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New Ph.D. Student!

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New Ph.D. Student!

Postby Jillo725 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:38 pm

Hey everyone!

I'm back! I graduated from undergraduate school in may and immediately turned off my brain, so i haven't been on the site since then. Unfortunately, I just started school to get my Ph.D. and so I've got to turn my brain back on...ughhh =p but I'll appreciate the resources on this site in the next couple of months. years...

I'm starting to get overwhelmed by the idea of picking a mentor, especially in a school as small as the one I'm at. My interest is in infectious disease, but there's really only 2 P.I.s here that study immunology. They might not be looking for a graduate student at the time i'm ready to start research.

What's your opinion? should I hold out for them? or should i start looking elsewhere? and will the fact that i don't study my interest come back to bite me when i start looking for a job in infectious disease?
"There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea."
— Percy Williams Bridgman, US physicist
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Postby david23 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:16 am

You can always make and test new vaccines, it's a pretty fun job. You dont have to get your hands into the whole cure it all type of research.
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Postby kolean » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:54 pm

It is strange that you picked a school, got into the PhD program, and not have a mentor or the area of your interest available.

I am planning to go into a PhD program, and have been looking for a PI that thinks like I do and is doing the work that I want to do, and then apply at the school that they are at.

It is alot of time and effort on your part to invest in a PhD program, and not be able to do what you want to do.
But then again, maybe location is your priority. Then I would put time into talking to the two PIs and see what they might be interested in letting you do. You can even come up with a mini research project of your own, with your mentor as your supervisor, and maybe the college has grants that you can apply for to cover the costs of your research (or many other sources are now available for grants - CDC for one? NIH for another).

I would also look at any of the PIs in your school as potential mentors (from chemistry to biology to microbiology to biochemistry to biomedical). I would find one that you can relate to, and have a great relationship with (makes the research and dissertation so much easier and enjoyable that way). They can always tweak their research to accomadate someone who is enthusiastic and willing to put in the effort to see some results (which looks good on them too when you get published), or not - and those are the ones that are too set in their ways to be bothered by anything and then you will have to conform to their research.

Put effort into communicating what you want with everybody and anybody in your school, then see what happens when you have all the knowledge to make an informed decision.
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