The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science: A Toolkit for Students and Postdocs (Chicago Guides to Academic Life)

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9780226060637: The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science: A Toolkit for Students and Postdocs (Chicago Guides to Academic Life)

Embarking upon research as a graduate student or postdoc can be exciting and enriching—the start of a rewarding career. But the world of scientific research is also a competitive one, with grants and good jobs increasingly hard to find. The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science is intended to help scientists not just cope but excel at this critical phase in their careers.

Victor A. Bloomfield and Esam E. El-Fakahany, both well-known scientists with extensive experience as teachers, mentors, and administrators, have combined their knowledge to create a guidebook that addresses all of the challenges that today’s scientists-in-training face. They begin by considering the early stages of a career in science: deciding whether or not to pursue a PhD, choosing advisors and mentors, and learning how to teach effectively. Bloomfield and El-Fakahany then explore the skills essential to conducting and presenting research. The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science offers detailed advice on how to pursue research ethically, manage time, and communicate effectively, especially at academic conferences and with students and peers. Bloomfield and El-Fakahany write in accessible, straightforward language and include a synopsis of key points at the end of each chapter, so that readers can dip into relevant sections with ease.

From students prepping for the GRE to postdocs developing professional contacts to faculty advisors and managers of corporate labs, scientists at every level will find The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science an unparalleled resource. “The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science is a roadmap to the beginning stages of a scientific career. I will encourage my own students to purchase it.”—Dov F. Sax, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, Brown University “Step-by-step, Victor Bloomfield and Esam El-Fakahany provide sound, thorough, yet succinct advice on every issue a scientist in training is likely to encounter. Young readers will welcome the authors’ advice on choosing a graduate school, for example, while senior scientists will probably wish that a book like this had been around when they were starting out. With down-to-earth and occasionally humorous advice, The Chicago Guide to your Career in Academic Biology belongs on the bookshelf of every graduate student and advisor.”—Norma Allewell, Dean, College of Chemical and Life Sciences, University of Maryland 

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About the Author:

Victor Bloomfield is professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics and a former dean of the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota.  Esam E. El-Fakahany is professor of psychiatry, pharmacology, and neuroscience at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is former associate dean of the Graduate School. Together, El-Fakahany and Bloomfield established and directed the University of Minnesota’s first office for postdoctoral affairs.

Review:

The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science is a roadmap to the beginning stages of a scientific career. I will encourage my own students to purchase it.” (Dov F. Sax, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, Brown University 2007-10-09)

The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science pulls together a wide variety of resources to assist scientists from their doctoral experience through postdoctoral to faculty member or industrial career researcher. There are many excellent and thorough books on various segments of the scientific career, but none that cover the span of years and experiences described in this text. The selection of topics is appropriately broad, yet the focus remains on the elements of success. It is a mentor in print.” (Karen Klomparens, dean of the Graduate School, Michigan State University 2007-10-08)

“Careers in scientific research require a wide array of tools and it is during one’s graduate and postdoctoral training that these are typically first developed. It is also during this time that rapid and efficient assimilation and application of these approaches is most critical. With The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science, Bloomfield and El-Fakahany provide a comprehensive guide to various approaches that will assist readers in excelling within this early stage of their scientific careers.”­—Paul G. Harnik, graduate student in the Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago (Paul Harnik 2007-10-09)

The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science is a comprehensive toolkit for aspiring scientists trying to decide whether to go to graduate school, what degree to seek, what institution to choose, how to select a mentor, how to navigate through graduate school and a postdoc, and finally how to secure a position—and what career path to choose. This book is also an excellent handbook for advisors. While face-to-face dialogue between students and advisors is critical when mentoring students, it is very useful to have a well thought-out essay to underscore the issues conveyed verbally. Each chapter, furthermore, concludes with a list of suggestions that form an effective set of takeaways. Being able to point to a chapter and suggest to a student ‘Read this and then let’s discuss the points that are relevant to you,’ could be valuable for faculty and students in a whole range of circumstances.” (Eva J. Pell, Senior Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, Pennsylvania State University 2007-10-19)

“Step-by-step, Victor Bloomfield and Esam El-Fakahany provide sound, thorough, yet succinct advice on every issue a scientist in training is likely to encounter. Young readers will welcome the authors’ advice on choosing a graduate school, for example, while senior scientists will probably wish that a book like this had been around when they were starting out. With down-to-earth and occasionally humorous advice, The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science belongs on the bookshelf of every graduate student and advisor.” (Norma Allewell, Dean, College of Chemical and Life Sciences, University of Maryland 2007-11-13)

"A comprehensive look at the process of making a successful career in the sciences, whether that career is at the bench, in the classroom, or in the corporate world. This book would be an excellent choice for every undergraduate student who has ever asked 'What can I do with a biology degree except go to medical school?' or indeed for any student who is already contemplating the possibility of a graduate degree in the sciences. . . . A very useful volume and long overdue." (Choice)

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