EducationThis page focuses on the educational experience at all levels, but with particular focus on doctoral and postdoctoral level. Start with general issues , and the leaky pipeline . Then you will find information about PhDs and postdocs , dealing with discrimination via TitleIX, and some links about Pre-college science education.
Section I: general education issues (from the perspective of students)
Section II: Leaky pipeline
- Where are the women going? here's a graphical representation of how our numbers drop at every stage (from MIT).
- Educational pipeline issues for women
- Must the leak be plugged? A
discussion of the reasons that men and women leave engineering, and whether "leaky pipeline" is an
appropriate metaphor. What do you think?
- Housing women
science students together, an article from The Scientist on ways of stopping the leaking
pipeline. If it is a pipeline....!
- An essay from AWSEM about the leaking pipeline,entitled "Gender Equity and Mentorship in Science, Engineering and Mathematics: 1997"
- Why women leave Science, from the Women in Cell biology committee of the ASCB.
- Why women undergrads leave science
- Clashes of future selves,a study of college women leaving science.
- Statistics: why do PhD's leave their doctoral field?
- Abstracts from the Online ethics center:
- Gender disparities in science educationdescribes a 1996 report that found the following (among many conclusions):" Men are more likely than women to report that they are "takenseriously by faculty; and that they are respected by faculty." "and " Men are more apt than women to have received help from faculty advisors insuch crucial areas as learning to design research, write grant proposals,co-author publications and organize people. " You can read anotherarticle about the study with more background.
- Doctoral experiences differ for male and female students from The Chronicle.
Section III: PhD students
- Choosing an advisor (relevant to both students and postdocs):
- Guidelines for good practices in the graduate student/faculty advisor relationship, from the Electrical Engineering Dept at Stanford. A useful reminder that building a productive professional relationship is a two way street.
- The young advisor: should you be the "first child" of your PI?
- Choosing a PhD advisor, from The Chronicle
- Heavenly Labs and how to find them
- Hellish labs and how to avoid or escape them
- What to do if your advisor is a creep, from Ms. Mentor
- Switching labs when your postdoc situation is not working out.
- Lost: advisor and mentor: a student responds when her PI is denied tenure.
- A moving experience for scientists: what happens when the PI moves? From The Chronicle.
- Also relevant to students and postdocs, as well as more senior scientists in any sector: Individual Development plans to help you figure out where you are, and where you want to go.
PhD students/grad school issues
- Advice columns and discussion forums
- How to get into grad school
- Grad school info and advice: getting ready to apply. Also links to other documents about graduate school.
- Graduate Student Research Survival Guide is a practical outline of how to make the most of your PhD, including choosing a thesis advisor, making progress on your research, and getting the most out of your reading. .
- How to be a good graduate student
- Mastering your PhD: starting off on the right foot
- Graduate student resources on the Web
- Graduate fellowship opportunities. These may be limited in discipline and typically target more junior students (1st or 2nd year)
- Pursuit of the PhD:"Survival of the Fittest," Or Is It Time for a New Approach?
- Hidden Rules, Secret Agendas: challenges facing contemporary women doctoral students. See the dissertation by the same author, Toward a Theory of Women's Doctoral Persistence, and a paper, Pursuit of the PhD: good for your health?
- Is the PhD risky business? and who is responsible for the risk? From the Chronicle of Higher Education.
- Why overproduction of PhDs is bad for science
- Reviving a "lesser" degree: recreating a professional Master's degree.
- Graduate student stipends vary considerably across different fields and universities. Here is an article from The Chronicle about the disparities, and also a fact file comparing selected universities and disciplines. All things considered, it's better to be a biologist.
- Survey of graduate student programs from the Nat'l Association of Graduate-Professional Students, based on the Phds.Org survey
- Phds.Org has excellent links for graduate students and postdocs. .
- Resources and advice for graduate students includes info on how to give a talk and how to get a grant. Slanted towards the Australian experience, but many truths are universal....
- Survival skills for graduate women: things for female PhD candidates to think about.
- Useful links for graduate study range from sites about giving talks to writing a thesis. Lots of links relevant to postdocs, too.
- Survival skills for graduate students
- Advice to a young mathematical biologist, but appropriate regardless of your discipline.
- How to drive a PhD student crazy: thoughts from a woman neuroscience PhD about what comes next. From The Chronicle
- A PhD student opts out of academic science
- Or would you rather teach? Moving from the lab to the teaching track with a PhD.
- Figuring out your skills for the outside world
- How to succeed in Graduate School
- Doctoral survey funded by the Pew Charitable Trust, on the perception of PhD training by graduate students in the US. Summarized by The Chronicle.
- Are graduate programs still attracting the best students?
- Ten ways to keep graduate students from quitting from The Chronicle
- Improving Graduate Education: lots of discussion how the US may be losing competitiveness in graduate education. Here's my solution: provide stipends that are independent of investigator R01s.
- Do you dare to aspire to a personal life? What about spouse and children? Check out resources on our balancing family and career page which includes keeping your career and a baby
- Creating a dissertation support group
- Having children in grad school: see section on babies on the personal life page.
- Laughter is always the best medicine. Some sites with graduate school humor:
Section IV: Postdocs
- For info on balancing career, partner and children, check out our personal life page . Includes info on having your career and a baby
- For info on how to move on to the next step, see our Careers page for job hunting tips and strategies in academic and non-academic areas.
- National Postdoctoral Association
- A Guide to Finding Postdoc Positions from Science magazine's Nextwave site (free registration required).
- PUrsuing a postdoc: tales and travails of finding a position
- Looking for a postdoc, from the Chronicle:
- How to find a postdoc.
- Should you postdoc in a Nobel lab?
- Learning to write: a postdoc's perspective on publication.
- Getting a job without doing a postdoc. It sometimes happens, but don't count on it.
- How to get teaching experience before you become a professor, from The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Moving towards autonomy as a postdoc
- The postdoc's plight at Hopkins, but applicable elsewhere.
- The NIH Postdoc Experience
- Perpetual postdocs comments on the ever-increasing postdoc duration.
- Postdocs organize for better treatment, from The Chronicle. Also see Postdocs make progress.
- Creating a postdoc association
- Web resources for postdocs
- Telling postdocs about tenure
- Slaves to science: an article on the postdoc life from Salon magazine, and letters to the editor in response.
- The postdoc trail: long and filled with pitfalls from the NY Times (may require subscription).
- Guide to Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience in Science and Engineering from the National Academy. Among this report's recommendations for reform: increased salaries and benefits, more formal status and evaluations, a cap to the number of years as a postdoc, and better system for transition to permanent employment.
- Looking (without much success) for ways to help postdocs, an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education about a meeting held in Washington DC during March 2001 by research and funding organizations in response to the report.
- NIH addresses the postdoc issue: Here's a listing of NIH reports and data about training awards and outcomes. NIH has also written a response to the NAS report . intramural postdocs, aiming for $45,000/ year (close to assistant professor starting salary at many universities). The question that no one is addressing, however, is whether the NIH will increase external grants (R01s) to cover the suggested salary increase. Grants to PIs, and not fellowships, are what fund most postdocs. And, if they don't provide a mechanism to increase the grant dollars, just where do they think the money is going to come from? It's a zero-sum game that could result in fewer postdoctoral positions.
- In 2005, NIH was again urged to improve postdoc support
- Uniform health benefits for postdocs: It can be done.
- Contemplating the leap from the ivory tower. A talented postdoc writes: Now, no one would choose to be a scientist to make money. We all know in advance that it's a labor of love. But the financial strain has refocused my daily thoughts from what the next experiment will be to how I'm going to pay my bills. This starvation mentality is pervading academic science....
- Too many postdocs? A policy discussion on Science's Nextwave site (password may be required.
- Postdoctorate.net, for postdoctoral resources
- Postdoc Network from Science Magazine's Nextwave
- Results of a survey by The Scientist about postdocs--many comments about how to choose a position. Of course, they often disagree with each other, so take with the usual grain of salt.
- Professional development for postdocs: another unfunded federal mandate?
- Ethics and other essential survival skills. Several programs now explicitly link the two, for new postdocs:
Section V: Title IX
Title IX was landmark US legislation that guarantees equal access for women in many aspects of education at federally funded educational institutions.
Recently, some have proposed using Title IX to ensure equal access for women faculty in science.
Women in the Sciences: Left Out, Left Behind," a nation wide campaign for women in science.
This responds to the recent GAO report (PDF) about women in science as part of Title IX. This as requested by Senators Barbara Boxer (CA) and Ron Wyden (OR).
More information about this campaign:visit this site. Also the
women's perogative site.
Female faculty and the sciences: should Title IX apply to science faculty?
- Too strong for a woman: the story behind Title IX
- Title IX at 30: a report card on gender equity looks at the promise and the progress in 30 years since Title IX was passed.
Section VI: Pre-college
- The Young Scientists Program and the Mad Scientist's Network, including an ask-a-scientist page
- Why girls shy away from science and math: results of a study at U Michigan
- Exploring your future in math and science
- Choosing a college: here are a few sites that can help. College-bound girls should also talk to their high school career counsellors.
- Expect the best from a girl and science questions to ask your daughter
- Women in Science student page with diverse biology links. Also includes a registry of women in science--add your name and inspire a young woman!
- Scientists reaching out to children
- Science and Math are for girls. From the same site: Closing the gender gap in science
- No Girls Allowed! Making technology accessible to girls.
- A school project, adaptable to any age. Uses the internet to have students investigate contributions of women in science
- Role models for girls
- Girls do science!
- Rural girls in science
- Equity for girls in science education
- The Educational Development Center is a non-profit with many projects related to science access at all levels.
- Teachersource: Women in Science from PBS Scienceline.
- McLean Media produces a CD on women in science for use in schools. Obligatory disclaimer: not an endorsement of any product
- Beyond Yuck for girls in science
- What special problems do girls face in science? What can schools and teachers do?
- Women Scientists, a study project on women scientists that provides a worksheet and encourages students to find out more. It also specifically mentions minority women scientists.
- Scientific elites and scientific illiterates. How can the US have some of the best scientists, and the worst scientific education?
- The War Against Boys: who has it better in the classroom? You may be surprised.... a cautionary lesson about social science "research". But remember that everyone , including the author of this work, has an agenda.
- Biology pages from the EducatingJane site.
- Making it happen: Pizza parties, chemistry goddesses, and other strategies that work for girls is a .pdf document with teacher tips on encouraging everyone in science.
- Need teaching resources for girls in science? Check out the National Women's History Project catalog of women in science and math, which includes books, posters, etc. Insert obligatory disclaimer here....
- Children's perceptions of scientists finds that "children think of scientists as boring white men with glasses, beards, and strange hair". Is this the best way to tempt children into this profession? From The Beagle (free password required). On the same topic: an article from the (US) National Science Teachers Association on children and Scientists: geeks and nerds? discusses how much teacher's perceptions influence their students.
- A report from women's e-news about a California study on single-sex schools concludes that Gender stereotyping, harassment and other problems common in co-educational schools do not necessarily disappear in single-sex school
- An article about girls in the classroom says: Although boys and girls are equally verbal when they enter elementary school, by the time they graduate 13 years later, boys will have spoken far more often in class than girls; the ratio, the Sadkers determined, was an astounding 8-to-1. Conventional wisdom assumes that girls are just naturally more hesitant to answer questions and volunteer ideas. But reams of social science research—including a report by the American Association of University Women that examined more than 1,300 studies on girls and education—show that the difference is due instead to subtle, but firm, lessons about who gets to offer opinions and how.
- Imaginary Lines aims to increase the number of girls who are technically literate and who have the foundation they need to go on in science, math, or engineering. Sponsor of the Sally Ride Science Camps.
- Swimming against the tide: African American Girls and Science education (Inside Higher Ed)