EEB graduate student orientation seminar

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EEB 5100 (Planning for a career in EEB) - FALL 2018

This 1 credit seminar course is intended to provide orientation information to incoming EEB graduate students, although it is open to other students; we strongly advise new students to take it. The course will meet for about 75 min, once a week, with 2-3 faculty or a small panel of other EEB-connected people discussing a given topic each week.

Meeting time: Tuesdays 3:45-5

Location: Bamford Room (Torrey 171B)

Course coordinators: Elizabeth Jockusch, Chris Elphick

Grading: Officially, letter grades are assigned in this course; in our minds, it's graded on an S/U basis (but there are significant paperwork hurdles to doing that officially). Regular attendance and participation constitutes satisfactory performance, for which students will earn an 'A'.

Tentative syllabus (subject to change)

Date Presenters Topic Resources Notes
Aug 28 Kent Holsinger What do you aim to accomplish in grad school (and beyond)? Kent's presentation on career paths

EEB graduate employment
University of Michigan PhD outcomes website
University of Michigan MS outcomes website
Inside Higher Ed Career Advice
The Versatile PhD
UConn Career Services for grads
UConn National Fellowships Office

NSF fellowships
Sept 4 Carl Schlichting, Elizabeth Jockusch University/department structure and resources; Degree ontogenies

Carl and Elizabeth's presentation (ontogenies and resources)

Homework: web site assignment will be distributed by Paul Lewis
Sept 11 Paul Lewis Communicating your work: web sites Pdficon small.gif P. Lewis presentation

Homework: complete your web site and send a link to Paul (cc to Chris and Elizabeth); track the hours you spend on work this week (for discussion next week)
Sept 18 Jill Wegrzyn,
Andy Bush,
Jason Lech
Work-life balance In defense of downtime

Greedy institutions, overwork, and work-life balance (Sullivan 2013)

Homework: come up with three questions for next week's grad student panel - email to Chris, before Monday morning
Sept 25 Grad panel: Sam Apgar, Dipanjana Dalui, Kevin Keegan, Katie Weeks
Courses, committees, TAing, getting started Panel discussion: come with questions Homework: identify, for next week's discussion, a person or activity that greatly influenced your learning
Oct 2 Louise Lewis,
Annette Evans
Developing as a teacher Louise and Holly's presentation on teaching

Discussion participation rubric
Reading on teaching innovations
Graduate Certificate in College Instruction

Homework: Identify, for next week's discussion, 3-5 characteristics of good scientific questions
Oct 9 Kurt Schwenk,
Dan Bolnick
Formulating good scientific questions Janine and Kurt's presentation on choosing questions

Kurt and Yaowu's handout on choosing research questions
Alon 2009 on choosing good scientific problems
Schwartz 2008 on the importance of stupidity in research
E. O. Wilson on scientific discovery
Founding of the NSF: text pdf
Good and less good reasons for choosing a question

Homework: come up with three questions for next week's alumni panel - email to Chris, before Monday morning
Oct 16 Alumni panel:

Sacha Spector,
Erin King,
Krissa Skogen,
Justin Davis,
Sarah Bois

Careers outside academia Ecological careers at NGOs
Compilation of readings on a range of career paths
Homework: Identify, for next week's discussion, 3-5 qualities that you look for in a mentor
Oct 23 Chris Simon,
Sarah Knutie
Mentoring

Mentoring discussion whiteboard Nature: Good mentoring
Science Careers: Getting mentoring
Why mentor undergraduates?
Managing your advisor
Mentoring discussion
Mentoring plans

Homework: Conduct a Pivot search (click here) related to your research interests; identify at least 3 grant programs (excluding NSF) where you can apply for funding
Oct 30 Carlos Garcia-Robledo,
Jeff Seeman,
Anna Sjodin
How does research funding work

Carlos's funding presentation
Funding info from Eric Schultz
EEBedia grants page (needs updating!)

Homework: come up with three questions for next week's panel - email to Elizabeth, before Monday morning
Nov 6 Grad panel: Becca Colby, Eliza Grames, Diler Haji, Andrew Stillman Getting started in research Homework: Identify 3 journals and 1 annual conference specific to your discipline; look up the impact factor and read the instructions to authors for each of the journals.
Nov 13 Morgan Tingley,

Robi Bagchi

Communicating your work: conferences and publishing

Robi's publishing advice
Morgan's conference advice
Getting a speaker award
How to network
How to give a good talk
Guide to Peer Review (British Ecological Society)
Joy of Peer Review

Homework: do all of the following
  • Identify an ethical dilemma you have faced during work/school that you are comfortable sharing with the class
  • Read UConn's code of conduct, especially the Research Principles section
  • Look up the code of conduct for one professional society, meeting or academic institution of your choice
Nov 20 THANKSGIVING BREAK
Nov 27 Pam Diggle,
Gene Likens
Research ethics and regulations Nature Editorial on research misconduct

Biological Conservation Editorial on coauthorship
Pdficon small.gifPam on research ethics
UConn RCR training

Homework: Identify a piece of science outreach that has influenced you in some way
Dec 4 Margaret Rubega,
Dave Wagner,
Tanisha Williams
Broader impacts, social media, and communication outside academia NSF letter on broader impacts

NSF web site on broader impacts
How Broad Are Our Broader Impacts? An Analysis
How The Culture of Science Engagement is Evolving (Read Exec Summary and 1st four pages of Intro)
Pdficon small.gif D Wagner presentation

Useful readings: Some modest advice for graduate students: Steve Stearns and Ray Huey
The full exchange is on Ray Huey's page: http://faculty.washington.edu/hueyrb/prospective.php

Stephen Stearns's later reflections: http://stearnslab.yale.edu/designs-learning

Nature editorial on life outside of academia
Nature perspective on choosing alternative careers

Advice for new graduate students

Advice on a range of topics from Science magazine