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Ideal advisor wary of my lack of knowledge in biochem...

  1. Sep 28, 2015 #1
    I'm in a physics graduate program shopping around for research advisors and I met with my number one pick today. He works with biological systems using calorimetry and other lab methods a biologist would know. He saw my enthusiasm and liked it but was wary about my lack of biochem knowledge. He said for me to contact him at the end of the semester to see how things go with other candidates and how my interests evolve. I really would love to be in this group and I've been thinking about what would be a good sign for him.

    Would asking him for recommended books/material on biochemistry be helpful at all? I would obviously read and study them (granted I dont have THAT much time taking my other grad classes). Would he be more likely to look at that as being proactive and enthusiastic or could he look at it as desperate?

    With whatever group I'm ultimately in, I will need biochemistry knowledge anyway so its not like it would be for nothing.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, show him you're serious and interested and learn as much as you can from his project.

    Think of it this way one you are networking, you are learning his project and he knows it and two it becomes a no-brainer for him to seriously consider you over a more unknown student whom he has yet to figure out.

    The downside is that you've spent some time learning something you may not need but I think the risk here is worth it. The key is to keep in contact with him, ask questions about the things you're learning but make sure the questions are worthy of the professor and not simple newbie ones.
  4. Sep 29, 2015 #3
    It is most definitely a very good sign. Ask him for specific recommendations. Study it very seriously. This can only be positive, since if you don't get accepted, you'll still know some cool stuff.
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