BioPhilmD: Demystifying Grad School

Dear SciPos readers!

We know that the process of applying to Ph.D programs, along with many other aspects of the STEM Ph.D experience, can often seem mysterious. So a group of UW Biodept students have been working hard since the beginning of the year to create a series of videos and this week, a free web-streamed Q&A designed to demystify this process. We especially hope these resources will be helpful for potential students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, first-generation students, and students with disabilities, but they are intended for ANYONE interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Biology, in our program, or anywhere else.

We’re calling this project BioPhilmD. :) You can find short videos aimed at answering specific questions about graduate school at the YouTube channel BioPhilmD. In those videos, you will find advice and tips from current biology graduate students on how to put together your application package, how to navigate graduate life with a disability, what to expect on interview weekend, and many others! More videos are still coming, so please subscribe if you’re interested in being notified when they’re posted. If you find yourself with a question that isn't answered in a video addressing that particular topic, please leave a comment under the video and we will do our best to respond! You can also email us at

The videos are presented from the point of view of graduate students, so we also wanted to offer a faculty perspective on applying to and thriving in grad school. The faculty-hosted Q&A will happen on Friday November 16 at 3:30 pm in room 401 of the new Life Sciences Building—that is, THIS FRIDAY! We will have six faculty hosts who will each introduce themselves and their labs, and then take questions about grad school from a professor's perspective (what are they looking for in a grad student? what do students in their labs go on to do after they get their PhDs?). There will be refreshments!

Can’t come? No worries, the full seminar will be live streamed on our Youtube Channel, BioPhilmD. If you’d like to ask a question beforehand, you can do so by using the hashtag #biophilmd or by emailing us!

Faculty hosts:
Ben Kerr (Experimental evolution)
Sharlene Santana (Mammal evolution and diversity)
Daniel Promislow (Biology of aging)
Jen Nemhauser (Plant developmental biology)
Abby Swann (Ecoclimate, climate modeling)
Janneke Hille Ris Lambers (Community ecology)

Come join us!!

(The BioPhilmD project is sponsored by the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity and BEACON.)

 ~ Claire and Meera


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