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AST 185C · Conference on Modern Astronomy    1   2  

Books, Resources: A few relevant books are: 1. "A Ph.D. is Not Enough! A Guide to Survival in Science," Peter J. Feibelman (1993); 2. "To Boldly Go: A Practical Career Guide for Scientists," Peter S. Fiske (1996); and 3. "Building a Successful Career in Scientific Research: A Guide for PhD Students and Postdocs," Phil Dee (a pseudonym; 2006). These and other materials are on a shelf in Peridier Library labelled "Careers." There is also a lot of material on the Web, including the Career Services site of the AAS,, and the on-line career advice website of the AAAS's Science magazine,

Topics for discussion in Ast 185C (not necessarily in this order):
  1. Introduction to research at Texas:
    • research facilities at McDonald Observatory (and elsewhere)
    • research activities at Texas, reviewed by research area
  2. Survival and success in the UT Astronomy program:
    • the official program (A to Z)
    • perspectives from several graduate students who are further along in the program
  3. Survival and success in an astronomy career:
    • statistics on the current job market in astronomy & how UT grads have fared
    • how to get yourself and your work known, job hunting strategies & advice from post docs
    • grantsmanship, professional norms, & ethical issues
    • non-academic careers, e.g. "industry," soft-money, and observatory or mission support
  4. Professional and communication skills
    • we'll do short practice oral presentations (before you have to do it in a seminar or class)
    • and discuss what goes on in the peer review process for journal articles & grant proposals

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28 August 2006
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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