Resources for Students and Postdocs

This page has links to articles and papers of general interest to graduate students and postdocs, especially those at the start of their careers.

"A Grad School Survival Guide": Andrew Gaudet, Science (2015) 347:1386.

"How to choose a good scientific problem": Uri Alon, Mol. Cell (2009) 35:726.

"How to give a good talk": Uri Alon, Mol. Cell (2009) 36:165. (And Uri Alon gives very good talks)

"Billboard Science": Kenall Power, Nature (2012) 483:113. Some tips on making effective research posters.

"The care and maintenance of your adviser": Kearns and Gardiner, Nature (2011) 469:570. Getting the most out of your PI.

"From trainee to tenure-track: ten tips": Tuuli Lappalainen, Genome Biology (2015) 16:132.

Think. Check. Submit: Choose the right journal for your research

Blog entry: Giving a Chalk Talk by Joan E. Strassmann

"Ten Rules" series: PLoS Computational Biology publishes occasional brief articles in its "Ten Rules" series on topics such as preparing presentations, choosing a laboratory, forming collaborations, etc.

"Error Bars in Experimental Biology": Cumming, Fidler and Vaux, Journal of Cell Biol. (2007) 177:7. Eight simple rules to assist with effective use and interpretation of error bars.

"Points of View": Nature Methods' column on effective visual presentation of scientific data.
  • "Design of data figures": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2010) 7:665. What types of graphs are most effectively interpreted?
  • "Color coding": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2010) 7:573. Notes on effective use of color in presentations and publications.
  • "Salience": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2010) 7:775. How to make your visual images stand out.
  • "Gestalt Principles I": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2010) 7:863. Grouping and composition.
  • "Gestalt Principles II": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2010) 7:941. Composition and layout.
  • "Negative Space": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2011) 8:5. Effective use of white space in poster layout.
  • "Points of Review (part 1)": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2011) 8:101. Design principles for figures in journals.
  • "Points of Review (part 2)": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2011) 8:189. More design principles for figures in journals.
  • "Typography": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2011) 8:227. Effective use of typefaces.
  • "Color Blindness": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2011) 8:441. Making sure everyone can see the color information in your figures and presentations.
  • "Arrows": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2011) 8:701. Tips on using and formatting arrows and leaders.
  • "Layout": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2011) 8: 783. Design principles for poster and slide layout.
  • "Salience to relevance": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2011) 8:889. Making sure the most noticible features are the most important.
  • "The design process": Bang Wong, Nat Meth (2011) 8:987. The value of 'design' itself.
  • "Labels and callouts": Martin Krzywinski, Nat Meth (2013) 10:275. Making good figure labels.
  • "Elements of visual style": Martin Krzywinski, Nat Meth (2013) 10:371. Effective figure design principles.
For students beginning work on computational/dry lab projects:
Bioinformatics "Primers" from the occasional Nature Biotechnology series: