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Showing posts from August, 2015

The DDIG: a comprehensive guide

Workshop: Writing Successful NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants Irene Newton, Spencer Hall, Heather Reynolds, September 9th, 2013 - revised August 17, 2015
Contents:
Introduction: nuts and bolts, can/should you do this?....................................................
Sage advice: what makes a good DDIG? what makes a bad one?...................................
Merit review criteria: mock panel summaries for competitive ……………………….……… and non competitive grants
Introduction
The National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) and Integrative Organismal Biology (IOB) offer PhD candidates a great opportunity to apply for research money while starting a relationship with NSF. Through its Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG) program, NSF awards up to $13K (direct costs) for 24 months to students meeting eligibility requirements.  In this document we first provide a brief overview of the process and proposal organization, then focus most of our atte…

Lab Tweaks

I was inspired by a recent Planet Money podcast on tweaking the world and am adapting some of their suggestions and including a few of my own below with reference to the scientific laboratory.  Playing the science game can be grueling work - and often unrewarding (what!? I've got to repeat that experiment again?!).  Being that we wade in a bog of negative results and criticisms daily, I like to think of ways to make the process more pleasant for my people.  After all, happy people are more productive, so it's really entirely in my own interest, as a PI, to create a good work environment.

(1) A place to eat as a group: (doing this now)
At Harvard, it's called the "tea room", at IU it's called the "break room" -- whatever you call it -- the space that people in your lab can use to congregate around the water cooler/coffee machine/microwave is sacred.  This space not only provides a safe place to eat (esp. for those in BSL2 labs) but also provides oppo…