? Physics and other topics

kkaye at vax.oxford.ac.uk kkaye at vax.oxford.ac.uk
Wed Feb 23 13:11:48 EST 1994


Oh, dear!

If you're going to go to graduate school, you'll have to learn how to do
research, and asking your advisor doesn't count. I suppose you are probably a
second year undergraduate, so you won't have had the time to learn how yet,
fair enough.

First, have a look at the current journals in evolutionary biology and ecology
and check out who is writing about what interests you and where they are
located.

Secondly, ring up or write those departments and ask them to send you their
graduate prospectus - that's assuming your library or careers advisory
department doesn't have an appropriate literature source.

Thirdly, think of where, geographically, you might want to be and contact
institutions in those locations. Then check to see where potential advisors
also work in places you want to live in, and decide whether working with
someone specific is more or less important than where you live.

Fourthly, consider your strengths: what do you or will you have to offer a
research team?

Lastly, check to see if the person(s) you wish to work with are in departments
which require some physics in your undergraduate coursework. Is it worth it to
you to do that work for a term or a year in order to join that person's
research team, or not?

This is *not* a flame; I'm trying to say that the postgraduate work you want to
do will have prerequisites which vary from institution to institution. The
important aspects of a graduate degree are (1) working with the right topic for
you (2) working with the right person (3) getting adequate intellectual support
from your supervisor and your research milieu (4) financial support (5)
geographical location. All else is dross; and a woman has to do what a woman
has to do to get what she wants. Find out what you want to do in evolutionary
biology and ecology, and do what it takes to get it: the most satisfying way of
life imaginable, in my view.

good luck

Katherine Kaye
Oxford



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