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118: Find a Better Mentor with GradPI


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Podcast: Hello PhD
Episode: 118: Find a Better Mentor with GradPI
Pub date: 2019-08-10

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a crystal ball that could reveal your grad-school future?

You might look forward to see if that next experiment will work out, or if your research will eventually make the cover of Nature.

What you should do with the power of foresight is to take a deep look at the quality of mentorship you’ll receive over the next few years.

It’s no secret that good research advisors can be tough to find. Most are passable – you’ll learn what you need to learn and graduate on time – and a few are stellar, elevating your research beyond what you thought was possible.

But of course, lurking somewhere at every institution, are a handful of awful, terrible, no good, very bad PIs. These are the people you must avoid at all costs, lest they destroy both your confidence and your career plan.

Of course, no one has a crystal ball, and sometimes our choice of a research mentor doesn’t pan out. But there’s a website hoping to change that.

Hindsight: 20/20

Gadareth Higgs was ready for graduate school. His grades were good, he had some research experience, and he had been accepted to one of the most competitive programs in the US.

“I just assumed we would have good mentors. That was not the case,” he recalls.

In his third year, Gadareth would be forced to change labs, and his new PI was “not big on mentorship.”

Gadarath’s qualifying exam didn’t go well, and there were signs that the PI was working against him behind the scenes. Ultimately, he had to leave the program.

Then he got an idea: why not make a website where students and postdocs can score their PI on the factors that matter, so that other students can make an informed decision before committing to a lab?

Enter GradPI.com, which is something like RateMyProfessor.com for graduate students. This week, we talk with Gadareth Higgs and Paola Figueroa-Delgado to find out more about the purpose and people behind the website.

At its core, GradPI allows students to score their advisors on five factors called the “SMART” scale.

From the Frequently Asked Questions page:

S stands for Standing. Reputation is important because your advisor will serve as the springboard for whatever you do next.M stands for Mentorship. It is important to have an advisor who can serve as a scientific role model, even if not as a career or life guide.A stands for Autonomy. The degree of independence desired by students is highly variable; only you know what’s best for you.R stands for Resources. Money talks. End of story.T stands for Tact. This is essentially a personality score. But it takes into consideration how well the advisor conveys feedback, and fosters a welcoming environment for students of different cultures, genders, races, religions, and sexual orientations.

It’s important to note that low-scores in a certain category may not be a bad thing for every student. Paola described how a prospective mentee might use the ratings to find a good fit.

“Everyone has different kinds of mentorship preferences. You can provide comments and feedback on these different categories and see why for you it’s important to have autonomy. So [an advisor] with a low autonomy score is not good for you,” she explained.

The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Joshua Hall and Daniel Arneman, PhDz, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

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#082: Pearl Osirike Story


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Podcast: PhD Career Stories
Episode: #082: Pearl Osirike Story
Pub date: 2019-08-30

In this episode Pearl Osirikeshares her story and some of the most important lessons she has learned during her PhD so far. Pearl is a biochemist with an interest in drug discovery and infectious diseases. She holds a first-class degree and a masters degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria, where she also serves as an Assistant Lecturer. Currently, she is a second year PhD student of Molecular and Cell Biology of Infectious Diseases at the West African Centre for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens at the University of Ghana. 

 Pearl is passionate about teaching and research and she is excited to share her story to motivate and inspire others.

To learn more about Pearl’s story, please listen to this episode. If you also have a story to be told or if you know someone, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Enjoy Listening!

For complete show notes and a transcript of the podcast, visit www.phdcareerstories.com

The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Tina Persson, Michele Manzo, Maria Sjogren, Paulius Mikulskis, Johanna Have, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

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Citizens Disrupt: Episode 1 – Contributory Science


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Podcast: Science: Disrupt
Episode: Citizens Disrupt: Episode 1 – Contributory Science
Pub date: 2018-08-06

Linda Doyle takes us on a tour of the world of citizen science in this new mini-series, Citizens Disrupt.

In this episode Linda explores contributory citizen science, where the data for scientific ventures is crowdsourced. 

She speaks to:

  1. Dr Erinma Ochu, from the Univeristy of Salford, about her efforts to engage people in mathematics through botany. 
  2. Dr Martin Jones, the Deputy Head of Microscopy Prototyping at the Crick Insititute, about the etch-a-cell initiative.
  3. Dr Pinja Haikka, a theoretical physicist and (at the time of recording) the head of outreach at ScienceatHome
  4. Steven Gray, CEO of Earthwatch (Europe & Middle East), on effecting change in corporates make policies in light of new climate change data.

The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Science: Disrupt, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

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UnDisciplined: The Morphological Physiologist And The Migration Ecologist


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Podcast: UnDisciplined
Episode: UnDisciplined: The Morphological Physiologist And The Migration Ecologist
Pub date: 2019-09-06


This week on UnDisciplined, we’re talking about movement. Our first guest is a scientist whose research is helping us understand the ways the world’s largest animal moves its body. Our second guest is a researcher whose recent studies uncover the ways animals are moved as part of complex global trafficking networks. Frank Fish is a professor of biology and the head of the Liquid Life Lab at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Emily Miller works at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California,

The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Utah Public Radio, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

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Are Grants Worth It?


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Podcast: Marginally Significant
Episode: Are Grants Worth It?
Pub date: 2019-09-26

Is it worth the time and effort to apply for grants when only a small percentage are funded? A recent paper by Kevin Gross and Carl Bergstrom (2019) suggests grant competitions in their corrent form are not worth it. We weigh in on our thoughts about the paper as well as grant funding, in general. We also briefly talk about the aspect of our jobs that motivate us to keep working. Spoiler alert: it is not applying for grants.


Marginally Significant is hosted by:
Andrew Smith @andrewrsmith
Twila Wingrove @twilawingrove
Andrew Monroe @monroeandrew
Chris Holden @profcjholden

You can contact Marginally Significant on Twitter (@marginallysig), through email ([email protected]), or on the web (marginallysignificant.fireside.fm/contact).

Links:

The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Andrew Smith, Twila Wingrove, Andrew Monroe, and Chris Holden, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

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Becoming Deaf – Laura Mauldin


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Podcast: Parsing Science: The unpublished stories behind the world’s most compelling science, as told by the researchers themselves.
Episode: Becoming Deaf – Laura Mauldin
Episode pub date: 2019-03-05


To what extent could “coming out” be a useful analogy for the process of coming to identify as Deaf? In episode 44, Laura Mauldin from the University of Connecticut discusses her research into this question as detailed in her article “’Coming out’ rhetoric in disability studies: Exploring its fit with the Deaf experience” published in the Spring 2018 issue of Disability Studies Quarterly.

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Episode 71: The Space Sweepers


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Podcast: Science: Disrupt
Episode: Episode 71: The Space Sweepers
Episode pub date: 2019-09-16

After a long summer we’re back, and we’re here to talk spaaaace! Specifically the issue of satellite sustainability and the startup leading the charge.

In this episode of the Science: Disrupt podcast we chat to Harriet Brettle, Business Analyst at the startup Astroscale and co-founder of the London Space Network.

Astroscale is a space startup that is developing a solution to the environmental concerns over space debris and all of the challenges that that can bring.

We also discuss Harriet’s path to Astroscale and her drive to establish the London Space Network and the benefits of community organisation.

The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Science: Disrupt, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

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701: How to Be Less Distracted at Work — and in Life


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Podcast: HBR IdeaCast
Episode: 701: How to Be Less Distracted at Work — and in Life
Episode pub date: 2019-09-24


Nir Eyal, an expert on technology and psychology, says that we all need to learn to be less distracted into activities that don’t help us achieve what we want to each day. Unwelcome behaviors can range from social media scrolling and bingeing on YouTube videos to chatting with colleagues or answering non-urgent emails. To break these habits, we start by recognizing that it is often our own emotions, not our devices, that distract us. We must then recognize the difference between traction (values-aligned work or leisure) and distraction (not) and make time in our schedules for more of the former. Eyal also has tips for protecting ourselves from the external distractions that do come at us and tools to force us to focus on bigger-picture goals. He is the author of the book “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.”

The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Harvard Business Review, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

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