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如何在美国寻找 PhD/postdoc 培训职位

如何在美国寻找 PhD/postdoc 培训职位 | 协和八

文章作者 Ronald E. LaPorte 教授来自美国匹兹堡大学医学院公共卫生学院,由他发起并主持的 Supercourse 是一个基于互联网的有关流行病学、全球卫生信息的学术平台,目前拥有遍布全球 174 个国家的会员两百万余人,该平台的免费数据库目前有超过 20 万篇次的讲座,被翻译成全球 33 种语言。2004 年,时任中国协和医科大学公共卫生学院院长的黄建始教授将 Supercourse 的概念引入中国,并在协和成立了 Supercourse China(SCC,即超级课程协会),由协和医大八年制临床医学专业的学生团队主要负责和管理。

尽管工作忙碌,Ronald E. LaPorte 教授仍坚持定期给 Supercourse 会员们发送 Supercourse Newsletter,或是向会员们更新平台数据库的最新情况,或是分享 Supercourse 最新动态,有时也像老朋友一样与大家谈谈心。

今天这篇文章来自于他今年 给大家分享的一篇关于“如何在美国寻找 PhD/postdoc 培训职位”的经验之谈,希望对所有想去美国深造的同学有所帮助。

如何在美国寻找 PhD/postdoc 培训职位 | 协和八

以下是原文

如何在美国寻找 PhD/postdoc 培训职位 | 协和八

The Game of Science:  

Rules as to how train in the US

I returned yesterday from a wonderful meeting on Society for the Advancement of Science in Africa from Africa. This is a dedicated cadre of scientists from African and North American who are working together in an attempt to bringing about scientific advancement in Africa. As part of the meeting several extremely bright young people came to me asking how they might come to the US to train.
There are many opportunities in the US, however, most do not know the “game of training” to be accepted to come. I thought I would write about what I used to look for in a student. I have had 32 predoctoral students and over 20 post docs.  Of this about 25 where from other countries. I typically would give preference to non-US students as their worth ethics was better and they were working in countries that I wanted to collaborate with. About twice a month a received an email like this:
Dear Professor
I like your research, can I be accepted into your program, please send money
This never works and immediately are sent to my spam file.
The guiding principle in selecting a student for me has been “How can you contribute to my program”. I really do not care about helping you, but rather what can you do for me.
We in science want to publish, get grants and explore new areas that I am interested.
“what can you do for me?”
There are several primary criteria for selection. This first is if you have data that are comparable to mine. One can come in an immediately start writing comparative papers.  When I was building registries world wide several young people from Brazil, Estonia, Argentina, Poland, etc. had built type 1 diabetes registries that were directly compatible with my efforts. When they came they could immediately join my research efforts.
Science is one gigantic network. Often one of my close collaborators would say, that they had a brilliant young research.  I would work hard to obtain funding.
A track record is also very important.  If there is the choice between on student who has 5 articles and another that has 20, everyone faculty member will go for the more productive one.
I also look for students who have the tools I need in research. In general students with just a MD degree are a dime a dozen, however, statisticians, geneticists, data analytic. A medical student or any student can greatly enhance their chances by having a secondary, more powerful, more useful interest. Medical students are often discriminated against by researchers with the feeling that all they want to do is to come for training and then get an MD job at lots of money, dropping their research. It is very important to indicate that one wants to do academic research.
If a student can quickly identify how they can contribute, I will do anything possible to help them come and train. We produce Just in Time Power Point lectures (lectures produced with in a day after disasters). Ebola exploded onto the picture, I put out a call for a lecture, and Musa Kana from Nigeria sent to us a beautiful lecture, the first Ebola lecture from Africa, by Africans.  He is now in the US.
What I look for are students who are more interested in my work than coming to the US to get a non-academic job.
The bottom line is I want to students to come in, Publish, Present and help write grants.  You need to show how you can do this.
There are certain steps that can be taken to improve chances.  Sending a blind application to a university often is not very successful, even though this is what schools tell you. Graduate school if more touchy feely, and the application does not tell one much unless the person has 25 publications. You need to demonstrate how interested you are in the scientist, and what you can contribute to their efforts. The contact of faculty has to be individualized to the faculty member.
Here are the steps I suggest :
  1. Identify an area that you are interested (e.g. diabetes epidemiology)
  2. Do a Google Scholar approach to find out who is publishing in the area
  3. Identify a set of say 20 experts who publish quite a bit (these are the people who likely have money
  4. Read the last 5 years of their publications
  5. Comprise a picture of these authors, as to their interests, and passion
  6. Figure out how you might be able to help THEIR research (remember they are not interested in you
  7. Prepare a short set of questions about their research
  8. Ask them how you might collaborate with them
  9. Ask them if you could write a grant with them to bring about their research in Uganda, Peru, Thailand (where ever you are from)
  10. Do not mention that you want to take a residency program in the US
  11. Wait until they respond (probably 1 out of 20), then try another 20
  12. If someone responds set up a skype call. In the call, get them talking about their research and how you can help
  13. At the call ask if you can write a review article with them at say, Diabetes in Ghana, etc.
Do not say anything about obtaining funding from them.  Focus on the possibility of you working with them to get funding (We all like interested “free bees”)
You are likely to be accepted in smaller schools, however, often they have limited funding.  It is good to work with a mixture of treat to limited schools.
There is the concept in foreign applications that we want you to go home.  For most of us, we do not care, as what we want to see is what you can do for us now.  The best of the best will always have opportunities to stay in the US.  Most of my foreign students have settled in the US and have important academic careers.  However, it is good to mention in your letter that you plan to go back, but this is not really a criteria for selection.
This is a most fun, but many of you do not know the rules.  
Remember you are in this for the long game.  It may take 2-3 years, but if you use this approach this will increase your chances.

如何在美国寻找 PhD/postdoc 培训职位 | 协和八
如何在美国寻找 PhD/postdoc 培训职位 | 协和八

Ronald E. LaPorte 教授

原文作者:

美国匹兹堡大学医学院公共卫生学院 Ronald E. LaPorte 教授

推文:
翁琳倩
排版编辑
臭梧桐叶

 

 

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