My five top resources for graduate students


My five top resources for graduate students

Why are we doing a listacle about resources? This week has been super busy between a conference in LA last weekend, preparing for post-interviews, NanoDays next week, and our STEM Education Research Symposium last night.

So I’m a little behind on a blog post for this week. I wanted to write something on the differences between practitioner and research conferences but that may come next week when I have some more time to organize my thoughts. So for this week, I decided to share the top resources I found during my first year of my PhD.

Megan’s Top Five Resources for Grad Students:

1. The Professor is In

I don’t remember who originally recommended this resource but I found her book to be the most helpful thing I read last year. I recommend it at our department’s new student orientations and open houses. Dr. Kelsky does a great job of laying out the things you should be doing during your PhD to better position yourself for a job in academia when you graduate. If that is something you are considering, you should certainly read her book/blog. Even if it isn’t, I still recommend it.

2. The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity

This is an awesome resource for development for graduate students in addition to faculty. They have great online webinars. I took one on backwards planning- otherwise known as how to get your life together so you don’t end up trying to write multiple major papers at the end of the semester. I’m taking another one next week called “Writing Science: How to Write Papers that Get Cited and Proposals that Get Funded”. They do periodic writing bootcamps to help you get in the habit of writing every day. They’ll also send you a weekly email with tips and upcoming events called the Monday Motivator. If you’re interested you can sign up with your university’s membership if they have one and save yourself the cost of joining.

3. Cheeky Scientist

The Cheeky Scientist is designed to help people with a Phd transition into industry positions. I think I found them on Twitter originally. I get their weekly emails and read their blog. It’s another perspective on what skills I need when I finish my degree. There are very few jobs for informal science educators in academia so I’m trying to be as well rounded as possible. When you sign up, they send you free resources. Currently it’s the “Top 20 Transferable Skills For PhDs” ebook.

4. The Muse

While The Muse covers a variety of topics, they have a great blog on job skills and career seeking advice. Not all of their resources are useful since I probably won’t ever go work for most of the companies they talk about, but their blog has some good stuff.

5. The Chronicle of Higher Education

This is another email list I have signed up for. This website totes itself as “the top destination for news, advice, and jobs for people in academe”. It is a great way to stay up to date on issues affecting higher education and potential job opportunities. You have to subscribe to read everything but signing up for their emails gives you some limited access to their news articles.

These are just a few of the sites and books that I found particularly useful my first year in grad school. What tools or resources have you found to be helpful for you?

Until next time,


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