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Research Career Development - Choosing a Doctoral Program. Gail P. Taylor Spring 2005. Dr. Gail P. Taylor. Asst. Program Director MBRS-RISE Research Training Program Specialist Professional Development Coordinator.

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Research Career Development-Choosing a Doctoral Program

Gail P. Taylor

Spring 2005


Dr. Gail P. Taylor

  • Asst. Program Director MBRS-RISE

  • Research Training Program Specialist

  • Professional Development Coordinator


Beyond the Beakers: SMART Advice for Entering Graduate Programs in the Sciences and Engineering. Gayle R. Slaughter, Ph.D. Baylor College of Medicine/National Science Foundation. 2005

Survival Skills and Ethics Program:

Beth Fischer

Michael Zigmond

www.pitt.edu/~survival

The Leadership Alliance –

Graduate School Guidehttp://www.theleadershipalliance.org/pdf/grad_guide.pdf

Tips on Preparing for and Applying to Graduate School

http://www.theleadershipalliance.org/pdf/tips.pdf

Careers in Science and Engineering: A Student Planning Guide to Grad School and Beyond (1996). Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) http://books.nap.edu/books/0309053935/html/11.html

Acknowledgements:


The Doctoral Degree

  • A doctorate or doctoral degree is

    • An academic degree of the highest level.

    • Recognition of the candidate as an equal by the university faculty under which he studied.

    • Usually research doctorates are awarded in recognition of academic research

      • Is of a publishable standard (even if not actually published)

      • Represents at least a modest contribution to human knowledge

      • Is usually assessed by submission and defense of a doctoral thesis or dissertation, though in some cases a coherent body of published literature can be accepted instead.

        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graduate_school


Nomenclature – Getting a Doctorate

  • Doctoral training

  • Training towards doctorate

  • Pre-doctoral training / Predoctoral training

  • Graduate Training

  • Combined Degrees

    • MD/Ph.D.

    • MSTP (Medical Scientist Training Program)

    • DDS/Ph.D.

    • DVM/Ph.D., etc


Research

Academic

Basic

Clinical

Government

Industry/Pharmaceutical

Teaching

All levels

Journalism

Technical writing

Publishing

Intellectual property

Patent law

Public policy/Government Museum curating

Investment banking

Research admin

Educational admin

Grants admin

Program admin

Public Health

Independent consulting

… and much more

Where can a Doctorate Take You?


Training for a Doctorate

  • Begins with academic basic training as a research scientist, in an academic institution

  • When you begin doctoral training, you should at least KNOW that you want one!


Where Doctoral Training Takes Place

  • Look for “Graduate Programs”

  • At “Universities”

    • http://www.utsa.edu/graduate/

  • At Academic Medical Centers/Schools

    • http://www.uthscsa.edu/gsbs/

  • At Academic Veterinary Schools

    • http://www.cvm.tamu.edu/resgrad/grad/index.shtml

  • NIH Graduate Partners

    • In classes at University

    • All or part of research at NIH

    • http://gpp.nih.gov/


More on NIH Graduate Partnerships

  • Bioinformatics - Boston University

  • Biomedical Sciences - George Washington University

  • Biomedical Sciences - Georgetown University

  • Biophysics - University of Maryland, College Park

  • Cell, Molecular, Developmental Biology & Biophysics - Johns Hopkins University

  • Cell Motility & Cytoskeleton - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Immunology - University of Pennsylvania

  • Molecular Basis for Infectious Diseases - NIAID/RML & University of Montana

  • Neuroscience - Brown University

  • Sensory & Communication Neurosciences - NIDCD & University of Maryland, College Park

  • Structural Biology - New York University

  • Partnerships Combining Research & Clinical Training

  • Combined MD & PhD Training: Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) on the NIH Campus

    • DVM/PhD: Molecular Pathology - NCI & NCSU/MSU/UIUC/UMD - requires DVM

    • Nursing/PhD: Nursing & Biobehavioral Research - NINR & JHU / OHSU / UCSF / UofI / UPitt / UofU - requires BSN or MSN

  • International (For US Citizens)

    • Biomedical Sciences - University of Oxford (England)

    • Health Sciences - University of Cambridge (England)

    • Neuroscience - Karolinska Institute (Sweden)


Not All Programs are Equal I

  • Information for Prospective Students

  • Preparation for a Broad Range of Careers

  • Teaching and TA Preparation

  • Professional Development

  • Career Guidance & Placement Services

  • Controlling Time to Degree

  • Mentoring

  • Program Climate

  • Overall Satisfaction

http://cresmet.asu.edu/nagps/getWeights.php?deptSet=1&deptType=124National Association of Graduate Professional Students


Not all Programs are Equal II

  • Quality of Faculty

    • Grants

      • RO1 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/r01.htm

    • Publications

      • Nature, Science

    • Awards

      • Nobel Prizes

    • National Academy of Sciences Members

      • http://www.nationalacademies.org/

  • Where alumni end up


Not all Programs are Equal III

  • Where is someone doing what you want to do!???


What you Need to Prepare for Doctoral Education

  • Information!

    • Is doctoral education worth the trouble to you?

      • What are your career options?

      • Time

      • Costs

      • Goals/Strengths, etc.

    • What type of credentials must you have?

    • What field do you want to pursue?

    • What school/program will you apply to?

    • How do you successfully apply?

  • Start while a Junior or sooner!


Looking into Career Options

  • Is Science a good career?

  • Yes…if you love it.

  • Funding currently tight

    • Always waxes and wanes


Costs

  • Delay entry to career

    • Engineering – likely not make up missed income

    • Biology – Likely will make up missed income

  • Standard of Living

    • Live on 21 – 27K salary

      • Some add in loans

    • Health Insurance?

    • Family hardship

    • Location issues

  • Relationships

    • Can be hard- long hours

    • Can delay childbearing


Standard Ph.D. Training Path

Academics

Post Bacc

Research

Academic Postdoc

Government

Postdoc

Government

Undergrad

Studies

Doctoral

Studies

Industry Postdoc

Industry

M.S. Degree

Continue

Education

Other Career

Other

Work


Building Your Credentials-

  • Look at what Graduate Schools Look for, and do it…


General - What Doctoral Programs WantSomeone who will successfully complete the program!

  • Has background required for success

    • Coursework/foundation in field

    • Can survive coursework- GPA/GRE

    • Research preparation

      • Publications

      • Presentations

    • Knows what they are getting into

  • Has motivation required for success

    • Programs, summers, background

  • Has skills or potential to perform activities of science

    • Can reason critically/analytically (understands and extends research).

    • Can communicate professionally

    • Can balance research and coursework

    • Will assist in school’s research efforts


General - What Doctoral Programs WantSomeone who will successfully complete the program!

  • Fits well with their program

    • Has compatible research interests with faculty

    • Has potential to eventually run own lab

    • Will impact “energy” of school

    • May make great breakthroughs for them

    • Will be a good representative for their program, forever

    • Increase the program’s diversity

  • Ultimately:

    • Will be a good financial investment

    • Will be a good time investment


What is a “Good” Field?

  • What inspires you?

    • Matches your passion?

    • Matches your values?

    • Matches your favored place to work?

  • What do you think will be “hot” in 5 years?

    • Biodefense?

      • Microbiology

      • Cell Biology

    • Health?

      • Age-related illnesses (in neuro, diabetes, cancer, etc)

      • Biomedical applications of Genetics?

      • Drug development – Pharmacology/toxicology

      • Immunology – good for future biotech industry…

    • Computational Biology

    • ?????


Neurobiology/Neuroscience

Physiology

Microbiology/Immunology/Endocrinology

Cell/Molec./Dev. Biology

Biochemistry/Biological chemistry

Biomedical Engineering

Chemistry (various sorts)

Pathology/Molecular Toxicology

Pharmacology

Radiological Sciences

Biostatistics

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Environmental Health Sciences

Epidemiology

Oral Biology

Biological and Medical Informatics

Biophysics

Genetics

Pharmacogenomics

Forestry

Integrative Biology

Molecular and Biochemical Nutrition

Plant Biology

Vision Science

And Many MORE!!

Graduate School Fields/Programs


About Choosing a Field

  • Some schools require application to particular fields

  • Some allow general admission, and a student chooses which program

  • Eventual career/field is still flexible (postdocs)


Work in Laboratory

Summer Programs/Internships

Conferences

Advertisements

Your Mentor

Graduate Fairs

Online

http://iiswinprd01.petersons.com/GradChannel/

http://www.gradschools.com

http://www.cgsnet.org/ResourcesForStudents/sources.htm

http://www.graduateschool.com/index.cfm

http://www.schoolguides.com/

http://www.phds.org/rankings/

http://www.justgarciahill.org/webgradprograms.asp

Visiting Professors

Professional Societies

Libraries

Ratings Guides

College Career Center

Recruiters

Campus visits

Speak to Grad Student

Direct Request:

Application

Catalogues

Brochures

Grad admissions apps

Financial aid apps

Gathering Information about Individual Schools


Specific School’s Pre-requisites –Can You Get In?

  • Entrance Requirements

    • GPA

    • GRE

    • Courses

    • Experience

      • Research

      • Publications/presentations

    • Your personal characteristics/motivations

    • Other

  • Number of positions

  • Number of applicants

  • Interviews

    • Number given

    • Funded or unfunded


School’s Qualities I Do You Want to Get in?

  • Mentor Pool

    • One particular? (no!)

    • Several potential?

      • Flexibility to change directions

    • Ability as educators and mentors

    • Ability as scientists

      • Publications

      • Citations

      • Network/connections

  • Degree Statistics

    • Course requirements for PhD

    • Qualifying exams?

    • Graduate placement (last five yrs)

      • Industry, academic, government?


School’s Qualities II Do You Want to Get in?

  • Location

    • Size, schools, job for spouse, cost of living, transportation

  • Size of School

    • Total size, # Doctoral students

  • Campus environment

    • Academic

      • Training Record (where are past graduates?)

      • Time to degree

      • % that complete degree

      • Library and computers

      • Equipment

      • Programs for retention

      • Course offerings

    • Cultural and social activities

    • Diversity of student population

  • Degree requirements

    • Courses, research rotations, examinations


Financial Aid Considerations

Programs should pay tuition and basic living expenses

Med Insurance is important!

May promise one year or more of support

Must apply on time to obtain support

Institutional (from university)

Fellowships and Traineeships – payment for study

Research Assistantship – Payment for work

Teaching assistantships – Payment for teaching

Non-Institutional

Why? Prestige, higher stipend, sophistication, portable, flexibility in selecting advisor

NSF Pre-doctoral, HHMI Pre-doctoral, Ford Foundation Doctoral for Minorities, GEM Pre-doctoral

http://mbrs.utsa.edu/html/Resources.htm

Schools Quality IIIFunding


More Information – Visit a Training Program

  • If applying, then visit!

  • May be invited without app

  • Money is often available for minority students to visit

  • Can meet with faculty as well as see campus!

  • Talk to Dr. Taylor to see if she knows someone at the university…


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