Advice for graduate students

Not all students have access to guidance on how to navigate the unique world of academia. Importantly, equity and diversity in academia are hurt by this uneven playing field. To help address the situation, I am providing the following documents to explain some aspects of academic research.

If there are other topics you are interested in, or other mechanisms you think would be useful to disseminate this content, e-mail me your idea! I will continue developing these documents, and so would appreciate your feedback on what is most effective. I am particularly interested in assisting students who must overcome systemic inqualities and racism in order to advance and feel welcome in their academic institution. Please reach out if I can be of assistance.

 

General advice for graduate students and young scholars

 

Writing

Being a productive writer

The process of writing a paper

New: Paper formatting advice

 

Presentations

Given that presentations are a more visual and verbal medium, I have created videos with thoughts on this topic.

General strategies for preparing presentations

Creating effective graphics

 

Working with your advisor

Advisee expectations

This document was developed for my own graduate advisees, and so some items are specific to my research group and university. But I think that any graduate student would benefit from reviewing these guidelines and being thoughtful about how to engage with their advisor.

Draft meeting agenda

It may not be clear to you what you should talk about during a meeting with your advisor. This is a draft agenda that you can use to plan your meeting. I've provided it in MS Word format so that you can easily edit it for your own use.

 

Negative proposal review comments

This is not advice, as much as reassurance that nobody avoids negative feedback. Role models and colleagues that you admire have certainly gotten similar feedback. Do not take critical reviews of your work as evidence that you have no good ideas.   

  

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to Michael Scott, Danielle Vidal, Erica Fischer, Oregon State University Civil and Construction Engineering's Write Club, and my research group for thought-provoking decisions that led to the launch of this effort.

Thanks to Gitanjali Bhattacharjee, Francisco Galvis, Anne Hulsey, Sabine Loos, and Rodrigo Silva Lopez for helpful suggestions and feedback on the above documents.

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