Advice to new graduate students

  • Invest time in learning tasks/project management – start here.
  • Review all of your tasks/next action weekly
  • Set time aside to review your projects/goals on a regular basis (at least monthly for projects and quarterly for goals).
  • Set time aside to do something else: sport, tricot, …

  • Be ready you never know when and where your best idea will come from. Have a trusted note system with you all the time.
  • If you do not have fun doing your graduate study project (I do not mean that it should be fun all the time but overall you should stand on the fun side of things), you either have the:

Of course, do not forget the warning notice, you’ve been warned ;-).


  1. Out of curiosity, and so I can better understand the context of your statements: do you give your graduate students a Statement of Expectations, or any list of classes you suggest that they take? Are they expected to be teaching assistants? Do you get funding for a whole Ph.D., or does your department have any sort of bridge funding between gaps in grants? Thanks!


    1. Your comments would probably fit better in a previous post but they are good questions.

      1) Yes, I used to have a presentation I gave to new students about expectations. However starting this year, it is now in the form of a three page documents detailing what I expect for graduate students but also what they can expect from me.

      2) Also yes. Since our graduate program is an accredited one, mandatory classes are well described. Optional classes are discussed.

      3) Either the students have their own scholarships or I fund them myself through grants. I will usually not take a student if I do not have the $ to see them through the normal length of studies for either a Master or PhD. I never needed bridge funding up to now but I did however delayed hiring to wait for response from granting agencies.

      As a graduate student, this is clearly a discussion you need to have with a prospective supervisor. Yes I do advise people to Google your intended supervisor, look at their linkedIn page, PubMed and so on. Due diligence shows that you are actually serious.


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