Aug 252012

I was looking at DMS Bulletin introducing new faculty at HMS last night, and saw that many new faculty gave excellent advices to graduate students. This prompted me to search for “advice to graduate students” on Google (interestingly “advices for graduate students” gives some different hits). Wow, what a treasure trove of wisdom. Here are a few excellent examples:

I wish someone had told me these when I started graduate school 15 years ago, and I wish I had shown our first graduate students at Tongji 3 years ago. Every graduate student should read it when they enter graduate school, and read it again when they have problems during graduate school. It is very interesting to see that some of the advices have been incorporated into our core values, and I should read me to see whether our core values could be improved.

This experience reminded me that we are in such an amazing information age. Any time I have a question, I can find good answers online. I spent several afternoons during the summer to teach Tongji students how to write CVs and papers, scientific marketing, etc. Probably better, I should teach them how to find answers online and learn themselves, which could help them career success after graduate school. I should also better use the web to teach myself.

So try it out, do some exploration such as:

How to respond to reviewers’ comments
Time management advices
How to select thesis project
Interacting with graduate advisor
How to read a biological paper
Work life balance tips
How to prepare a scientific talk

Have fun!

Aug 182012

On 7/30/2012, we had a senior lab member retreat for our Tongji lab. It was a very fruitful meeting, where senior members make plans for the following year, which includes grants to apply, new papers to submit, major research directions and projects, new student training, wet lab establishment, fall lab activities, and logistical issues about lab management.

In addition, we established the lab Core Values. Initially inspired by Zappos, Yong and I have been thinking of establishing the lab Core Values for a while. After some active discussions with the senior members, we came up with the following five points:

  1. Conduct world class research
  2. Make a solid contribution to the community
  3. Motivate scientific curiosity and discovery
  4. Train talents with integrity, initiative, perseverance, and optimism
  5. Build a collaborative and synergistic environment

Actually these probably fit well with my DFCI lab as well, and we will continue to use this as guidance for many of the activities in the lab. I should spend sometime to come up with my personal core values as well.