The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science: A Toolkit for Students and Postdocs

Overview

Embarking upon research as a graduate student or postdoc can be exciting and enriching—the start of a rewarding career. But the world of scientific research is also a competitive one, with grants and good jobs increasingly hard to find. The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science is intended to help scientists not just cope but excel at this critical phase in their careers.

Victor A. Bloomfield and Esam E. El-Fakahany, both well-known scientists with extensive experience as ...

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The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science: A Toolkit for Students and Postdocs

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Overview

Embarking upon research as a graduate student or postdoc can be exciting and enriching—the start of a rewarding career. But the world of scientific research is also a competitive one, with grants and good jobs increasingly hard to find. The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science is intended to help scientists not just cope but excel at this critical phase in their careers.

Victor A. Bloomfield and Esam E. El-Fakahany, both well-known scientists with extensive experience as teachers, mentors, and administrators, have combined their knowledge to create a guidebook that addresses all of the challenges that today’s scientists-in-training face. They begin by considering the early stages of a career in science: deciding whether or not to pursue a PhD, choosing advisors and mentors, and learning how to teach effectively. Bloomfield and El-Fakahany then explore the skills essential to conducting and presenting research. The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science offers detailed advice on how to pursue research ethically, manage time, and communicate effectively, especially at academic conferences and with students and peers. Bloomfield and El-Fakahany write in accessible, straightforward language and include a synopsis of key points at the end of each chapter, so that readers can dip into relevant sections with ease.

From students prepping for the GRE to postdocs developing professional contacts to faculty advisors and managers of corporate labs, scientists at every level will find The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science an unparalleled resource.
 

The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science is a roadmap to the beginning stages of a scientific career. I will encourage my own students to purchase it.”—Dov F. Sax, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, Brown University
 

“Step-by-step, Victor Bloomfield and Esam El-Fakahany provide sound, thorough, yet succinct advice on every issue a scientist in training is likely to encounter. Young readers will welcome the authors’ advice on choosing a graduate school, for example, while senior scientists will probably wish that a book like this had been around when they were starting out. With down-to-earth and occasionally humorous advice, The Chicago Guide to your Career in Academic Biology belongs on the bookshelf of every graduate student and advisor.”—Norma Allewell, Dean, College of Chemical and Life Sciences, University of Maryland
 

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
"A comprehensive look at the process of making a successful career in the sciences, whether that career is at the bench, in the classroom, or in the corporate world. This book would be an excellent choice for every undergraduate student who has ever asked 'What can I do with a biology degree except go to medical school?' or indeed for any student who is already contemplating the possibility of a graduate degree in the sciences. . . . A very useful volume and long overdue."
Paul Harnik
“Careers in scientific research require a wide array of tools and it is during one’s graduate and postdoctoral training that these are typically first developed. It is also during this time that rapid and efficient assimilation and application of these approaches is most critical. With The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science, Bloomfield and El-Fakahany provide a comprehensive guide to various approaches that will assist readers in excelling within this early stage of their scientific careers.”­—Paul G. Harnik, graduate student in the Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago
Dov F. Sax
The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science is a roadmap to the beginning stages of a scientific career. I will encourage my own students to purchase it.”
Karen Klomparens
The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science pulls together a wide variety of resources to assist scientists from their doctoral experience through postdoctoral to faculty member or industrial career researcher. There are many excellent and thorough books on various segments of the scientific career, but none that cover the span of years and experiences described in this text. The selection of topics is appropriately broad, yet the focus remains on the elements of success. It is a mentor in print.”
Eva J. Pell
The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science is a comprehensive toolkit for aspiring scientists trying to decide whether to go to graduate school, what degree to seek, what institution to choose, how to select a mentor, how to navigate through graduate school and a postdoc, and finally how to secure a position—and what career path to choose. This book is also an excellent handbook for advisors. While face-to-face dialogue between students and advisors is critical when mentoring students, it is very useful to have a well thought-out essay to underscore the issues conveyed verbally. Each chapter, furthermore, concludes with a list of suggestions that form an effective set of takeaways. Being able to point to a chapter and suggest to a student ‘Read this and then let’s discuss the points that are relevant to you,’ could be valuable for faculty and students in a whole range of circumstances.”
Norma Allewell
“Step-by-step, Victor Bloomfield and Esam El-Fakahany provide sound, thorough, yet succinct advice on every issue a scientist in training is likely to encounter. Young readers will welcome the authors’ advice on choosing a graduate school, for example, while senior scientists will probably wish that a book like this had been around when they were starting out. With down-to-earth and occasionally humorous advice, The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science belongs on the bookshelf of every graduate student and advisor.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226060644
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2008
  • Series: Chicago Guides to Academic Life Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Victor Bloomfield is professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics and a former dean of the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota.  Esam E. El-Fakahany is professor of psychiatry, pharmacology, and neuroscience at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is former associate dean of the Graduate School. Together, El-Fakahany and Bloomfield established and directed the University of Minnesota’s first office for postdoctoral affairs.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. Introduction: Thinking about a Research Career

Part I. The Stages of a Research Career

Chapter 2. Pursuing Graduate Education
Chapter 3. Advisors and Mentors
Chapter 4. Choosing and Conducting a Dissertation Project
Chapter 5. Effective Teaching
Chapter 6. Designing Your Postdoctoral Experience
Chapter 7. Preparing for Your First Real Job
Chapter 8. Diversity of Career Choices
Chapter 9. Tools for Successful Job Searching

Part II. Conducting and Presenting Research

Chapter 10. The Meaning and Responsible Conduct of Research
Chapter 11. Keeping a Notebook
Chapter 12. Working with Others
Chapter 13. Creativity and Problem Solving
Chapter 14. Staying Motivated
Chapter 15. Managing Time
Chapter 16. Finding and Managing Information
Chapter 17. Communicating
Chapter 18. Going to Scientific Meetings
Chapter 19. Poster Presentations                                                                         
Chapter 20. Speaking
Chapter 21. Writing
Chapter 22. Tables and Graphics
Chapter 23. Writing and Defending Your Dissertation
Chapter 24. Writing a Journal Article
Chapter 25. Writing Fellowship and Grant Proposals

Index

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