Leaving Graduate School Early: Get Outta Town or Hang Around?

Graduate school serves as a means to an end.  It provides the training necessary to take the next step on our career development path- whether than means performing postdoctoral research or finding a job.  But grad school is a long process and a lot can change over five or six years, which can significantly complicate the process of leaving graduate school.

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How Google Sees Us: 23 Search Terms We Had to Share

The entire Google empire is built on a cold, hard algorithm- not on subjective guesses or opinions.  When it decides to pull up a list of websites that it thinks will fulfill a user’s query, it’s for a reason.  So looking into what search terms Google recommends your site for can be a bit like asking “do these pants make my butt look big?”  You’re hoping for the best, but in the end, the data might reveal an answer you don’t want to hear.

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Because in Space… It’s Always 5 O’Clock Somewhere

Yesterday, April 12th, marked the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight. During his 108-minute voyage, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin completed an entire orbit of Earth in Russia’s first Vostok mission. And to commemorate that flight, a new space beer is currently being perfected and tested in various zero gravity environments.

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Changing Scientific Focus: Jack of All Trades, Master of None?

Some liken the selection of a graduate advisor to finding a spouse.  Of course, a real spouse doesn’t pay us a monthly stipend and (hopefully) we’re not looking forward to finding a new one in five years.  Yet the choice of the marriage analogy may be more appropriate for another aspect of our careers – the science.

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Reviewing Papers from Your Past- Is It Legal?

Dear Dora: Reviewing papers from your pastDear Dora,

Recently my PI asked me to review a paper from my graduate lab- is that allowed?

-EM, postdoc

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Could You Be the Worst Labmate in the World?

The bad news: like any work environment, labs are not exempt from employing the occasional pain-in-the-a–.  The good news: given the nature of the career path, even the worst of labmates will be moving on to annoy a new group of people in a few years.  The great news: even if you’re that stick-in-the-mud in your lab, it’s never too late to change your ways.

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Innovation: Concept to Commercialization

So you’ve had your eureka moment and you’ve done the rough math to figure out that your innovation is probably worth pursuing.  Now what?

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Curry: Now Good for Detecting Explosions, Not Just Causing Them

Growing up, curry night was always one of my favorite family dinners. Mum would throw together an Indian chicken jalfrezi with rice and poppadums and mango chutney. Delicious! But little did I know that hidden in that curry was a multi-talented chemical.

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Changing Labs: It’s Not You, It’s Me…Actually, It’s You.

At one point or another many of us consider changing thesis projects, whether out of frustration, failure or downright boredom.  However, for some of us simply changing thesis projects is not enough to resolve the issue we’re facing.  In these cases, the last hope may be the nuclear option – changing labs.  Students grappling with the decision to join a new group face a number of potential consequences including adding time on to their degree and facing potential political fallout from the decision.  Therefore, many students are left to wonder, Is it really that bad?  Maybe it’s me?  Am I the only one dealing with a situation like this and is it bad enough to change labs over?

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Is It 2-Week or 2-Hour Notice? Telling the Boss You’re Leaving

Dear Dora: Telling the boss you're leavingDear Dora,

I’ve been a postdoc for 2.5 years and I’ve been casually looking for jobs on the side and a company just made an offer I really don’t think I can pass up, but they need me to start as soon as possible and there’s not much room for pushing the start date back. My PI has no idea. I know it’s going to be ugly – how should I tell the boss I’m leaving?

– Sneaky, Postdoc

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