The DO’s – Advice on choosing a lab/supervisor

As promised, here is part 2 of the two part series “the do’s and don’ts of choosing a lab/supervisor” Arm yourself with the knowledge found within these posts to make the most well informed decision possible…in the long run you’ll be glad you did. Without further ado, here are the DOs of choosing a grad school lab/supervisor:

The DOs
1. DO – be honest with yourself and your potential supervisor. Let him know what you expect out of your time in his/her lab and ask him/her what he or she expects of you. Knowing what your getting yourself into is what it all comes down to…
2. DO – be prepared to face rejection and to dish it out. Time, money, resources…all limited in research. Not every investigator you contact will have an opening or be willing to take you on as a grad student. Keep your head up and screen your supervisor just as hard as he screens you.
3. DO – communicate openly with your support system. Friends and family, who are removed from your imediate decision process, may provide an unimpeded view on your dilemma. Generally, honest and trustworthy individuals, with a greater breadth of life experience than yourself, are helpful in any tough situation.
4. DO – be selfish. If you are going to make a commitment of 2…4….6…8+ years…make sure to put your needs first. Making your needs known (politely of course) and a priority during the decision process will undoubtedly be in your best interest. Be a team player once you join the team, not before.
5. DO – trust yourself. Good or bad, sometimes you just KNOW! Follow your intuition…trust your judgement.

Godspeed my friends,


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