I recently gave a talk at my alma mater, Hope College (Holland, MI), on becoming a graduate student. Hope has a summer research program for college and high school students in all areas of science. During the program, the students craft a research proposal and put together a mock NSF review panel. They then conduct their particular research project and give oral presentations of their results at the close of the summer.
During my visit, I met my father’s (Tom Bultman) research group! His students gave short presentations of their projects including background information, questions, hypotheses, and design. Their projects focus on grass-fungal endophyte interactions. In this system, the fungal endophyte produces alkaloids, which then helps protect its grass host from herbivory and other natural enemies. His students were very enthusiastic about their research, and it was very refreshing and delightful to meet them!
At the end of my visit, I gave a presentation on becoming a graduate student. The talk focused on strategies for applying to graduate school, tips for applying for NSF fellowships, how to ace the GRE, and finally advice for surviving graduate school. To view the presentation click here. Also, if you are interested in more advice for surviving graduate school, I recommend Dr. Philip Guo’s Advice for New PhD Students.