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Friday, May 14, 2010

May Entry

Something I’ve found very interesting about my experience in grad school is the type of people you find in academia. There are a lot of consistencies across individuals as you might expect at this level of education. For example, I could create a very long list of the runners, yoga practitioners, weight lifters, martial artists, soccer players or cyclists among the NSP students. The list of people in the program who make regular healthy eating decisions (in spite of pizza Monday) is likely equally as long and highly overlapping. Perhaps I’m generalizing a bit too much but the NSP students seem to be a fairly fit and healthy bunch. The consistency of this behavior pattern makes me curious; what other patterns may be found?

NSP students:
When did you start “taking care of yourself”? Gradschool? Undergrad? Highschool? Were you always involved in athletics (really broadly speaking) even from a young age?
Are your parents’ regular exercisers?

Do you think health and fitness were/are as much a priority to your advisor as they are to you or is this change seen mostly in the current generation of graduate students? I think the argument could me made both ways.

I’m just interested in hearing about the motivation and history here since we all work in an industry which pressures (to varying degrees) one to spend every possible waking hour working. If we all skipped the workouts and just grabbed McDonalds on the way into the lab would we excel and flourish or would rot set in?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March Theme & Entry 1

We recently had a lively research forum discussion about funding in science. For me one of the most interesting ideas that came up was that of refining the grant application process to eliminate personal biases.

Dr. Kreulen prompted us to continue thinking about funding in science and I would like to continue the discussion here on the blog.

I will start by saying that if we were attempting to improve the grant review process; I think the first step is to decide, in very loose terms, by what criteria a grant should and shout not be reviewed. Can we form a list of factors that should be considered and a list of factors that we would prefer not be considered? Some items might require a bit of explanation and that’s fine. This is just brainstorming. I will start and I encourage everyone to continue the lists in their comments:

Grant should be review based on:

Quality of idea – Will the proposed experiments contribute significant, meaningful content to the scientific community regard (insert granting institutions particular agenda here).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January Theme

The topic for this monthw as certainly easy enough to come up with; what are your science resolutions for the new year?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November Theme

The program has recently been talking a lot about the state of academic jobs and the job market for PhDs in general. It has often been a depressing conversation.

So what I’d like to see for November (and it conveniently sort of fits a “thankful” theme) is comments and entries from the professors in the NSP telling us what they like most about their job. What makes it worth it? What aspect of their job gives them the most satisfaction? I urge participants to be honest and forthright here. Having 5 entries that say “The teaching and training of young scientists is my reason for living” doesn’t provide a very wide range of things to look forward to.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September Theme

This month the NSP blog isn’t going to have a theme so much as a… goal?
The goal is to get a job. No matter what delusions you may have had when you entered graduate school, upon your exit you are face with the fact that your age:income ratio is not anywhere near most of your friends and it becomes apparent that you need a job. What kind of job? Where that job will be (I’m still hoping for the Caribbean)? What will it pay?? Those are topics for future conversations. What I’d like to begin now is a collec-tion of job hunting resources. If you know of a website where PhDs might want to look for jobs, post it in the comments. Do you know a company that is hiring? Is there a page that helps neuroscientists find jobs overseas? Do you have some general advice about the process? Let us know!

Think of this as a brain dump. Any ideas are welcome. Over time we’ll sort through them and filter it down to the most useful, but for now just comment away.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July Theme

I thought about doing something with a patriotic slant this month, but that seems a bit trite. So I think I’ll stick with the goofyness established by the last theme and ask this:
Once you’ve made it as an academic researcher, you tend to have a pretty long title; Barnett Rosenberg Professor of Neuroscience at Michigan State University, Professor and Director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge are just two examples. So what is your title eventually going to be? Go ahead and send your answer to Molly as an entry since these will be relatively short.

July Theme - Entry 1

Ideally, my title will eventually be something like this:
Endless Supply of Money Endowed, Official Barbeque Pit Master, Captain of Awesomness and Director of the Amygdala, Autism, Astrocytes and Anything Else He Wants to Study Center at the University of the Bahamas


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MSU Neuroscience on Facebook!

Look to your left and you will find that MSU Neuroscience has a facebook page!! We also have a fan page, which you can become a Fan of, so we can all keep posted and also get our name out there (what better way to look like an awesome and fun program than to have a social networking site on our side!).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June Theme

This grass is always greener in another campus building? The theme this month is simple; what field would you strongly consider getting a PhD in other than neuroscience, and why?

June Theme - Entry 1

Is there a PhD in cooking? I would strongly consider culinary school as another option. I realized that cooking combines my two favorite things, which are science and creativity. It’s actually quiet a rare combination and it tends to make me go into a zone where al my neurons are humming along and I’m quiet content. I can fiddle with formulas and write down what I did and then decide on what size and color plate to use, how to arrange the product, etc.
I guess architecture and some other fields might provide a similar combination of the logical/rational and the creative/artistic, but I imagine that much of the science in architecture is left up to engineers rather than the building designer. Maybe I’m wrong about that.
Anyway, I’d figure out some way to get a PhD in cooking. Then I’d ask Alton Brown to sign my diploma.