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

Please subscribe to the podcast and check out our associated website:

Also feel free to send an email and let us know what you liked or didn’t—or if you have any questions or potential show topics at:

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
Share | Download
Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App