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Choosing a graduate advisor/project

  1. Apr 8, 2015 #1
    I am at the point where I have to make a decision for which lab I will join in graduate school very quickly. The thing that scares me, however, is becoming too "specialized" in my decision to be qualified to do research in anything else. Is this the case for graduate school? Once I'm a postdoc researcher, will I be able to explore other labs?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2015 #2

    Randy Beikmann

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    I got my Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, specializing in noise and vibration, with my research on vibration of automotive belt drives. I didn't do a postdoc, so I can't say if your research topic would restrict the postdoc excessively.
    But I will say that every topic you'd do research on, that can be finished in a reasonable time, will be narrow. There just aren't many "general" topics that haven't been thoroughly treated. In industry, it seems pretty common to move to other topics than in your dissertation. Learning how to research is just as important as the research itself.
  4. Apr 8, 2015 #3
    That makes sense.

    I'm also going for the PhD in mechanical engineering. I will be working on multiscale modeling in solid mechanics. I was wondering if I decided to do a postdoc in some other sort of material science related subject if I would be under qualified or too specialized. But you're right, learning how to research is the main importance.
  5. Apr 9, 2015 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    This says it all:
  6. Apr 9, 2015 #5
    Have you talked with grad students from the various labs for their views on the issues you might have? Our have some of your classmates already done this and have this information for you. Check it out.
  7. Apr 9, 2015 #6

    Randy Beikmann

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    What gleem says is gold. Interview potential advisors, and other grad students. Just remember when you get opinions that not all students have the same wants, so you might like a certain advisor better (or not) than someone else does.
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