Future Grad Students

Seems like a good idea to clarify why my website says that I'm not taking students next year. My 3 NSF grants are all coming down to their final trickle, with reports due in the coming months. I'm applying for more funding, but it is going to be lean until I figure out that next big idea that a funding agency or donor believes is truly useful. At the University of Georgia, there are plenty of resources to make sure that a student will get paid if they come here to do graduate work, but if I don't have funds there is a greater likelihood that such a student will be spending 10-15 hours a week as a teaching assistant (nothing wrong with that, but time is precious) for many of their semesters. I think teaching experience is fantastic and I encourage it, but you'd like to have a break sometimes too! Additionally, doing good science costs money. Travel. Field gear. Data. To do it the way you should want to do it, you need good resources, and some of that can be scraped up yourself as a graduate student. My students have been very good so far at getting small grants to support their work. My feeling is, however, that when at least some of your work already has financial support, that indicates that somebody - NSF, USFW, GDNR, whoever - thinks it could be useful. And that's why we are in this game, trying to figure out the world so our understanding can make lives better (whether they are human lives or octopus lives, I'm equal opportunity when it comes to sentient beings!). So, I'm all about mentoring and helping young scientists do their work better, learn what they need to learn. Just be sure to make your decisions about joining any department, any university, any lab, with eyes wide open about where your best opportunities lie.

sure I've used this xkcd before, it is just too good....