A Ph.D. Is Not Enough: A Guide to Survival in Science

A Ph.D. Is Not Enough: A Guide to Survival in Science

A Ph.D. Is Not Enough: A Guide to Survival in Science

A Ph.D. Is Not Enough: A Guide to Survival in Science

Synopsis

Despite your graduate education, brainpower, and technical prowess, your career in scientific research is far from assured. Permanent positions are scarce, science survival is rarely part of formal graduate training, and a good mentor is hard to find. This exceptional volume explains what stands between you and fulfilling long-term research career. Bringing the key survival skills into focus, A Ph. D. Is Not Enough! proposes a rational approach to establishing yourself as a scientist. It offers sound advice of selecting a thesis or postdoctoral adviser, choosing among research jobs in academia, government laboratories, and industry, preparing for an employment interview, and defining a research program. This book will help you make your oral presentations effective, your journal articles compelling, and your grant proposals successful. A Ph. D. Is Not Enough should be required reading for anyone on the threshold of a career in science.

Excerpt

What This Book Is About

My scientific career almost never happened. I emerged from graduate school with a Ph.D. and excellent technical skills, but with little understanding of how to survive in science. in this I was not unusual. Survival skills are rarely part of the graduate curriculum. Many professional scientists believe that "good" students find their way on their own, while the remainder cannot be helped. This justifies neglect, and perhaps not incidentally, reduces work load. There may be some sense to the Darwinian selection process implicit in "benign neglect," but on the whole, failing to teach science survival results in wasting a great deal of student talent and time, and not infrequently makes a mess of students' lives.

Since science survival skills are rarely taught in a direct way, most young scientists need a mentor. Some will find one in graduate school, or as a postdoctoral researcher, or perhaps as an assistant professor. Those who do not, to paraphrase Mencken, have an excellent chance of moving from graduate study to scientific retirement without passing through a career. the unmentored can only succeed . . .

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