New Grad Student Advice and Resources I wish I would have known about…

As a new school year starts up and rears its ugly head of opportunity, I wanted to put out some info for new students that I wish I would have found earlier (or that someone else had pointed out to me). For now it is going to be a small list of resources already available. I might get into more specific resources and articles later that others might have found as useful as I have. But today we stick to the short list. Although there are multitudes of lists and resources out there for new graduate students, I feel like it is necessary to create another list. It is a meta-list of such lists.

And by no means is this list comprehensive, but it should be a good start for students looking for answers to common questions or just looking to fall through the rabbit hole and lose some time procrastinating while feeling like they are getting something done. This might get broken up into a couple posts where I will end up discussing not just these resources but more specific articles and books that students might benefit from reading. I am hoping this might end up a separate permanent page on my blog for easy update and reference.

Hope it helps some folks out there. I know the resources I present here have really helped me.

Part 1:

Here are some great resources from people that have already accumulated a wealth of resources:

Dr. Hall of Indiana University (where I attended undergrad) has a wonderful (and it’s pretty) lab webpage [http://www.indiana.edu/~halllab/grad-student-resources.html] with resources on the following:

  • Advice on Being a graduate student
  • The transition to becoming a professional
  • Grant writing
  • Getting a job
  • Advice on writing
  • Poster and presentation advice
  • Thoughts on reviewing
  • Teaching advice
  • And lists of other websites of resources including:

The webpage of Dr. Baskett of U.C. Davis [http://www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/baskett/links.html] has an incredible amount of resources that you should check out, including stuff on:

  • Science writing
  • Authorship
  • Peer Review
  • Grant writing
  • Science careers
  • Presenting and assembling talks and posters
  • Teaching

There are a couple blogs with compilations of “How-To” or “Advice” posts that should be consulted for loads of info too:

Dynamic Ecology’s compilation – a project of Dr. Fox of the University of Calgary
https://dynamicecology.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/advice-compilation/

eco-evolutionary dynamics – a collaborative blog about ecology and evolution and this is the latest (as of writing this) post in the their “How to” series:
http://ecoevoevoeco.blogspot.com/2015/08/how-to-be-postdoc.html

Previous “How to” posts on this blog:
How to pick a study system
How to do statistics
How to write/present your science
How to choose a journal (+ part 2)
How to be a reviewer/editor
How to get into graduate school
How to succeed in graduate school (+ part 2)
How to respond to reviews


One of My PI’s, Dr. McIntyre of TTU has a good page [http://nancymcintyre.weebly.com/] with many resources on more specific subjects she is teaching, like:

Landscape ecology: http://www.biol.ttu.edu/faculty/nmcintyre/Landscape%20Ecology/default.htm
Ornithology: http://www.biol.ttu.edu/faculty/nmcintyre/Ornithology/default.htm
Community ecology: http://www.biol.ttu.edu/faculty/nmcintyre/Community%20Ecology/default.htm

But more importantly across these pages they have career link websites, citizen science info, and, other info that could be useful.


Like I said, I hope this helps some folks out there as school starts up and new students are wondering around looking for guidance. There are some great resources listed above. Just don’t go too far down the rabbit hole or you might end up being the one saying, “I’m late for a very important date!” (cheesy but it couldn’t be helped).

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2 thoughts on “New Grad Student Advice and Resources I wish I would have known about…

    • That’s a very tough question to answer, but I think time management stands out above the rest. I am a pretty good time manager but I wish I would have put a stricter adherence to a schedule earlier on. It’s something I have heard from several other students too.

      I think that many starting students fall into 2 broad categories: those that think that they can get things done later and those that must get everything done now. I think that it is really important to set a schedule for writing and reading that happens every day. Successful writing doesn’t happen because you get inspired. It happens because you put words down even when you don’t want to. Read a couple books about writing. Take a communications class. Learn about scheduling. Time management will be more important than ever when you start graduate school.

      P.s. I also wish I would have known about this funding source before I became ineligible to apply. No one told me about it until it was too late:

      NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
      http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=6201

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