Start-of-the-year advice for everyone!

Over the years we’ve done lots of advice posts on all sorts of things, aimed at everyone from prospective grad students to postdocs to faculty. Here are links to some advice posts that are relevant for the start of the academic year. This is just a sample; see the “advice” category or use the search bar for more!

For prospective grad students:

Here’s a bunch of advice from Meg for prospective grad students in ecology, and their mentors. And here’s some advice from me on choosing an M.Sc. vs. a Ph.D., choosing an advisor vs. choosing a program, and the importance of contacting prospective advisors in advance of applying (and contacting them in the right way). Check out the comment threads too, they’re full of win.

For grad students:

If you’re just starting grad school, one of the first things you’ll need to do is develop a research proposal. Here’s some advice on good ideas for a research proposal (good ones do tend to run to type), and here are some advice on common mistakes to avoid. Note that the two posts are a pair and you should read both. You can’t avoid the mistakes described in the second post simply by trying to follow the advice in the first post. And here’s Brian’s advice on how to survive your comprehensive exam.

For postdocs:

Here’s Meg’s big compilation of advice for those of you who are on the academic job market. Here’s the straight dope on how faculty search committees work.

For faculty:

If you’re brand new, here’s some advice on the postdoc to PI transition. See the “teaching” category for lots of teaching tips, such as Meg’s two posts on the use of clickers in the classroom. And here’s Meg’s ongoing compilation of videos for teaching ecology.

For others:

If you’re an ecologist looking to pursue a non-academic career, we have a series of posts from ecologists who’ve gone on to do all sorts of things. Here’s the first one.

5 thoughts on “Start-of-the-year advice for everyone!

  1. Everything except the grad-to-postdoc transition! Any advice for one about to leave the safe nest of grad school, or are postdoc positions so idiosyncratic that they defy generalizations?

    • Thanks for pointing undergrads our way, but “many” might be too strong a word. 🙂 According to the reader poll we did a while back, only a very small fraction (maybe 2-3%?) of our readers are undergrads.

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