Research Career Development-Choosing a Doctoral Program Gail P. Taylor Spring 2005
Dr. Gail P. Taylor • Asst. Program Director MBRS-RISE • Research Training Program Specialist • Professional Development Coordinator
Beyond the Beakers: SMART Advice for Entering Graduate Programs in the Sciences and Engineering. Gayle R. Slaughter, Ph.D. Baylor College of Medicine/National Science Foundation. 2005 Survival Skills and Ethics Program: Beth Fischer Michael Zigmond www.pitt.edu/~survival The Leadership Alliance – Graduate School Guidehttp://www.theleadershipalliance.org/pdf/grad_guide.pdf Tips on Preparing for and Applying to Graduate School http://www.theleadershipalliance.org/pdf/tips.pdf Careers in Science and Engineering: A Student Planning Guide to Grad School and Beyond (1996). Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) http://books.nap.edu/books/0309053935/html/11.html Acknowledgements:
The Doctoral Degree • A doctorate or doctoral degree is • An academic degree of the highest level. • Recognition of the candidate as an equal by the university faculty under which he studied. • Usually research doctorates are awarded in recognition of academic research • Is of a publishable standard (even if not actually published) • Represents at least a modest contribution to human knowledge • Is usually assessed by submission and defense of a doctoral thesis or dissertation, though in some cases a coherent body of published literature can be accepted instead. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graduate_school
Nomenclature – Getting a Doctorate • Doctoral training • Training towards doctorate • Pre-doctoral training / Predoctoral training • Graduate Training • Combined Degrees • MD/Ph.D. • MSTP (Medical Scientist Training Program) • DDS/Ph.D. • DVM/Ph.D., etc
Research Academic Basic Clinical Government Industry/Pharmaceutical Teaching All levels Journalism Technical writing Publishing Intellectual property Patent law Public policy/Government Museum curating Investment banking Research admin Educational admin Grants admin Program admin Public Health Independent consulting … and much more Where can a Doctorate Take You?
Training for a Doctorate • Begins with academic basic training as a research scientist, in an academic institution • When you begin doctoral training, you should at least KNOW that you want one!
Where Doctoral Training Takes Place • Look for “Graduate Programs” • At “Universities” • http://www.utsa.edu/graduate/ • At Academic Medical Centers/Schools • http://www.uthscsa.edu/gsbs/ • At Academic Veterinary Schools • http://www.cvm.tamu.edu/resgrad/grad/index.shtml • NIH Graduate Partners • In classes at University • All or part of research at NIH • http://gpp.nih.gov/
More on NIH Graduate Partnerships • Bioinformatics - Boston University • Biomedical Sciences - George Washington University • Biomedical Sciences - Georgetown University • Biophysics - University of Maryland, College Park • Cell, Molecular, Developmental Biology & Biophysics - Johns Hopkins University • Cell Motility & Cytoskeleton - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Immunology - University of Pennsylvania • Molecular Basis for Infectious Diseases - NIAID/RML & University of Montana • Neuroscience - Brown University • Sensory & Communication Neurosciences - NIDCD & University of Maryland, College Park • Structural Biology - New York University • Partnerships Combining Research & Clinical Training • Combined MD & PhD Training: Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) on the NIH Campus • DVM/PhD: Molecular Pathology - NCI & NCSU/MSU/UIUC/UMD - requires DVM • Nursing/PhD: Nursing & Biobehavioral Research - NINR & JHU / OHSU / UCSF / UofI / UPitt / UofU - requires BSN or MSN • International (For US Citizens) • Biomedical Sciences - University of Oxford (England) • Health Sciences - University of Cambridge (England) • Neuroscience - Karolinska Institute (Sweden)
Not All Programs are Equal I • Information for Prospective Students • Preparation for a Broad Range of Careers • Teaching and TA Preparation • Professional Development • Career Guidance & Placement Services • Controlling Time to Degree • Mentoring • Program Climate • Overall Satisfaction http://cresmet.asu.edu/nagps/getWeights.php?deptSet=1&deptType=124National Association of Graduate Professional Students
Not all Programs are Equal II • Quality of Faculty • Grants • RO1 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/r01.htm • Publications • Nature, Science • Awards • Nobel Prizes • National Academy of Sciences Members • http://www.nationalacademies.org/ • Where alumni end up
Not all Programs are Equal III • Where is someone doing what you want to do!???
What you Need to Prepare for Doctoral Education • Information! • Is doctoral education worth the trouble to you? • What are your career options? • Time • Costs • Goals/Strengths, etc. • What type of credentials must you have? • What field do you want to pursue? • What school/program will you apply to? • How do you successfully apply? • Start while a Junior or sooner!
Looking into Career Options • Is Science a good career? • Yes…if you love it. • Funding currently tight • Always waxes and wanes
Costs • Delay entry to career • Engineering – likely not make up missed income • Biology – Likely will make up missed income • Standard of Living • Live on 21 – 27K salary • Some add in loans • Health Insurance? • Family hardship • Location issues • Relationships • Can be hard- long hours • Can delay childbearing
Standard Ph.D. Training Path Academics Post Bacc Research Academic Postdoc Government Postdoc Government Undergrad Studies Doctoral Studies Industry Postdoc Industry M.S. Degree Continue Education Other Career Other Work
Building Your Credentials- • Look at what Graduate Schools Look for, and do it…
General - What Doctoral Programs WantSomeone who will successfully complete the program! • Has background required for success • Coursework/foundation in field • Can survive coursework- GPA/GRE • Research preparation • Publications • Presentations • Knows what they are getting into • Has motivation required for success • Programs, summers, background • Has skills or potential to perform activities of science • Can reason critically/analytically (understands and extends research). • Can communicate professionally • Can balance research and coursework • Will assist in school’s research efforts
General - What Doctoral Programs WantSomeone who will successfully complete the program! • Fits well with their program • Has compatible research interests with faculty • Has potential to eventually run own lab • Will impact “energy” of school • May make great breakthroughs for them • Will be a good representative for their program, forever • Increase the program’s diversity • Ultimately: • Will be a good financial investment • Will be a good time investment
What is a “Good” Field? • What inspires you? • Matches your passion? • Matches your values? • Matches your favored place to work? • What do you think will be “hot” in 5 years? • Biodefense? • Microbiology • Cell Biology • Health? • Age-related illnesses (in neuro, diabetes, cancer, etc) • Biomedical applications of Genetics? • Drug development – Pharmacology/toxicology • Immunology – good for future biotech industry… • Computational Biology • ?????
Neurobiology/Neuroscience Physiology Microbiology/Immunology/Endocrinology Cell/Molec./Dev. Biology Biochemistry/Biological chemistry Biomedical Engineering Chemistry (various sorts) Pathology/Molecular Toxicology Pharmacology Radiological Sciences Biostatistics Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology Oral Biology Biological and Medical Informatics Biophysics Genetics Pharmacogenomics Forestry Integrative Biology Molecular and Biochemical Nutrition Plant Biology Vision Science And Many MORE!! Graduate School Fields/Programs
About Choosing a Field • Some schools require application to particular fields • Some allow general admission, and a student chooses which program • Eventual career/field is still flexible (postdocs)
Work in Laboratory Summer Programs/Internships Conferences Advertisements Your Mentor Graduate Fairs Online http://iiswinprd01.petersons.com/GradChannel/ http://www.gradschools.com http://www.cgsnet.org/ResourcesForStudents/sources.htm http://www.graduateschool.com/index.cfm http://www.schoolguides.com/ http://www.phds.org/rankings/ http://www.justgarciahill.org/webgradprograms.asp Visiting Professors Professional Societies Libraries Ratings Guides College Career Center Recruiters Campus visits Speak to Grad Student Direct Request: Application Catalogues Brochures Grad admissions apps Financial aid apps Gathering Information about Individual Schools
Specific School’s Pre-requisites –Can You Get In? • Entrance Requirements • GPA • GRE • Courses • Experience • Research • Publications/presentations • Your personal characteristics/motivations • Other • Number of positions • Number of applicants • Interviews • Number given • Funded or unfunded
School’s Qualities I Do You Want to Get in? • Mentor Pool • One particular? (no!) • Several potential? • Flexibility to change directions • Ability as educators and mentors • Ability as scientists • Publications • Citations • Network/connections • Degree Statistics • Course requirements for PhD • Qualifying exams? • Graduate placement (last five yrs) • Industry, academic, government?
School’s Qualities II Do You Want to Get in? • Location • Size, schools, job for spouse, cost of living, transportation • Size of School • Total size, # Doctoral students • Campus environment • Academic • Training Record (where are past graduates?) • Time to degree • % that complete degree • Library and computers • Equipment • Programs for retention • Course offerings • Cultural and social activities • Diversity of student population • Degree requirements • Courses, research rotations, examinations
Financial Aid Considerations Programs should pay tuition and basic living expenses Med Insurance is important! May promise one year or more of support Must apply on time to obtain support Institutional (from university) Fellowships and Traineeships – payment for study Research Assistantship – Payment for work Teaching assistantships – Payment for teaching Non-Institutional Why? Prestige, higher stipend, sophistication, portable, flexibility in selecting advisor NSF Pre-doctoral, HHMI Pre-doctoral, Ford Foundation Doctoral for Minorities, GEM Pre-doctoral http://mbrs.utsa.edu/html/Resources.htm Schools Quality IIIFunding
More Information – Visit a Training Program • If applying, then visit! • May be invited without app • Money is often available for minority students to visit • Can meet with faculty as well as see campus! • Talk to Dr. Taylor to see if she knows someone at the university…