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 designed to help scientists not just cope but excel at this critical time in their careers.

Victor A. Bloomfield and Esam E. El-Fakahany have combined their experience to create a guidebook that ...

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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 designed to help scientists not just cope but excel at this critical time in their careers.

Victor A. Bloomfield and Esam E. El-Fakahany have combined their experience to create a guidebook that addresses the challenges today's beginning scientists face. The authors first consider the early stages of a scientific career: deciding whether to pursue a PhD, choosing an advisor, and learning how to teach effectively. Then they explore the skills essential to conducting and presenting research. With detailed, practical advice on a number of topics, including how to manage time, stay motivated, and communicate effectively with peers and at academic conferences, and a helpful synopsis of key points at the end of each chapter, The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science is an unparalleled resource for scientists at every level, especially those in graduate or postdoctoral training.

About the Author:
Victor A. Bloomfield is professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

About the Author:
Esam E. El-Fakahany is professor of psychiatry, pharmacology, and neuroscience, both at the University of Minnesota

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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.”

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."
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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

1 Introduction: Thinking about a Research Career 1

Pt. I The Stages of a Research Career

2 Pursuing Graduate Education 15

3 Advisors and Mentors 34

4 Choosing and Conducting a Dissertation Project 53

5 Effective Teaching 64

6 Designing Your Postdoctoral Experience 79

7 Preparing for Your First Real Job 95

8 Diversity of Career Choices 105

9 Tools for Successful Job Searching 119

Pt. II Conducting and Presenting Research

10 The Meaning and Responsible Conduct of Research 151

11 Keeping a Notebook 170

12 Working with Others 181

13 Creativity and Problem Solving 195

14 Staying Motivated 213

15 Managing Time 227

16 Finding and Managing Information 240

17 Communicating 254

18 Going to Scientific Meetings 258

19 Poster Presentations 264

20 Speaking 271

21 Writing 286

22 Tables and Graphics 300

23 Writing and Defending Your Dissertation 310

24 Writing a Journal Article 323

25 Writing Fellowship and Grant Proposals 335

Index 355

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