Showing posts from September, 2012

Setting up your "First Committee Meeting" as a Graduate Student in Biomed

No doubt, being in graduate school in and of itself is a daunting task. If you are the type that borders on paranoia, you will forever be looking over your shoulder mentally thinking everyone is out to get you. And if you are the type that's complacent, well, let's just say by the time you realize what time it is, you will be "forced" to graduate. Needless, to say, being a graduate student is an experience best lived or better yet, left alone.

One of the most crucial decision made in graduate school - apart from choosing a mentor/lab -  is choosing a committee member. I wrote some suggested criteria to choosing committee members that you can access here. After choosing committee members, you will want to set up what I call the "first meeting".

1. This first meeting is important in starting you off on the right foot. Some of the members of your committee might not know each other, so having them in the same room is essential in  getting them to know each othe…

Choosing Committee Members (Graduate School-Bio-Med PhD)

One of the most crucial decisions made early on graduate school is the decision of choosing committee members. This is very important in Bio-med programs and I suppose equally important in other STEM departments as well.

So who is a committee member? A committee member is someone who provides guidance, direction and monitors the progress of a graduate student. The committee members are involved in the decision of passing you after your qualifying exam (prelims, generals e.t.c.). They are involved in your passing the dissertation (thesis defense). They play a crucial part in the progression of your thesis research and can make or mar your graduate school journey.

With all these essential duties of a committee member, it is important to choose wisely and with foresight.  In choosing committee members:

1. Look for someone knowledgeable in the area of research you are interested in. This does not necessarily mean you look for the veteran in your program, nor does it necessarily mean the pe…

Travel, Work and Fun: Bio-Med Conferences

One of the best things about graduate school (in my opinion) is the conferences. I get to travel to different conferences in different locations and present my research to fellow graduate students and faculty. It's a very good way to receive feedback and questions that I haven't thought about yet. Sometimes, as a graduate student, I can get very subjective about my research and going to these conferences helps me regain objectivity. Since it's just me working on it day in day out, I sometimes overlook something crucial like a control group or a treatment group or even a minor error of some sort and by presenting my work to others, they can easily see the things that I might have miss, thereby making my project stronger.

 Another reason attending conferences is good is because I get to see other students and colleagues, which reminds me that there are other people out there doing something similar to what I do. Someone using the same methods as you to solve different proble…