Graduate funding often matches the 9-month term that most professors hold, so not every graduate student has access to year-round funding. Perhaps you pick up a job at the local coffee shop, or maybe you move back home for three months, or maybe you have somehow saved enough money to have a white-knuckle penniless ride through JJA (that’s June, July, and August in climate-speak). However, did you know that there are numerous routes to funding your summer, while doing something you love AND forwarding your career?! We have listed some traditional and non-conventional methods here.
So, we’re in graduate school, ready to throw ourselves into a new chapter of life as “early career scientists.” Now what? We’re in a new world with endless possibilities and unknown limits - where do we even begin?
My first year in Fairbanks, AK I worked as a technician at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and spent much of the first few weeks of the academic year pestering any natural sciences professor that would listen to me.
“I don’t have any funding - come back with a question and maybe we can figure something out.”
The past three months have been the most hectic for me in quite awhile. In August, I started on the final stages of my dissertation, putting everything together to finish my Ph.D. All of it culminated right at the end of October with my defense. Thankfully for me everything came together, and I passed!! Yes, I was nervous and stressed out (and occasionally frustrated) in the weeks prior to my defense, but I didn’t lose my sanity. What got me through it? Three things: balance, support, and perspective.
As March comes to a close, we have once again celebrated the many contributions of women to society. For many of us conducting research at the Climate Science Centers and partner institutions, women who have made tremendous strides in our various scientific fields like Marie Curie, Rachel Carson and Jane Goodall, come to mind.
I like a good goal. I like checking off the old box when something has been completed. Learning how to set goals can help us strive to get to the next level, increase our proficiency, get a paper submitted for publication, learn new statistical approaches. But goals can also be our downfall. Let me explain. I knew a student who was just raring to move on from where they were. They were getting close to being done, and started applying for new positions. A new job can be a wonderful motivator for closing a chapter of your professional development, but only when you are ready.
You know, I can’t count the number of times I’ve ended up in the position in this cartoon. In the case of graduate school, this can be both detrimental and helpful. Helpful, because when you are in classes it can mean that your homework and class projects get done on time. Detrimental, because that little thing called your thesis can end up getting pushed off because it’s at the bottom of the pile. So the key here is how do you effectively organize yourself so you can get things done?