Advice for prospective graduate students

Questions To Ask When Thinking About Pursuing a Ph.D.

Advice on graduate student life

Some Modest Advice for Graduate Students” (by Stephen C. Stearns) and the “Reply to Stearns: Some Acynical Advice for Graduate Students” (by Raymond B. Huey) provide a good, and at times humorous, perspective on graduate students life. These essays derive from a presentation given by Stearns and Huey during an Ecolunch Seminar in the Department of Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, in 1976. These essays are as relevant today as they were in 1976, and the sections on psychological problems, publishing, thinking and theses, and on becoming a professional are all important reading. The original notes have been copied and passed around the United States for years – I still have a copy of Steve’s original “Cynical aids towards getting a graduate degree.” The originals were rewritten by Stearns and Huey, and reprinted in 1987 (Stearns, S. and Huey, R. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, 68, 145-153).

Advice on publication

Multiple-author papers are a reality of life in many research labs; however, the criteria for determining authorship too often follows unwritten and nebulous rules. A few years ago a friend, who was deliberating authorship of a paper, asked me to write out the criteria I use for authorship. This essay on “The Who and How of Authorship” derives from my experiences and discussions as a graduate student at UW-Madison and Cornell University, and as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Ecological Synthesis and Analysis. Many have commented upon and contributed ideas and criteria to this guide.