When I applied to the NSF Fellowship the first two times, I was just in the midst of switching fields and starting grad school. As such, I didn't have a research project, nor did I have any real knowledge of what kind of research was going on in my new field. So, when fellowship season came around and I was was asked to write a "novel" research proposal, I just about panicked. How would I ever come up with legitimate research question in a field I was unfamiliar with?
Back in my senior year of college, I took a graduate class that required me to summarize one or two research articles a week. Though I absolutely hated it at a time (mostly because I hadn't yet figured out how to read research papers yet), I found that it became an invaluable skill. What better way to make sure that you understand a research paper than condensing its many pages into a measly paragraph or two?
I have been doing a lot of reading lately. A lot of reading. I've been scouring through the literature so I can have a solid foundation before/while I write my NSF fellowship proposal for this year...the last year I can apply. However, as I've been reading, I've noticed that my methods of going through my many, many piles of papers has changed since this time last year.
So, I'm like a month late to the party, but April 15th was the final deadline for most US PhD students to officially accept a grad school offer. Congrats, you guys! In a few short months, you will begin your grad school adventure! However, the big decisions aren't over. After all, not all of you were… Continue reading On Choosing Research Groups & Grad Advisors
So two weekends ago, I had to help a couple lab members get ready for their research field campaign. It was quite a learning experience, if I do say so myself, especially because I will have to be doing the same for my field work in a few short months. Anyway, because I found the experience… Continue reading Lessons from Packing for Field Research
"Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought."~Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Hello everyone! I wanted to present to you what I hope to become the "super duper guide to all that is undergrad research"! I know that before I entered college, I had absolutely no idea that undergrad research… Continue reading Undergrad Research FAQ
I remember one of the most daunting tasks I had as an undergrad researcher was reading science articles. I could just not sit down and read one, much less understand what they were trying to tell me! It's like it went in one ear and out the other... or the sight-seeing equivalent I guess. Well,… Continue reading How to Read (Science) Journal Articles