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Most other scientists will be far more interested in whatthey think your results mean than in what you think they mean.
If you have a good idea, don't just throw it into a grant application--do the pilot experiment and get that result in hand.
"It's amazing how presenting your paper in a nutshell makes the real worth of your discovery shine."
A key indicator of your lab cred is whether people youve never met know who you are when you first meet them.
Remind yourself constantly that the reason you get up in the morning is to write scientific papers.
"This may sound a bit on the light side, but it guarantees that you are working on all, and no more, of the essential ingredients that need to be incorporated in your paper."
Don't be afraid to be your own advocate; aim your sales pitch at the right people and win their confidence.
If you read things at face value and don't wise up to the hidden meanings in paper-speak, you might get left behind.
"You want your student to be able to turn the handle and watch at least some decent results slowly emerge."
"I've decided to break all the rules. I'm tackling the whole thing in one go."
"Stress the need for accurate recording of the outcomes, as well as the importance of labelling which sample is which."
"Start to negotiate with your boss about your project aims, your workload, anything."
So I asked myself, "What is an undergraduate practical meant to achieve, and how do you prepare a successful one?"
This slimmed-down lab notebook means I don't have to waste hours every week neatly writing lengthy prose describing every detail of what I have done.
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