Women in Genome Sciences (WiGS) is a group of genome scientists at the University of Washington working as an advocacy organization for women in our department and our field. We strive to ensure our department is encouraging to women by providing access to female speakers across diverse fields and career trajectories, developing mentorship opportunities, and assisting with career development and work-life balance. We believe that everyone should have an opportunity to be successful in science, regardless of their gender, race, sexuality, class, age, etc. Our group also has an interest in understanding how the research we perform ultimately affects minorities and society at large. We encourage all members of the department who are interested in these issues to join us.
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The minutes from our March 4th, 2015 organizational meeting are here
The minutes from our 2/4/15 organizational meeting are here
WiGS hosted its annual General Exam Prep Q&A session on January 8th, with a panel of third- and fourth-years offering tips to the current second-years.
How did you choose your committee members?
- You can base a committee based on your project or based on your career
- Sometimes committee grows organically from collaborations
- You can ask for advice beyond your immediate advisor on who should be on your committee
- First committee meeting can range from ideas-based to true dress rehearsal
- If you have someone hard to schedule, consider adding someone who’s not
- “Easy” vs. “hard” people on your committee – not necessarily about the type of questions they ask but what they expect of the student – want people who will eventually allow you to graduate
- If you have a methods or computational project, consider including someone who applies those methods
How much of the decision-making process for who would be on your committee was driven by your PI?
- Depends on PI – can be helpful to have them generate a list
How and when did you ask your committee members?
- It’s normal to meet with many potential GSRs
- Courteous to ask for an in-person meeting in your initial email reaching out
- Can mention in the email you know it’s a time commitment; give them an out, not obligated
Additional general advice:
- Make sure to check all the basic boxes – print the exam form, send in a short summary and long writeup in time
- If there is something important enough to be on a slide, make sure you know everything about it in detail
- Include your lab-mates in your preparation – give a practice talk with plenty of time, talk about the project and hit the big-picture questions
- If you are doing anything clinically-based, know the clinical side of it as well
- Start writing early, build the written exam gradually over time in bits and pieces
- Use this gradual writing time as a check for yourself to make sure everything makes sense
The minutes from our January 7th, 2015 organizational meeting are available here:
The minutes from the December 3rd, 2014 organizational meeting are here: