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Survival Skills

UR Resources

Meet your peers in other programs and departments by joining the SMD's Graduate Student Society or Postdoctoral Association!

Books from the CPD Lending Library

Check out books from the CPD Lending Library. To check something out, visit our office in G-9556 or email us with your request.

At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator
By Kathy Barker

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
By Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, Roger Fisher

Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers
By the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine

Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or PhD
By Robert Peters

Lifting a Ton of Feathers: A Woman's Guide to Surviving in the Academic World
By Paula J. Caplan

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries
By Peter Sims

A PhD Is Not Enough!: A Guide to Survival in Science
By Peter J. Feibelman

The Ph.D. Process: A Student's Guide to Graduate School in the Sciences
By Dale F. Bloom, Jonathan D. Karp, Nicholas Cohen

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer From Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It
By Valerie Young, is relevant to both men and women

Women Scientists: Reflections, Challenges, and Breaking Boundaries
By Magdolna Hargittai

Recent Seminars and Workshops

Imposter Syndrome, picking your army, Pareto Optimization and other ways to survive grad school
By Joshua Drew, Columbia University

Online Resources


Essay on Five Professional Skills for Graduate Students to Learn
From Inside Higher Ed, by Karla P. Zepeda
Is relevant to both students and postdocs. Details important ways for trainees to "rehearse for a future professional performance".

Forgive Me, Scientists, for I Have Sinned
From Science Careers, by Adam Ruben

How to Tell Your Adviser: PhD students’ anxiety over admitting their nonfaculty aspirations may be justified
From The Chronicle of Higher Education, by L. Maren Wood

International Scholars: Suffering in Silence
From Science Careers, by Erica Westly

New Year’s Resolutions for Early-Career Scientists
From Science Careers, by Simon Williams

Paying Graduate School's Mental Toll
From Science Careers, by Carrie Arnold

The Stressed-Out Postdoc
From Science Careers, by Carrie Arnold

Yes, you can attend that career event, says the U.S. government
From Science Careers, by Rachel Bernstein


Grad Hacker from Inside Higher Education

Mama PhD from Inside Higher Education


Attending Your First Scientific Meeting

Keeping a Lab Notebook


From the Council of Graduate Schools, aims to help trainees make wise financial decisions that advance their long term academic and professional career goals.

National Association of Graduate - Professional Students
A student-run national organization representing the interests of graduate and professional students in public and private universities.

National Postdoc Association
Advocates for policies that promote positive change in the postdoctoral experience.

PhD Comics
Featuring the comic strip "Piled Higher and Deeper" about life (or lack thereof) in academia.

PhD in Progress Podcast
A weekly podcast that entertains and informs graduate students (current, former, and future), focusing on the issues of the young academic community.

Young Scientist Survival Kit
From iBiology, advice on how to make the most out of trainee education.