! Well, we are well into the 2017 application season and have started reviewing a large number of applications. While it may be too late for 2017 applicants to change too much of their application, those applying in the future may want to know how the review process works. Today, the Vanderbilt IGP director, Dr. Jim Patton, is discussing what really matters during application review, and no time could be better as he is in the middle of reviewing hundreds of applications this year.
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Careers and Outcomes for Biomed PhDs

Today, we have a post from Dr. Roger Chalkley, Senior Associate Dean for Education in Biomedical Sciences at Vandy. Roger has been one of the leaders and developers of career development in biomedical graduate programs. Here he shares the stats on career options and outcomes of biomed PhDs. He also has some tips for young biomedical researchers on how to find programs with this focus.
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You’ve got this! Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever felt like you’re not “good enough” to follow the path you’ve set out on? You’re not alone! Today, we have a guest post from Dr. Maureen Gannon, Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt. Dr. Gannon writes about a common experience for young and experienced successful scientists alike, “Imposter Syndrome”. Read on to learn more about this often-felt but rarely-discussed impression and how to have the confidence to succeed through it.
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Nature’s advice on finding a Grad program

I just ran across another great article for those looking into STEM Grad programs. If you haven’t gotten enough advice about how to find the best grad program, read Nature’s take on it. The take home in their words: “Choices for doctoral programmes can seem endless, so look for one that matches your interests and personality”. I agree completely! However, while it is easy to see how a program’s different research areas match your interests online, discovering “personality” is nearly impossible online. My suggestion is first to read this article, then check out to get to know the personality of different grad programs well.