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Questions tagged [biology]

On standards or conventions specific to biology as an academic discipline, and programs that lead to a degree in this field

320
votes
12answers
47k views

I don't want to kill any more mice, but my advisor insists that I must in order to get my PhD

When my supervisor pitched the PhD to me, it was all about analyzing "big data". I had BSc/MSc experience in wet-lab biology (mainly culturing cells), however I wanted to branch out into ...
60
votes
8answers
24k views

I'm afraid of chemicals. How do I handle my required uni biology class?

I have a freshman requirement as a science student for at least 3 core science classes, and I picked physics as often as I could. However, I must choose either chem or bio as my third. I chose bio. ...
58
votes
8answers
11k views

How to by-pass bioethics for a trivial bio-experiment?

I am from Computer Science (CS) doing microscopy imaging applications, mainly in software side. Recently we submitted a paper to Scientific Reports on a new algorithm. My own human blood cells (a ...
39
votes
5answers
9k views

Where can I do a research paper or thesis without enrolling in a college or university?

I am not seeking a masters or PhD degree, but I would like to do a research paper and have it peer reviewed academically? Is this possible? If so, where and how to do it? Addendum: Thank you for ...
26
votes
4answers
7k views

What are alternatives to Journal of Theoretical Biology? [closed]

I am considering joining the recent boycott of Elsevier, however I work with biologists on theoretical/mathematical biology (in particular, evolutionary game theory and population biology). However, ...
17
votes
5answers
998 views

How to build bridges between mathematicians, computer scientists and biologists?

I am part of a recently founded laboratory in computational biology and we are trying to get all the parts (biologists, computer scientists, mathematicians, and so on) to speak the same language, or ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

What category in my C.V. should I put papers where I've contributed but was not listed as an author, nor in acknowledgments?

I performed a small set of experiments for a few published papers. The authors of these papers decided that my work was not significant enough to warrant my name on the papers. I am not mentioned in ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Should I decline unrelated work assigned by PhD advisor?

During the past years of my PhD program in biology, my advisor has developed a habit of lending my service to other labs/groups for potential collaborating opportunities. In addition to helping fellow ...
12
votes
2answers
543 views

How do you validate a scientific paper that uses a non-public cell/animal line?

Recently my lab published a paper that uses a mouse line from another lab. Without going into too much detail since not everyone here is a Biologist, this other lab has a mouse with a reporter gene ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Rules for notifying co-authors about re-presenting a project at a conference

I am a PhD student in molecular biology & bioinformatics in Australia. I have previously presented one of my projects as a poster at a conference. This was sent for review to all co-authors, ...
9
votes
6answers
846 views

Best strategy to learn programing for graduate research data analysis in biology

I'm actually asking this question on behalf of a sibling who's pursuing a PhD in Biology. While I'm a Mechanical Engineering student and am "computer-savvy" and experienced in learning programming ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Can I ask for authorship/acknowledgement for writing small data analysis program for a large study?

Earlier this year I entered into a high-profile molecular biology lab and started doing wet lab work (I am an undergraduate). Knowing that I have a computational background, my PI asked that I also ...
9
votes
4answers
509 views

What information to share and what to hide?

Science and research is open knowledge. We should always share our knowledge with each other. However in current competitive world, scooping research is very common (specially in bioinformatics, ...
8
votes
2answers
464 views

Should biomedical engineering/ biotech academics aim to start businesses?

in my relatively short academic career, I've gathered that academic engineering seems to be more about creating ideas than actually iteratively improving a product using engineering methods. In my ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it possible to do research in cell/molecular biology without doing experimental work myself?

I am currently a master’s student hoping to shift into a PhD. The thing is, I hate the lab work. I love all the literature review, designing experiments, troubleshooting problems and data ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I explain change of major in my statement of purpose?

During my masters program I changed my major from Molecular Biology to Biotechnology. Should I explain in my statement of purpose for PhD programs why I changed my major?
7
votes
3answers
488 views

Minor revision- Editor implied to do the experiment, however a rebut would clarify the issue

We recently received comments from the reviewers after revision. Comments were positive, one reviewer asked us to do an experiment. EES status says its minor revision, editor's email do not say it's a ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Trying to switch fields from PhD in computational biology to postdoc in machine learning/stats, how to increase likelihood of success?

All of the following takes place in a UK university. I have a BSc in Physics and an MSc in Computer Science. My thesis was on applying various machine learning/statistical techniques to biological ...
7
votes
1answer
290 views

Effect of bland cover letter for journal submission in biology

I'm not used to writing covering letters for journal submissions, and I believe this is pretty standard in maths. However, I got into a conversation with a friend in biology, who said they expect to ...
7
votes
1answer
141 views

Getting a masters in WildLife Biology after receiving a PhD in math advice

I am currently working on getting my PhD in theoretical math. My dream has always been to work with animals and help preserve our wildlife. I would like to become a wildlife biologist. I checked some ...
6
votes
2answers
963 views

Does staying in a Master's program for too long look bad on PhD applications?

I am currently a (USA) Master's student studying biochemistry. I intend to get a PhD after my Master's but I am doing a Master's first because my husband is going to finish his PhD and want to move to ...
6
votes
3answers
236 views

Is it bad to teach high school science for a few years before attending graduate school? [closed]

I've just graduated with my BS. I have been offered a job to teach biology at a christian university prep academy. I desperately need the money, and I was raised religiously, so I expect that I will ...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

Do PIs ever get outside help when writing grant applications?

PIs can have students assist with grant applications, but do they ever hire outside help? I have heard of freelance grantwriters who work for non-profits outside of academia, does this ever happen ...
6
votes
1answer
258 views

Is teaching for a biology program without “specialized accreditation” bad for your career?

I plan on graduating with my PhD in May and am currently job searching for academic positions for next fall. I am looking into applying to be a full-time biology faculty member at a school which is ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

How to transition from pure biology PhD to bioinformatics/biostatistics?

I've been working as a PhD student in biology and currently in my last year. However I realised just a year into my PhD that I hated doing experiments, I really hated it. I think one of the reasons ...
5
votes
1answer
420 views

Applying for a PhD after taking a year off

I completed my Master's in biotechnology exactly a year ago, and after failing to find a job in science took an office job to pay the bills. Now I'm thinking of applying to a bio PhD, but I'm worried ...
5
votes
2answers
159 views

Is it possible to cross over from chemistry to biology?

I'm currently a chemistry major. However, I am more interested in the life science and want to be a molecular biologist in the future. However it is too late to change my degree to biology so I am ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Speaking to experience in a statement of purpose for a PhD program.

I am beginning the process of applying to PhD programs in Neuroscience for a fall 2015 start. I will be graduating this December with a Bachelor's in biology and math. I have been working as a ...
5
votes
2answers
611 views

Dr.rer physiol. title in Germany

I am a future PhD student here in Germany and I am worried about whether the PhD German title (Dr.rer.physiol.) will be accepted internationally in general and in Germany in particular. In fact here ...
5
votes
2answers
462 views

Five-year cutoff for postdocs?

I am currently a postdoc in a genomics lab, doing computational work. I will be completing three years in the lab, this fall (this in the US). I graduated with a PhD in theoretical physics in 2012 (US ...
5
votes
1answer
362 views

How can I identify research opportunities I am qualified for, and position myself as a competitive candidate, in a different field from my degree?

I currently have a BSc. in Environmental Science and would like to go back for a biology focused PhD in the next few years. I keep seeing the recommendation that having a good research fit will be ...
5
votes
0answers
253 views

Are there any journals where I can publish a research proposal? [closed]

Just curious, are there any journals where I can publish research proposals? I know there is one (Research Ideas and Outcomes) out there, but are there any others?
4
votes
3answers
9k views

Comparing a career in medicine vs. medical research?

My friend recently graduated with a bachelor degree in biology. He is thinking that he can help more people by studying a biomedical engineering Ph.D., rather than becoming a medical doctor. He is ...
4
votes
3answers
725 views

Is it possible to get a PhD in molecular/cell biology/genetics without work with mice? How to find such a lab?

I don't want to kill any more mice, but my advisor insists that I must in order to get my PhD I read the above post and I realized that I will be sailing in the same boat. I am planning to get ...
4
votes
4answers
496 views

Is it possible for people to go into math or physics fields from a degree in biology?

On this website (and on the Internet in general), it looks to be in vogue for physicists and mathematicians to move into biological fields to apply their mathematical knowledge and also the general ...
4
votes
2answers
57 views

Life sciences publishers that support/encourage collaborative manuscript review?

Full disclosure: I'm asking this as a displacement activity while I should be reviewing a paper. Given how well journal clubs etc work, it has occurred to me a few times that reviewing a manuscript ...
4
votes
3answers
159 views

Does anybody have some research papers writing advices?

I am writing a biology research paper. My topic is related to organs transplantation (current issues, ethical problems etc). I have written a draft and showed it to my professor. She was satisfied ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Should I mention the reason I changed labs so often on my C.V. and/or cover letter? (Due to lack of funding)

I have changed labs 5 times in the past 13 years as a research lab technician. Every time the reason was only because a lab ran out of funding. Unless the recruiter contacts my references, they might ...
3
votes
3answers
477 views

How much do bench skills matter for a postdoc?

If you're hiring a postdoc, how much do you care about the techniques they've used in the PhD? I'm thinking ahead to the postdoc search (will probably start in earnest in summer/fall). My current ...
3
votes
3answers
352 views

How to avoid personal issues interfering with my Ph.D. studies?

Background My life had (and still has) difficult problems (chronic disease and its consequences: social isolation, anxiety, having to take extra measures to take care of my health...). As a ...
3
votes
2answers
957 views

Non academic career for PhD in Biology

This question has asked previously for PhD in mathematics and computer science in this StackExchange forum. However, the situation will be completely different for Biology graduate because of the ...
3
votes
1answer
827 views

In which case does PLOS ONE use a third reviewer?

We have submitted our manuscript 10 weeks ago to PLOS ONE and are still waiting for a first decision. We sent an inquiry, and they replied that the paper is under review with a 3rd reviewer. Does it ...
3
votes
3answers
322 views

Soon to have a PhD in theoretical biology - now what? [closed]

So, in a bit more than 1 year, I will have my PhD. I have been doing well, I will probably with 4 papers published by the end of it. However, I have been feeling a bit empty. I feel like I started ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Which undergraduate major leads to a research career in development of new medical drugs?

Let's say someone wants to study biochemistry and his main goal is to do research in drug design (development of new drugs). So, his main interests concerns with Pharmacology, right? However, there ...
3
votes
3answers
207 views

How can I get a postdoctoral position in neuroscience after completing my PhD in Mechanical Engineering?

I recently completed my PhD in mechanical engineering and have been applying for postdocs in neuroscience for the past 5 months. My field is dynamical systems theory and statistics, so I look up ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

In biology, can one publish results that were already published in a conference proceedings?

In my old field (a subdiscipline of computer science) it's not unusual to publish a preliminary version of a paper in a conference proceedings, and then later submit an updated version to a journal, ...
3
votes
1answer
261 views

How to spot problematic pictures in a publication? [duplicate]

A few professors from the National Taiwan University were caught manipulating experimental data in their publications on several prestigious journals this year. They were accused of using the same ...
2
votes
3answers
433 views

I want to do a masters in Biology, but I hate lab work [closed]

I have one year left of my Biology degree in the UK, and I want to do a masters. I love biology and I enjoy learning, specifically in cellular and cancer biology. However, I do not enjoy labs, I find ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

How do I balance interests within a specialized PhD? Do I simply read a lot outside my field?

I'm going to get a Master's in Artificial Intelligence, likely a PhD in Molecular Biology afterwards. I'm thinking I can do computer vision as a hobby while putting most of my energy toward ...
2
votes
2answers
241 views

Mistakes post publication

I just discovered some mistake after the online publication? There are two mistakes- instead of figure S4A (supplementary figure), it says Figure S3A at two places. It's very embarrassing, should I ...