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?
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.
Oh hi there! I see you're interested in coming to Caltech Chemistry or at least want to learn about the Caltech Graduate Programs. I'm assuming that you stopped by our Graduate Program Website before heading this way, but perhaps just got a bit overwhelmed with all the information university websites seem to throw at you… Continue reading Caltech’s Chemistry Graduate Program
Science is boring. This is probably a phrase you heard at least once in your life. Most likely, it came from the mouths of those who didn’t particularly enjoy science or didn’t do well in science-related classes. It was a comment that us scientists (or soon-to-be scientists) were always quick to defend. Maybe a little too… Continue reading Science isn’t Glamorous: A reason to unveil our struggles with science
I was thinking about just skipping this week’s blog post because I’ve been in the sourest mood this week. Many things have gone wrong and it seems that every day there’s been a new problem. As such, my first attempt to write this post became a whiny, complaining mess which in my opinion was not… Continue reading Looking on the Brighter Side: Lessons from the Field (Part 3)
The field is tough. This whole blog post could probably be summarized by that one sentence. In fact, I might as well stop here. But I won’t. Because I’m mostly stress writing at this point. But anyway, if you haven’t done field work, take my word for it, while it can be a very rewarding… Continue reading Becoming MacGyver: Lessons from the Field (Part 2)
...Sorry, I just really wanted to use that title. Anyway! Hello my Internet friends! I come to you from the land called Michigan while doing some field work with my research lab. I can tell you it’s been quite an adventure for several reasons (which I have conveniently listed in bullet points). For one, this… Continue reading Sciencing across the US (Lessons from the Field)
I finally did it! Here is another science post discussing the role of plant emissions (specifically isoprene) have on our air quality and climate. Admittedly, this is a very brief summary, as isoprene chemistry is currently a hot research topic and there were simply too many avenues to discuss on a simple introductory post. However,… Continue reading Plants and Their Role in the Atmosphere
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
I feel like every other blog post I write starts off with the same theme: grad school is such a weird time in a person’s life. After all, you’re simultaneously trying to make it as an adult (pay bills, start families, etc.), yet are still forced to live the student life of crappy wages, weird… Continue reading When Grad Students Aren’t Considered Employees