Many of my blog posts can be considered sections in books that I might have written but probably never would have. So, here I’m trying to assemble these books as they get written.

Scientific Writing

Chapter 1: Writing productively

  1. Warm up before you write
  2. Silence your inner critic
  3. It’s easier to write when you know what you want to say
  4. When should you stop doing science and start writing a paper?
  5. When will that paper be ready?
  6. No one reads your paper either

Chapter 2: Constructing meaningful sentences and paragraphs

  1. Avoiding the official style
  2. Writing paragraphs that make sense—the topic and the stress position
  3. Don’t use the passive voice?
  4. Articles!
  5. To write well, learn how to read

Chapter 3: Writing scientific papers, grants, etc.

  1. Writing a scientific paper in four easy steps
  2. How to prepare an article for resubmission
  3. How to prepare an article for resubmission, Part II
  4. How to reject a rejection
  5. The critical need in a grant application
  6. Use fine-grained sectioning in your grant proposals

Chapter 4: Creating professional documents, graphs, and figures

  1. Formatting figure captions and tables
  2. The axis labels are too damn small
  3. To grid or not to grid
  4. How to not mess up your bibliographies with Bibtex

Professional Development as a Scientist

Chapter 1: The academic career

  1. From undergraduate to faculty member: Critical decision points in the academic career
  2. How good is good enough?
  3. How to choose the right lab for graduate school
  4. What is the value of a mentor?
  5. Surviving the pre-tenure years at an R1 university

Chapter 2: Being successful in graduate school

  1. Understanding the graduate-school interview or recruitment event
  2. 6 reasons to do your graduate work in the lab of a junior PI, and 6 reasons not to
  3. How to pick a thesis committee
  4. How to schedule a committee meeting
  5. Excess ambition—the eternal flaw of all PhD thesis proposals
  6. Do you have to publish papers to obtain a PhD?

Chapter 3: Giving presentations

  1. Giving effective presentations

Chapter 4: Applying for jobs

  1. Should you list on your cv a paper that is in review or in preparation?

Chapter 5: Applying for funding

  1. Which grants get funded at single-digit funding rates?
  2. The critical need in a grant application

Chapter 6: Miscellaneous topics

  1. How to develop a research question
  2. How to develop a research question, Part II
  3. Safety projects
  4. Share your preliminary work with other people, even if you think it’s crap
  5. What does it take to be a computational biologist?
  6. Should you as a scientist be active on LinkedIn?
  7. How to approach professors by email