Graduate Student and Postdoc Resources and Opportunities

Lab work

Brandeis MRSEC is committed to training and preparing their graduate students and postdoctoral associates for future careers in materials research. As part of this training, they provide these scholars formal training in a MRSEC laboratory under the close supervision of a faculty member with opportunities for professional development, a required course in research ethics, and opportunities to teach and engage with younger students. Below are some of the opportunities for scholarly engagement that MRSEC trainees have available to them.

MRSEC Training Committee

The MRSEC Trainee Committee consists of MRSEC students and postdocs working to promote participation in the MRSEC and to organize career development workshops.

MRSEC Instructorship Prize

The MRSEC Prize Instructorship, awards a $6,000 prize to a MRSEC-affiliated postdoc or graduate student to design and teach a Brandeis University upper-division course during the Spring semester. Proposed courses must be aligned with the goals and research of the Center. Prizewinners receive one-on-one coaching and support to help them develop and teach their course. Applications open in January.

Short Research Courses

The MRSEC offers an annual short research course called, The Introduction to Microfluidics. It is intended for graduate students, post docs, faculty and industrial scientists and engineers interested in utilizing microfluidic technology in their work, in both physical sciences and life sciences, and does not assume any specific prerequisites. See Microfluidics Course Announcement for more deatils. 

Mentoring and Diversity Training

The MRSEC offers opportunities for graduate students and postdocs to mentor undergraduate students who are participating in the REU or SMURF Programs. This includes:

  • 10-weeks of intensive one-on-one mentoring of an undergraduate
  • Resources for communicating goals and expectations
  • Contributions to the group discussions on the elements of good summer research projects and excellent mentorship in the laboratory
  • A 90-minute workshop on “Inclusive Mentoring and Academic Belonging” in which the goals of the workshop are for participants to be able to:
    • Describe stereotype threat and growth mindset
    • Encourage re-attributions of difficulty
    • Encourage belonging based on effort and engagement

Presenting at Local and National Conferences

The Brandeis MRSEC encourages their graduate students and postdocs to attend local and national conferences and present their work.  See the list of Important Annual Conferences for MRSEC Members. Additionally, the Brandeis MRSEC co-organizes and hosts the longstanding New England Complex Fluids (NECFW) and Greater Boston Area Statistical Mechanics  (GBASM) Workshops. The NECFW, co-founded by Fraden and Dave Weitz, has held >70 meetings and has over 2,000 members. It meets four times per year with the fall meeting held at Brandeis. GBASM meets annually. All of its meetings have been held at Brandeis. Each of these workshops has about 100 people in attendance. The purpose is to give graduate students and postdocs a chance to present their work, to network, form collaborations, and learn about careers in industry and academia.

Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) Workshops

The MRSEC has developed short hands-on workshops for its members about its IRGs to explain essential methods and discuss recent discoveries by labs using these techniques.

Membrane IRG Workshop, offered August 4, 2017

2017 Membrane Workshop Agenda 2017 Membrane Workshop 2017 Membrane Workshop 2017 Membrane Workshop

Active Matter IRG Workshop, offered February 20, 2013

Active Matter Workshop 2015 Active Matter Workshop 2015 Active Matter Workshop 2015

BZ Workshop IRG Workshop, offered July 13, 2011

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