A Guide to Academia: Getting into and Surviving Grad School, Postdocs and a Research Job
By: Prosanta Chakrabarty (author)Paperback
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A Guide to Academia is a handbook for all those individuals thinking seriously about going to graduate school. Written by an author with extensive experience navigating the academic world, the book explains all the steps and potential bumps in the road that a student might encounter as they take the plunge into academia. Each chapter begins with a section called the "hard truth," which will help students determine if they are on the right path. Starting with an undergraduate student looking for a graduate school, the reader is taken on a journey up the academic ladder through graduate studies, a postdoctoral fellowship and an assistant professorship. Each chapter gives advice on not only how to survive the current stage but how to get to the next stage quickly. Enhanced with material from the author's own job applications and interview presentations, A Guide to Academia provides concrete examples of the tools needed for a successful career in academia.
Prosanta Chakrabarty, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University and Curator of Fishes at the LSU Museum of Natural Science.
Preface xi Acknowledgments xiii 1 Preparing for Entering Academia 3 The Hard Truth About the Academic Life 3 Getting a Head Start as an Undergraduate Volunteer 5 The Undergraduate CV 7 Finding Your Research Interests 7 Summary 8 2 Applying for Graduate School 9 The Hard Truth About Applying to Grad Schools 9 Master's Degree versus Ph.D. 11 Apply to People not Programs; and Finding a Good Fit 12 Contacting Professors 14 The Graduate Application 16 Statement Letter 17 Graduate Record Exam (GRE) 19 Write a CV 20 Reference Letters 21 Get aWebsite/Cards 21 Recruitment Weekend 22 Summary 23 3 Graduate School 25 The Hard Truth About Grad School 25 Seminars 28 Tool Up Early 35 The Notebook and the Pencil 36 Different Kinds of Advisors 36 Candidacy 37 Working with Other Graduate Students 40 Classes 41 Publications 42 Being a Teaching Assistant 45 Tips on Managing Your Time 46 Picking a Dissertation Topic and Writing Your Thesis 51 Choosing a Committee 52 Grants and Thesis Proposals 53 Meetings/Societies 54 Knowing When to Finish 56 Summary 57 4 Finding a Postdoctoral Position 61 The Hard Truth About Finding a Postdoc 61 Types of Postdocs 63 What a Postdoc Does 65 A Postdoc That's Not a Postdoc 65 Summary 66 5 Postdoctoral Positions 67 The Hard Truth About Postdocs 67 Being the New Guy or Gal in the Lab 68 Advisors 69 Running Out of Time 71 Summary 73 6 Applying for Jobs 75 Applying for Jobs 75 Applications 76 Job Interviews 78 Research Presentations 83 Typical Questions You Are Asked in a Job Interview 85 Not Getting the Interview/Job 86 Getting an Offer 87 Summary 88 7 Assistant Professor 89 The Hard Truth of Being an Assistant Professor 89 Negotiating Start-Up 90 Other Considerations Before You Actually Start Your New Job 93 How to Spend Your Money and What to Expect 96 The First Year 97 Hiring People (Technicians, Students) 98 Finding Graduate Students 100 Making a New Course 102 Service 105 Getting Your First Grant 106 Getting Papers Out 109 Mentoring Committees, Reviews 110 Tenure Package and Reviews 110 Summary 112 8 Special Considerations forWomen and Minorities, and Balancing Work and Family 115 The Hard Truth About Being a Minority in Science 115 The Hard Truth About Being aWoman in Science 116 The Two-Body Problem 119 Balancing Work and Family 119 Appendices 121 1 Example Undergraduate Curriculum Vitae 123 2 Example Graduate Student CV 126 3 Example Thesis Proposal 131 4 Example Job Cover Letter 138 5 Example Research Interests for Job Application 141 6 Example C.V. for Job Application 146 7 Example Teaching Statement and Philosophy for Job Application 154 8 Example Extra Statement for Job Application (Curatorial Statement) 157 9 Example Chalk Talk for Job Interview 160 10 Example Start-UpWish List 162 11 Review Package Summary Presentation 165 Glossary 167 Index 173
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