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Showing posts from March, 2017

Finding My Passion for Science Education

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When I got my PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology over 10 years ago (yikes!), I honestly didn’t really appreciate what I was getting myself into.  I started studying hematology as a graduate student in Dr. Mitch Weiss’s laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania; the idea that trillions of mature blood cells were generated from a self-renewing adult stem cell absolutely fascinated me.  And, to think that this had to occur over an organisms’ life span intrigued me even more.  

My love of research didn’t start in graduate school, though.  While my love of science was always present, it really started when I was an undergraduate student at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a liberal arts university with a strong focus on engineering and the sciences.  I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with myself after college, but I had a unique experience working and doing research in the laboratory of Dr. Lynne Cassimeris when I was an undergraduate student, and it changed my fut…

Communicating your research effectively

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Scientific results are important, but can make little impact on the world without scientific communication - an extremely broad field that encompasses scientific lectures, writings, and reports. The increasing reach of social media in the last 10 years has also increased scientists’ abilities to share their discoveries via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and blogging. These platforms are extremely useful and scientists can both share their own research and more importantly explain why these findings matter in an easy and accessible manner.

In fact, clear communication, targeted to a lay or broad audience is a key effective strategy for helping your research make the most impact. Whether you aim to share your research with the general public or with other scientists, the more transparent your statement, the more your audience will understand. Tempting as it may be, overusing technical jargon may alienate your audience. When you are immersed in a topic you may forget which words…

Making the Leap, Part 3: Second Interviews

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For academic research institutions in the United States and Europe, it is common (though not an absolute rule) for faculty interviews to feature two separate visits. The first interview, covered in part 1 and part 2 of this series is typically offered to multiple candidates for a position. It offers students, faculty, division and department heads and other stakeholders at the institution an opportunity to get to know each candidate and evaluate strengths and weaknesses, as well as their “fit” within the particular program, based on individual discussions, a seminar, chalk talk (usually), lunches, dinners and other interactions. Depending on how many candidates are invited, the initial interview process can take weeks to months to resolve from broad public searches geared toward interdisciplinary positions or simply premised on casting a wide ‘net’ to see what sort of talent emerges. In other cases, positions are created and tailored to attract specific individuals. If a single top ca…