To future members of the lab: Your success is my success and it’s important to me that you enjoy this rather difficult process. Below you will find a collection of helpful, sometimes brutally honest, and sometimes reassuring words about graduate school applications and finding your way through the beginning of your research careers.

Preparing for and succeeding in graduate school

  1. On contemplating a Ph.D. *read these first

  2. On the application process

  3. On preparing (mentally and intellectually) for and pursuing a graduate degree

  4. On being new(ish) to research

Becoming a good writer and enjoying it

There’s no getting away from writing a lot in your scientific career…in fact, as scientists we are also professional writers and one of our biggest responsibilities is to effectively communicate what we learn to the broader community. I’ve come to embrace three truths about writing that I hope will help you too. 1- You have to be a good reader to be a good writer. 2- Like any talent or skill, writing requires routine practice. 3- Writing is never easy, but you can learn to enjoy the challenge.

For further inspiration, here are my favorite writings about writing.

  1. Jan Pechenik’s A Short Guide to Writing About Biology

  2. Joshua Shimel’s Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded

  3. Anne Lamott’s “Shitty First Drafts” and Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life