Getting a PhD is the first big step towards a career in academia, but it can often be a difficult step to complete. There are endless hurdles just waiting to trip up the unprepared grad student, so Jeffrey Glass and co-workers from Duke University, the University of Alabama and RTI International have published an essay in Advanced Science with advice and tips on how to avoid these pitfalls and have a successful and productive PhD experience. The guide is designed to help new grad students adjust to working in the scientific community, and to prepare them for the challenges ahead.
While the graduate student experience can vary widely between institutions, the important key elements are the same everywhere. Students need to know about the scientific process, understand the importance of publishing papers and attending conferences, and be prepared for the sometimes demanding nature of the job. Glass and co-workers cover topics such as how to stay safe in the lab, write successful scientific papers, manage coauthors, and network at conferences. A good understanding of these issues is essential for all graduate students and will help to ensure that the next generation of scientists can produce high quality and exciting new research.
Advanced Science is a new journal from the team behind Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, and Small. The journal is fully Open Access and is free to read now at www.advancedscience.com.