The Ph.D. Process: A Students Guide to Graduate School in the Sciences

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Tracking is not available for orders shipped outside of the United States. Synopsis: The Ph.

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Process offers the essential guidance that students in the biological and physical sciences need to get the most out of their years in graduate school. Drawing upon the insights of numerous current and former graduate students, this book presents a rich portrayal of the intellectual and emotional challenges inherent in becoming a scientist, and offers the informed, practical advice a "best friend" would give about each stage of the graduate school experience.

What are the best strategies for applying to a graduate program? How are classes conducted? How should I choose an advisor and a research project? What steps can I take now to make myself more "employable" when I get my degree? What goes on at the oral defense?

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Through a balanced, thorough examination of issues ranging from lab etiquette to research stress, the authors--each a Ph. Headlined sections within each chapter make it fast and easy to look up any subject, while dozens of quotes describing personal experiences in graduate programs from people in diverse scientific fields contribute invaluable real-life expertise.

Special attention is also given to the needs of international students. Read in advance, this book prepares students for each step of the graduate school experience that awaits them. Read during the course of a graduate education, it serves as a handy reference covering virtually all major issues and decisions a doctoral candidate is likely to face. The Ph.

Process is the one book every graduate student in the biological and physical sciences can use to stay a step ahead, from application all the way through graduation. Title: The Ph. Process: A Student's Guide to Condition: Very Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name.

Frequently asked questions on PhD applications - Chris Blattman

The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory GI4N More information about this seller Contact this seller. Add to Basket. Book Description Oxford University Press. Attain the skills and qualifications needed for employment in an academic, government, or private sector position related to the life sciences. Coursework Requirements. Students with prior graduate work may be able to transfer course credits. Neurobiology: BI Students, in consultation with advisors, develop a plan of coursework and research. Students are required to take a minimum of 32 credits of coursework.

The remainder of the credits should be research. Teaching Requirement. The department requires a minimum of two semesters of teaching as part of the Doctor of Philosophy program. The course provides guidance and training on pedagogy and other aspects of graduate school. Qualifying Examination. The qualifying examination must be completed no later than six semesters after matriculation. In most graduate curricula in the department, this consists of a research proposal—often in the form of a grant application—which the student submits to their committee and subsequently defends in an oral presentation.

Candidates shall demonstrate their abilities for independent study in a dissertation representing original research or creative scholarship. A prospectus for the dissertation must be completed and approved by the readers, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Biology Department Chair. The student should consult their committee as to whether their two projects satisfy this requirement.

However, distinct projects are often advised by different faculty, use different data or methods i. Each proposal should explain the scientific problem to be addressed, the tools to be used, hypotheses to be tested, the background and significance of the research, and highlight any preliminary results data collected, exploratory models, etc. It is common that one of the proposals is more developed than the other, with the more developed proposal representing the primary work envisioned for the dissertation.

The objective of the proposals for the comprehensive exam is for the student to show that they can motivate and design a scientific study, and demonstrate breadth of knowledge. One-page summaries stating the key elements of each proposal should be submitted to all committee members and the Graduate Coordinator no later than November 7 or the next week day if on a weekend of the fall term preceding the exam.

The oral examination committee will decide, by November 20, whether or not they are appropriate and sufficiently different from each other. If the committee concludes that a summary is unacceptable, the student must meet with the committee to discuss the reasons for this decision and submit a modified or new summary that is acceptable within one week of this meeting. Committee decisions on the new summary are required within a week of the date it was submitted to the Graduate Coordinator.

Each full proposal should be a concise description of the proposed work written in a scientific style with figures, captions, and references. The text of each proposal abstract and main body should be no more than 7 pages.


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The entire proposal, including references, figures and captions , and tables should be no more than 15 pages maximum. Examples of old proposals are available from the graduate student representative. Copies of the research proposals must be submitted to committee members and the Graduate Coordninator by the end of the second week in the winter term. The student is advised to consult with their committee members about the proposals well in advance of this time. It is customary for students to work through several drafts of the proposal with their advisor before they are distributed to the broader committee.

This process of drafting the proposals is key to more fully developing the detailed aspects of the proposed work. The chair of the comprehensive exam committee will deliver the two questions to the student, in writing, by 4pm on the Friday of week 4. Students will have the weekend to prepare before responding to the questions in a three-hour, closed-book session the following Monday morning.

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The goal of this process is to determine if the student has sufficient knowledge of advanced topics, and can integrate relevant information from different areas literature, past course work, etc. Examples of past questions can be obtained from senior graduate students. The time limits, both for research on the question and for the response to the question, are chosen to mimic actual research conditions.

The written exam is formulated as a closed-book, timed exam rather than a take-home exam to encourage a concise synthesis of information and to avoid a simple transcription of knowledge from publications or textbooks. The orals will be scheduled for 3 hours and The oral exam is private; only the oral examination committee and the student are present. The student will be given about 15 minutes to present each proposal using visual aids typically a PowerPoint presentation.

Usually the student presents the first proposal and answers questions from the committee then presents the second proposal, followed by a second round of questions.


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  • On the basis of total performance, the oral examination committee will decide if the student should be given a pass, fail, or conditional pass. A pass means that the student will be advanced to Ph. If a student is judged to fail the examination, the committee will decide if the student is to be terminated from the program or be given an opportunity to retake the examination.

    The primary product in fulfillment of the Ph. The dissertation should represent a unique scientific contribution with the expectation that much of the work will be published as a set of research papers. The volume of work that constitutes a dissertation is highly variable by discipline. However, the overall body of work is valued by its scientific impact. It is critical that the student understands the expectations of their advisor and committee, who evaluate and approve the work. The Graduate School must approve the committee at least 6 months before the defense.

    The approved oral defense application needs to be in 3 weeks before the defense. We recommend students start the process in GradWeb at least weeks in advance of the defense to ensure an approved application is in by the 3 week deadline.

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    Please refer to the Graduate School calendar for details. The committee must include at least three faculty members of the Department of Earth Sciences, and one additional member of the University of Oregon science faculty outside of the department. The Graduate School requires an outside member in order to ensure that all rules and standard practices governing committee procedures are followed.

    The four core committee members must hold the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor. If two of the members are spouses or domestic partners, an additional committee member will be added.