[BiO BB] Schooling question

Indraneel Majumdar indraneel at indialine.org
Sat Jun 23 21:28:56 EDT 2001


You're absolutely right, but there's a catch. To be able to pursue one's
own topic one needs a guide who lacks ideas (in which case probably s/he
lacks ability to guide too), or set up one's own lab (not impossible,
but then you have a job with no salary), or get someone to sponsor you
(by somehow proving that you're extremely brilliant when it comes to
paying your creditors). Most often things end up in a compromise where
you're happy doing what the guide asks you. Remember this is not like
Mol Bio where you are nearly always unhappy doing what you do, and that
too for more years. The compromise is reached since your guide too knows
that you can leave any day and get a much higher paying job. Hopefully
with some free time one can also work on one's own projects.

On Tue, Jun 19, 2001 at 01:16:15PM -0400, J.W. Bizzaro wrote:
> I want to warn you, not scare you off.  When you first talk to a prof about
> joining their group, they'll act amazingly flexible, as if you could work on
> just about anything.  But, once you're in the door, day one, they'll try to
> get you to switch to whatever they're working on in their lab.  And the
> pressure will never cease.  Eventually, they may confess that they aren't
> aren't able to advise you on your research topic.  And, whether they get to
> that point of confession or not, it's true, they aren't able to, and you'll
> end up either (1) switching to whatever they're working on, (2) leaving in
> frustration, or (3) spending 10 or more years on your research before they'll
> let you go.

maybe not so long, but it's nearly certain that you'll need to guide
your guide at times, after all he's also doing the same `re'-`search' as
you. Bioinformatics is easier, it's still so new that the guide can
confess without feeling ashamed.

> Can anyone else attest to this?  I know of many who can.
I only know those who can, the better guides often find a better job.

> My advise: if you want an education in bioinformatics, then at any cost, find
> someone who is actively involved in the field.  And I don't mean someone who
> is doing something like bioinformatics.  I would check that they either
> mention bioinformatics in their research statement on their web page or that
> they have publications in bioinformatics journals.

and also, only apply via email. << This is very important!



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