Graduate Research Opportunities
— an open letter from Sittinan —
Thanks for your interest in my lab. Here is some information to help you consider whether you should (or shouldn’t) join my lab and how to do so.
I always look for talented, motivated, and collaborative students interested in mRNA biology to join my group. You can read about our current research projects (make sure you log-in with your mahidol.edu account; if you are non-Mahidol students, please contact <<Sittinan>>), but our lab is also expanding into new territory when excellent findings/ideas arise (often from my students). To determine if you are a good fit for my lab, I encourage you to consider the following:
- Are you willing to spend much of your time thinking and answering fundamental questions of the birth, maturation, aging, and death of mRNA?1)
- Are you keen on learning new things and acquiring techniques to solve the fundamental science problems?2)
- After reading many textbooks, do you desire that one day your graduate research findings will be part of future biology textbooks?3)
- Do you have a desire to be an independent researcher in the future?4)
If you answer yes to at least two of the questions above, you may be a good fit within my lab. To help you and me make this assessment, please send me via email the following information: 1) a statement of why you want to join my lab and why my lab seems to be a good fit for you; and 2) a brief description of your previous research experience.
As you may be comparing potential graduate advisors, make sure to ask them about their mentoring philosophy. Here’s mine in brief. It is always an honor and a great responsibility to mentor talented students. So my job is to help my students find their passions, obtain scientific skills, focus on their research productively, and ultimately to help them fulfill their career goals.
As ‘education is a key to independence’, I have different levels of expectation on individual graduate students. If you are a MSc student, I expect that you can be an independent entry-level researcher, who is able to plan and conduct assigned experiments. After finishing the training with me, you should be a good part of a laboratory and well conduct research under the supervision of any scientists. But if you are a PhD student, I expect you to be an independent scientist who can hypothesize, plan, conduct experiments, interpret and discuss results, and report your findings either by writing or oral presentation. I’ll prepare you to be an independent scientist through research-based training. Also, I encourage all students to push and help one another to do the best possible research. I expect all members of my lab to both offer and accept constructive criticism and assistance. Finally, although I believe money must not be the first priority to choose my lab, I have certain Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowship Stipends for students who require.
If you wish to join my lab, I can accept MSc and PhD students through the Biochemistry (MSc/PhD) or Molecular Medicine (PhD) Graduate Programs. Please see the webpage of graduate school for information about application deadlines and requirements. If you are already enrolled in one of our Graduate Programs, please contact me via email or stop by my office at B310.
1) Although mRNA transcription, processing, and degradation have been discovered for decades, there are still many unknowns waiting for us to discover.
2) And because our research focus is at the frontier and takes place at the limits of knowledge, you (and also I) often need to learn many new things and use new techniques to answer those problems.
3) I am lucky enough to see new biology textbooks describing findings that my colleagues and I discovered many years back. It is my desire to share this indefinable feelings and experience to my students through research in my lab.
4) As a mentor of future independent researchers, I give my students full intellectual freedom. You may read, think, and come up with ideas and/or hypotheses. I always encourage my students to do so and discuss with me. If you can convince me that your hypothesis/method is great, I’ll certainly let you do what you want. For your information, the current success rate is ~50%. 🙂