After completing her undergraduate degree, Dr. Moore found herself burdened by substantial student debt, prompting her to address the critical issue of financial sustainability in academia. Through her own journey, she has developed an educational program aimed at empowering students with essential financial literacy skills. Dr. Moore candidly shares her personal experiences and invaluable protips while discussing the barriers that student debt present to budding scientists.
The Debt Trap
Restructuring academic traineeship, with Dr. Shirley Malcom
It’s all of our tips for applying to the NSF graduate research fellowship! The National Science Foundation GRFP can fund 3 years of your PhD, and there’s a hidden curriculum for crafting a winning application. Sally and Kayla share their tips for how to prep your application to frame your Broader Impacts and Intellectual Merit in the best possible light.
A well-crafted personal statement can make the difference between aspiration and reality. But what information should you include? What does "personal" really mean? In this episode Kayla and Sally dive into the hidden curriculum of personal statements to empower you when drafting your applications to graduate school, medical school, PhD programs, fellowships, and other exciting opportunities.
Writing tips book:
Essentials of Writing Biomedical Research Papers by Mimi Zeiger
Letters of Recommendation Episode
Next Level Mentorship Episode
You won’t get everything you apply for - and that’s ok! In this episode Kayla and Sally dive into some of their biggest fails, rejections, and misses. We go through what we learned and how you can learn from our failures. Kayla shares hard-earned lessons from her (innumerable) application journeys as well as how to create a Rejection Ritual to quickly move on to the next opportunity. If LinkedIn is our professional highlight reel, this episode is the bloopers!
Join Sally and Kayla as they explore the role of patient advocacy in biomedical research with Kevin Fowler, consultant and owner of "The Voice of the Patient." Kevin shares insights on what patients want to know and how you can get involved in patient advocacy to drive meaningful change in healthcare related research.
Renowned public servant Dr. Shirley Malcom joins Kayla and Sally to discuss the challenges facing graduate students and postdocs during traineeship. We discuss structural barriers keeping trainees in underpaid roles and keeping out those who cannot afford to stay in such roles. Importantly, we consider how universities and funding agencies can perpetuate (or can act to stop!) toxic training environments. How can students and postdocs thrive in a system that's not designed for them? There are no easy answers, but it makes for an important, fascinating conversation!
Dr Malcom is a pioneer in advancing STEMM equity, with four decades of experience working on science and technology equity initiatives, including as an advisor to the National Science Foundation and to President Clinton. In her current role as leader of the SEA Change initiative at AAAS, her team is seeking to "effect sustainable change with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEMM at U.S. institutions of higher education."
SEA Change initiative: link
Dr. Malcom's recent op ed in Science: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adh0336
When Dr. Chrissy Stachl realized that her department's culture needed an overhaul, she turned the challenge into her thesis and a consulting career. Using an evidenced-based approach, Chrissy now helps universities and businesses find and implement pragmatic solutions to improve equity and inclusion. Chrissy shares her experiences in developing survey and analysis methods, publishing her findings, and starting her business. She also shares tips for building an inclusive departmental culture.
Preparing to apply for industry jobs but have no idea what to expect? In this episode, Sally shares her personal experience and practical advice about finding a job in industry such as how to ace a phone screen and what even is a “hiring manager.” She spent 8 pandemic months looking for her first post-PhD role so you don’t have to! In addition to going deep into her biggest job hunt heartbreaks, Sally reads some poetry she wrote about her job hunt journey - enjoy!
Plenty of PhDs go into consulting after graduation, but what do consultants actually do? Dr. Jessica Vargas from Exponent joins Kayla and Sally to discuss her journey from chemistry PhD to technical consultant. We chat about her grad school exit strategy and her transition from individual contributor to manager. We also address the most pressing questions such as... how many hours do consultants really work? We are stoked to share Jess’s story with you all, and her team is hiring - search for polymer or analytical chemistry roles in Exponent’s Menlo Park location! https://www.exponent.com/careers
Sally and Kayla welcome Dr. Serah Kang to discuss her experience applying for academic postdoc positions and industry roles. After completing her PhD, Serah spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Gladstone Institute and now is a senior scientist at Genetech. Serah also discusses how her applications and job decisions were impacted by transhood and how employers can attract and support trans scientists. This is the first in a new series about finding your path after getting your PhD! Stay tuned!!
Caring for a new baby is a full-time job - and then some! In this episode, Sally and Kayla share their experience with parental leave and returning to work after the birth of their kiddos. This is a followup to our “Pregnancy in Graduate School” episode and is a must-listen for anyone thinking about becoming a parent or anyone wanting to be a better colleague or supervisor to (potential) new parents. We also discuss how institutional parental leave policies can support parents in STEM and the potential benefits of doing so.
Is grad school the “right time” to have a baby? What is it like to be pregnant while working in a lab? How should you interact with your pregnant colleagues? In this episode, Sally and Kayla share their experiences and discuss what institutions can do to support pregnant students and student parents.
Ah, the slump - that mid-PhD abyss when goals are ambiguous, motivation is waning, and stress is overwhelming. Dr. Emily Lingeman joins Sally and Kayla to discuss her own PhD slump and how she got back on track. Dr. Lingerman also shares strategies to destress and know when "just exercise!" won't be enough. Don’t fear - the slump is normal and you can get through it!
Are you considering a PhD, but not sure if it's right for you? Or, are you deep into a PhD and trying to remember why you started in the first place? In this episode, Sally and Kayla interview Dr. Raj Kumar about the ins and outs of graduate school with a focus on PhDs in STEM. Topics include the differences between PhD and Masters degrees, how much graduate school costs, and reasons to (or not to) get a PhD. Raj is a recent PhD graduate turned Lecturer at Stanford University in the Materials Science and Engineering Department where he pursues his passion for mentoring and teaching
How many women are working in STEM careers? What are the major hurdles to achieving gender equality? Claudine Schmuck founded Gender Scan to find out. While the project originates in France, Gender Scan is expanding to collect data from across the globe. In today’s episode, Kayla and Sally discuss the launch of the 2021 Gender Scan survey and how data collection is critical to supporting women in STEM.
Gender Scan Survey (scroll down and look left for the survey link)
-Be sure to answer “Double Shelix” when asked “Are you answering to this survey following the suggestion of a partner of Gender Scan?”
-The progress bar will make the survey seem quite long, but you actually only need to answer about a quarter of the questions to complete the general survey. You will then have the option to complete additional surveys about specific subtopics.
Meet Time’s First-Ever Kid of the Year
Timnit Gebru’s Exit From Google Exposes a Crisis in AI