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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. The successful completion of a graduate program in biological sciences is an endeavor that entails a passion for science. It requires some essential ingredients, such as the ability to think independently, a deep understanding of your study system, focus on strategic priorities, and establishing collaborations.
A graduate program is also filled with challenges and hurdles. We have found, however, that in addition to those commonalities, students face regional variations, features that are specific to a particular part of the world. In this article, we posit that certain circumstances faced by graduate students are distinctively Latin American. On one side, limitations in human, infrastructure, and monetary resources are features that underlie the performance of the majority of graduate programs around the developing world [ 3 ].
On the other side, many unexplored ideas and research avenues dazzle the future possibilities of students of this region. Regardless, there is something unique to Latin American programs that needs to be explicitly said.
We hope that the following Veracruz grad seeking rules can appropriately summarize those characteristics. The aim of this paper is to help prepare students interested in graduate programs in Latin America for the exciting experience they are about to start. When reading each of these rules, keep in mind the goal of this paper is to power your interest in science by presenting you its brilliant side as well as its caveats.
We put special emphasis on how creativity, collaborations, and a great dose of energy can help them overcome those limitations.
Choose your adviser and your program carefully [ 1 ]. Graduate programs tend to have a local flavor and specialization. Consequently, many of them lack a critical mass in some areas. It is difficult to find a world expert in your specific field that—in addition to having similar research interests as yours—can provide funding or materials to support at least part of your work. Students often include a codirector for their graduate work, who usually brings additional expertise and other resources to their research but that often puts them in the midst of opposing views of how their own work should be done.
However, 2 experienced views and 2 sources Veracruz grad seeking financial support even if meager are better than 1. If at all possible, meet your future adviser s in person. This is of vital importance. Culturally, these meetings are more valued than other forms of communication. In both cases, the refinements of their investigations will come with time and in the process of crafting a research project. Enter a field you feel passionate about. Figure out the Latin American cultural idiosyncrasies regarding students; learn about the habits of your adviser show much time and attention they give to them, how willing they are to go out of their way to help their students, and how good they are at communicating.
Generally speaking, senior, better-funded scientists have less time for students. References of the specific program you are applying to are key.
With very few standardized, region-wide, graduate program rankings e. Word of mouth matters, especially in Latin America. Ask current or past students of the program about their experiences. The basic infrastructure of an institution is a criterion of utmost importance, particularly if your research is demanding in terms of equipment, space, computing, and laboratory conditions. Consider having international committee members often a great resource [ 4 ]. For those interested in professional futures outside academia, there are very few programs preparing students for careers in private, non-profit, and government positions.
The majority of the opportunities for growth in those sectors are accessed through your own enthusiasm, life experience, and hard work. Some countries have robust scholarship programs for graduate students, often open to applicants from any country provided they pass through the regular admissions procedures.
Funding is usually limited or highly competitive. Take advantage of these programs, as they are constantly adjusting the of scholarships available and the amount of financial support that they provide. Some graduate programs very few, we should say have their own additional funding to supplement graduate students. Most scholarship programs Veracruz grad seeking mutually exclusive—accepting one precludes you from applying to a second one.
Working on other jobs while you are a graduate student, when allowed, is discouraged and often limited to a certain of hours per week. Consider that the standard monthly scholarship is only sufficient to cover the expenses of a single person and that having dependents only makes you eligible for additional funds under some circumstances. Many students report using some of their scholarship funds to cover parts of their research expenses. Learn how to get funds from external sources Box 1. Go beyond the national boundaries for this; small grants are available from international, and even from nonconventional e.
Being a student member of scientific societies makes you eligible for larger pool of grants. Looking for funding to cover your graduate research can take you to an online labyrinth. Below, we list 4 common gateways to find what you are looking for.
Graduate fellowships. The funding to cover the bulk of your graduate studies typically comes from fellowships offered by federal research agencies. These fellowships are available to applicants from any country or for Mexican nationals who plan to study abroad. Many of these agencies have special opportunities for women in science, special projects, internationalization, and study abroad opportunities that are separate from their standard graduate fellowships. Scientific societies. The majority of the most prominent scientific societies in the world have lists of grants and prizes available for students.
Are you an ecologist? Perhaps an evolutionary biologist? This list is a tiny sample. Check the society that most closely matches your field and Veracruz grad seeking advantage of this benefit to its members. Courses, workshops, and conferences. The organizers of training and academic exchange gatherings, such as conferences, symposia, and its associated courses and workshops, normally have funding available to facilitate graduate student attendance. This support has many different forms: registration fee waivers, free society memberships, volunteering opportunities, and competitive travel grants for attendants.
Explore your possibilities carefully and put time into applying for relevant opportunities. Grants and prizes from subject-specific sources. Last, many groups ranging from scientific to amateur make funding available for graduate students through small grant programs.
Google them using the search words that best fit your research. Latin American students are eligible to many of them. Some students entering graduate programs that already have academic positions can take a salaried leave of absence.
If you are going back to grad school from a job elsewhere, remember that becoming a student is a very demanding commitment and, consequently, comes with changes in your income.
Save money. Project future expenses. Be ready for periods where your savings will be your best bet. Graduate school is a full-time endeavor. Contrary to the somewhat standardized admissions processes at universities in the developed world, the process to select graduate students varies greatly in Latin American programs often within the same university.
Deadlines, requirements, exams, interviews, etc. This means that each and every application requires a substantial effort to put together. Follow admission rules strictly. Be aware that some graduate programs include prep courses for their own degrees. Standard exams are often the most valued criterion for selecting students and a filter to reduce the size of the group of applicants.
Throughout the duration of your program, be meticulous when Veracruz grad seeking administrative procedures. Latin American graduate programs are plagued by paperwork requirements. The systems themselves can be rigid and not prone to creative solutions.
Make in-person visits to program officers, get to know the registrar and administrators, be strict and exhaustive when compiling certificates, apostilles, notarized documents, immigration paperwork, and other forms, letters, and atures. Your management of those procedures and requirements needs to be spotless. Plan way ahead of time and always meet deadlines. Officers running graduate programs often do many jobs at once.
We know programs run by people who have a research program of their own, teach, and coordinate the graduate program at a university or research center. Be persistent when communicating with them. s very often do not suffice. Get on the phone. Get answers to your questions.
And do so with grace and good manners. Let us say it again: It is essential [ 45 ]. The overwhelming majority of your reading materials while you are a graduate student are in English. The language to communicate your in peer-reviewed journals and reach broad audiences is English as well. The standard language used in international conferences and symposia is English. Many courses, software, listservs, newsletters, scientific societies, and a myriad of other tools to catapult your science career are, as you can imagine, in English.
You will need to work hard in overcoming the limitation of English not being your native language. Better embrace it, learn English, and do it sooner rather than later. With the English language as one of your skills, you should be able to access and navigate the somewhat flat field of science.
The cost of not knowing English is too expensive, and you cannot afford it. Papers are the most important communication currency in the sciences. Journals have adopted a variety of formats for the publication of research reports, opinion essays, letters, and other types of papers. Many graduate programs have courses and training opportunities to learn how to write papers. These courses teach how to build a manuscript around a central idea, organize its content, write clear and concise messages, and be impeccable with regards to grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
They also teach what, where, when, and how to publish.Veracruz grad seeking
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