Your intrepid hosts are four PhD scientists that have gotten their PhDs in different scientific fields and schools; and all come from varied and disparate backgrounds to get different points of view in order to best bring you “the real PhDeal”. Your hosts are Dr. Luis (Lou) Estevez - PhD in Materials Science and Engineering (Cornell University), Elizabeth Kautz - PhD in Materials Engineering (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Elias Nakouzi - PhD in Physical Chemistry (Florida State University), and Rajan Patel - PhD in Chemical Engineering (Missouri University of Science & Technology).
Join us each week (new podcasts drop Monday) as we try our best to handle various topics involved in pursuing a STEM PhD and try and give our best advice, stories, strategies and mutual commiseration of choosing this career path
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All the music in our episodes is done by Luis Estevez.
- Topic: “How to choose your school, your department, and your Advisor for your PhD?”
- Which of the three do you think is most important?
- What type of research should you do on these before you choose?
- Choosing an advisor: New Assistant Professor Vs. Well-established Tenured Professor
- Hands-off Vs. Hand-on types; post doc heavy vs students/undergrads heavy
- Individual stories and advice about the panel’s path to their advisor and research group
- How to gauge an advisor and their research group for the non-science stuff (talk with current students, etc.)
- What happens if you and your advisor don’t get along?
- Choosing your school:
- Small school Vs. big school—will facilities play a role?
- Go to visitation weekend
- What’s the town like? This could be a chance to check out a town for a 5ish years
- What’s the cost of living? Can you actually buy a house for 5 years? Finding roommates?
- Choosing your Department:
- Can you survive in a department that wasn’t your major as an undergrad? Can you thrive?
- Unique systems of various schools
- There can be a lot fuzziness and overlap within certain departments—especially multi-disciplinary ones like materials science
- Alternate tips from the panel like having a “back-up advisor” once you choose your school/department
- An Advisor “Aunt/Uncle” can be a valuable resource if you can find one