PhD in Progress Podcast

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PhD 005: 3 Important Points of Advice to New Graduate Students

May 13th, 2014

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This week Jason, Nikhil, and Abigail hope to help newer graduate students by discussing what they WISH they knew earlier in their studies.

Self-management, the production mindset, and failure are the 3 broad topics we dive into for this discussion.

We mention a couple of neuroscience studies-
Chronic partial sleep deprivation:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/

Sleep and memory – way too much literature, but the wiki is pretty comprehensive
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_and_memory

Where does Nikhil find his best ideas?
How can you earn your secret Ph.D.?
And correct, unurgent is not a word. Thank you in advance.

 

6 comments
Steve P Lee
Steve P Lee

Thanks for another good podcast.  I liked your phrase of "secret learning", i.e. learning from your failures.  Carol Dweck at Stanford has done some relevant research on growth vs fixed mindsets, which helps to explain why certain people seem to learn more from failures, and why others seem to crumble from failures.  She also provides good advice to help people change from a fixed to growth mindset, and how some teachers/mentors can inadvertently promote a fixed mindset from how they praise their students/mentees.  Also, Angela Lee Duckworth gave a good TED talk on what she calls "grit", which could be helpful for some too.

PhD in Progress Podcast
PhD in Progress Podcast moderator

@CAYdenberg Great advice, as always. It's really impressive just how much of this I've had to learn the hard way, especially the point about needing a postdoc for a job in industry.

Steve P Lee
Steve P Lee

@PhD in Progress Podcast Thanks.  I'm not quite sure how I first came across Dweck's work, but it might have been from reading Chip and Dan Heath's "Switch", which is another good resource to help folks switch from a fixed to growth mindset.


I enjoy reading these materials, in my role of providing professional development activities for grad students in the STEM fields, which I did back at Northwestern, and which I'm continuing to do here at UC Davis.  I look for research and scholarship that form the basis for workshops.  The books "Switch" and "Mindset" are relatively fast reads, and they refer to the primary literature and research. I can share other resources, if you're interested.

PhD in Progress Podcast
PhD in Progress Podcast moderator

@Steve P Lee Great stuff, I will definitely have to take a look at those. Lessons from research and psychology like those have really helped to turn my attitude around in the last few years (especially in the face of negative results)! 

I'm happy to spread the word if it helps others.