Grad school experience: call for submissions

from Dr. Yarden Katz:

A couple of us started a new project, Letters from Grad School ( – an anthology of graduate school experiences (see details below). Our goal is to represent alternative voices and perspectives on graduate school, from current and former graduate students, dealing with aspects of it that are often neglected – including sexism and racism in science. These stories will be published online and a subset will be selected for a book. (We respect the wishes of those who with to write anonymously.) We’re really appreciate it if you can share with your readers and on social media.

Thanks very much!

NOTE from ajj: the call refers to biology and biomedicine, but it was sent to a philosophy blog. Presumably they have a wide conception of relevance.

Call for submissions:

For every graduate student, graduate school is a different experience filled with ups, downs, failures, and successes. The goal of Letters from Graduate School is to build a collective of graduate school experiences from graduate students in the biomedical/biology PhD programs–your experience, in your own voice!

We are looking for graduate students who are interested in writing about their stories and experiences in graduate school–the good and the bad. We are creating a platform for sharing these stories to highlight the diversity of graduate school experiences. These stories will be shared through our web platform, and a selected set of entries will be compiled into a book.

We encourage your entry to be focused on a single topic that was formative in your graduate school experience. We have a few sample topics listed below, but don’t feel limited to our suggestions; we want to include as many unique perspectives as possible.

If you are interested in writing for us, please fill out the short form on our website – and we will get back to you. All essays will be edited in collaboration with the author before publication. We will respect authors who wish to share their story anonymously.

For any questions, email us at

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Kayla Lee
Chiara Ricci-Tam
Yarden Katz

The example topics below are divided into four sections, corresponding to graduate school stages: “Early years”, “The grind”, “Final stretch” and “Post-PhD”. Submissions should be under 2,000 words.

Early years
Why go to graduate school?
How to choose a lab?
Making friends in graduate school
Managing graduate school with a family
Rotations: getting the most out of them

The grind (mid-graduate school)
Intra-lab conflicts
On paper writing and publishing
Scooping: the threats, reality and recovery
Finance and graduate school
Depression and anxiety in graduate school
Switching labs
Deciding to quit graduate school
Being a minority in science
Sexism, racism, and classism in science

Final stretch (writing thesis)
Writing the thesis
Leaving things behind
Keeping in touch

Post-PhD (transitioning out of graduate school, finding next step)
Asking (and writing) your letters of recommendation
Finding a postdoc
Finding alternative (non-academic) paths
Learning from the graduate school experience

2 thoughts on “Grad school experience: call for submissions

  1. Regarding the focus on biology and biomedicine, here’s how the organizers put in in their FAQ:

    “Do you only accept entries from biology graduate students?
    We’re open to entries from all disciplines but our focus is on biology and biomedical medicine.”

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