Author Archives: Joan E. Strassmann

About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis

For your NSF proposal, fit your Broader Impacts to existing infrastructure

One of the challenges to writing a compelling Broader Impacts section in your grant proposal is that we are not generally educated in this area. We are not high school teachers. Most of us have never made a museum exhibit, … Continue reading

Posted in Broader Impacts, Grant proposals, NSF, Outreach | Leave a comment

Improv for scientific communication with Aniek Ivens

How I wish I understood you, but I have no idea what you are talking about. You seem friendly and animated and clearly love your research, but what is your question? Why do you like this figure so much? What … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Creativity, Science writing for the public, Scientific meetings, Talks | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The best job for an undergrad premed student

Before medical school in the USA, premed students can major in anything, provided they take a certain number of science courses and some other requirements. In addition to college, they shadow doctors, observe in clinics, and go on service trips … Continue reading

Posted in Premed, Undergraduates | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What can you give others at a scientific meeting?

My undergraduate advisor, Richard Alexander of the University of Michigan once told me that there was nothing I could do better for my career than to give a great talk at a national meeting. Unfortunately, the converse was also true, … Continue reading

Posted in Scientific meetings, Undergraduates | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Undergrads: present your poster effectively!

You have your poster and have tacked it up at your assigned place on a rickety stand. People are starting to wander in. They walk down the middle of the poster isle, trying not to make eye contact so they … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An undergrad primer for attending scientific meetings

Undergraduates can benefit from attending scientific meetings even more if they have a plan. This plan should be focused around what you want to learn. The meeting overall will be broader than your specific interests, so it is good to … Continue reading

Posted in Posters, Presentations and seminars, Scientific meetings, Travel, Undergraduates | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to do an external review, particularly of a university department

There is a sameness to human organizations. This means that if you are conducting an external review, you can probably do a surprising amount of it without knowing anything about the particular group at hand. Knowing this, then looking for … Continue reading

Posted in Department Evaluation, Department politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment