The Ph.D. Process: A Student's Guide to Graduate School in the Sciences

Overview

The Ph.D. Process offers the essential guidance that students in the biological and physical sciences need to get the most out of their years in graduate school. Drawing upon the insights of numerous current and former graduate students, this book presents a rich portrayal of the intellectual and emotional challenges inherent in becoming a scientist, and offers the informed, practical advice a "best friend" would give about each stage of the graduate school experience. What are the best strategies for applying to...

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The Ph.D. Process: A Student's Guide to Graduate School in the Sciences

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Overview

The Ph.D. Process offers the essential guidance that students in the biological and physical sciences need to get the most out of their years in graduate school. Drawing upon the insights of numerous current and former graduate students, this book presents a rich portrayal of the intellectual and emotional challenges inherent in becoming a scientist, and offers the informed, practical advice a "best friend" would give about each stage of the graduate school experience. What are the best strategies for applying to a graduate program? How are classes conducted? How should I choose an advisor and a research project? What steps can I take now to make myself more "employable" when I get my degree? What goes on at the oral defense? Through a balanced, thorough examination of issues ranging from lab etiquette to research stress, the authors—each a Ph.D. in the sciences—provide the vital information that will allow students to make informed decisions all along the way to the degree. Headlined sections within each chapter make it fast and easy to look up any subject, while dozens of quotes describing personal experiences in graduate programs from people in diverse scientific fields contribute invaluable real-life expertise. Special attention is also given to the needs of international students.

Read in advance, this book prepares students for each step of the graduate school experience that awaits them. Read during the course of a graduate education, it serves as a handy reference covering virtually all major issues and decisions a doctoral candidate is likely to face. The Ph.D. Process is the one book every graduate student in the biological and physical sciences can use to stay a step ahead, from application all the way through graduation.

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Editorial Reviews

Science News
Three Ph.D.s blend practical advice with insight into the "sociology" of academia. The nuts-and-bolts aspects of this book deal with the application process and include picking a dissertation committee and arguing an oral exam. Personal stories sprinkle the text, leavening any glamour there is to postgraduate study with hard realities. These include an almost minute-to-minute account of a graduate student's typical day.
Bostonia magazine
Detailed, practical, and only occasionally ominous advice and forewarnings on aspects of the four-to-seven-year commitment, from choosing an advisor and a research project to lab etiquette (it's all right to ask for a favor — for example, having somebody check briefly on your experiment so you can be away) to investigating local custom (should you provide snacks for your dissertation committee?).
Peter Fiske
When I was finishing my Ph.D. in 1993, there was almost nothing written about how to survive and thrive in graduate school. Today, there are a handful of excellent guides and handbooks--full of the sort of advice that saves time, reduces anxiety, and helps students get where they want to go. I am pleased to report that the latest entrant to this group of books is outstanding. The Ph.D. Process is the most comprehensive guide to date about graduate school in the sciences.
—(Science's Next Wave)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195119008
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 956,193
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dale F. Bloom, PhD, received her graduate degree from the Behavioral Neuroscience division of the Department of Psychology at UCLA, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the University of Rochester, and is a full-time author.
Jonathan D. Karp, PhD, received his doctorate in Psychology from Vanderbilt University and his postdoctoral training in Psychoneuroimmunology at the University of Rochester. He is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Rider University.
Nicholas Cohen, PhD, received his doctorate in Biology from the University of Rochester, and his postdoctoral training in Immunology from UCLA. He is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Psychiatry, and Oncology at the University of Rochester.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
1 Deciding to Go to Graduate School 3
2 Selecting an Advisor: Whose Lab Is Right for Me? 20
3 The Stages of Graduate School 35
4 Classes, Journal Clubs, Lab Meetings, and Seminars 41
5 The Absent Professor 50
6 How You Learn 55
7 Deciding on Research Projects for Your Dissertation 70
8 Networking 83
9 Picking a Dissertation Committee, and Defending the Proposal at the Preliminary Oral Exam 90
10 The Life of a Graduate Student 99
11 Some Additional Aspects of Graduate School Life: Lab Notebooks, Etiquette, Competition, Luck 119
12 Do I Belong Here?: Insecurity and Stress 132
13 Foreign Students: Unique Problems and Stresses 141
14 On the Art of Scientific Writing 150
15 What Should Your Goals Be While in Graduate School? 160
16 Times They Are A-Changing 175
17 The End Is in Sight: Writing the Dissertation 186
18 The Final Oral Exam (The Defense) 192
References and Additional Reading 201
Index 207
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