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Presentation on theme: "GENERAL EXPECTATIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL GRADUATE STUDENTS Graduate School: It’s Not Like Undergrad."— Presentation transcript:


2 General Academic Expectations Coursework Expectations  1) Always attend class.  2) If you need help, go to office hours.  3) Collaborate, but don’t “over collaborate” with your classmates. Lead Your Project.  Understand what it means to do original work, and do it. Your supervisor should not have to guide you step-by-step.  Learn to think and research independently. Take ownership of the research process.

3 General Academic Expectations Take Initiative.  Utilize university resources.  Learn to find information on your own. Search the web first before asking questions.  Understand that there is NO SHAME in personal struggles. Ask for help early and be up front about it. We have helped students with:  Drug issues  Depression issues  Supervisor issues  Disability issues  Emergency medical/family issues  Etc.  We can’t help if you don’t ask. We keep everything confidential.

4 General Employment Expectations Whether you are a TA or a GRA, you are an employee and you have a supervisor.  This means you have job duties and a responsibility towards your employer. Take ownership of your position.  Ask your supervisor what expectations he/she has of employees, and do those things. This relates to work hours, skill development, participation, etc.  Example: TA didn’t attend TA training session because he wanted to present a poster at a conference. He didn’t inform the supervisor.  Example: Undergraduates were not submitting good lab reports. Investigation showed that TA wasn’t grading the lab reports according to the standard rubric, so students were not learning how to correct and improve their lab reports. Communicate, communicate, communicate!  Notify supervisor of sickness.  Notify supervisor if more time is needed for something  Request time off, don’t just take it whenever you feel like it.  Respond in a timely manner to phone calls and email messages.

5 Professional Development/Research Expectations Time management is critical!  Ask others how they manage their time.  Try different approaches to see what works for you, then stick to what works. Become familiar with research literature.  You should begin developing these skills in your first semester.  Learn to find research papers on your own.  Citation searches  Subscribe to journal publication email alerts  Check the citations in articles you’ve read  Read broadly, deeply and critically.  Organize papers effectively.  We will cover this in more detail in a later seminar.

6 Professional Development/Research Expectations Understand the scientific method and utilize it to drive your research forward.  You are expected to become an independent researcher by the time you graduate. Keep a lab notebook from day one.  We will cover best practices on this in another seminar. Conduct yourself appropriately in the lab.  Follow lab safety protocol.  Be mindful of others, especially when shared equipment/space is involved.  We will discuss lab practices and research methods in a later seminar. Initiate publications discussion with your supervisor.  Ask about publications expectations.  You should strive to publish by the time you graduate.  Publications are essential to job interviews, whether in academia or in industry.

7 Professional Development/Research Expectations Keep contact information updated.  With the university (via UT Direct)  With the program office (that’s Rebecca). Respond to email in a timely manner.  From your supervisor, from the graduate adviser (Dr. Kovar) and from the program office (Rebecca).  It’s unprofessional not to do this.  Can result in missed opportunities.

8 Ethical Expectations Be honest about your research at every step.  If an experiment doesn’t work, be honest.  If you need more time, be honest.  Example: a student wasn’t honest in her research proposal, and this caused problems when she defended her dissertation. Don’t take data for later personal use.  Side projects are ok if you have time, but should be reported to your supervisor.  Don’t use your supervisor’s resources to do your own personal research. Give credit where credit is due.  In certain situations, it’s ok to use someone else’s work, but you must give proper credit. DON’T PLAGIARIZE!

9 Ethical Expectations Treat your supervisor, lab group members, course instructors, faculty, and staff with respect at all times.  There is no excuse for rude behavior.  Disrespect is unprofessional and can affect your reputation.  Example: A student posted unprofessional comments about supervisor on Facebook. Another student saw it and told the supervisor.  You catch more flies with honey. Be considerate of the fact that other people (faculty, students, and staff) around you are working.  Don’t use hallways as public discussion forums. This is extremely disruptive to others.  Don’t use hallways for personal cell phone calls. This is just as disruptive.  Keep music, laughter, and speech volume to reasonable levels if your lab/office door is open.  Utilize common areas, such as the 2 nd floor open area, or go outside.

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