Meetings on "How to ... "

Quantum Device Physics Laboratory

The idea...

The idea is to discuss and train issues that are important for researchers in general and physics-related scientists in particular. Examples are how to explain your work when you are caught off guard and only have limited time available, creating posters, how to write (or rewrite) your CV.

Who can participate?

The course is set up for Ph.D.-students mainly at QDP and surrounding groups. Credits for the course must be negotiated with the graduate school examinator of the student. I estimate that full participation in the course, including all written and oral exercises, carries a work load equivalent to approximately two "new credit points".

Active participation is a must, and I expect the students to be present at all meetings except if it really is not possible due to prior planning. During the course a number of documents must be produced and either handed in or distributed to other students of the course for feed back. Thus material must be handed in, and must be handed in in time.

I want a first version of your CV enclosed with your application for the course to ensure that everybody realizes that work needs to be done from the outset of the course (please, either electronic pdf-file or paper version in my mailbox at MC2 - Word files not accepted as the print output will vary depending on the specific settings of the computer).

The course is designed with a physics-flavor of education in mind. This has bearing on details in how and what research is presented, the content on the CV and so on.

Preliminary plan

The following schedule will be updated during the course. Each meeting is approximately 90 minutes.

Tuesday April 7, 2009, at 9.00, kitchen of D5:Inofficial start (help with writing the required CV).
Tuesday April 14, 2009, at 9.00, Acceptorn (A604):CVs, first version.
Friday April 17, 2009, at 13.00, Acceptorn (A604):CVs, second version; hallway talks first versions
Tuesday April 21, 2009, at 9.00, Acceptorn (A604): Hallway talks second versions; start Elevator talks
Friday April 24, 2009, at 13.00, Acceptorn (A604): Elevator talks; start writing paper
Tuesday April 28, 2009, at 9.00, Acceptorn (A604): Writing papers
Tuesday May 5, 2009, at 9.00, Acceptorn (A604): Writing papers
Friday May 8, 2009, at 13.00, Acceptorn (A604): Writing papers
Tuesday May 12, 2009 at 9.00, Acceptorn (A604): Writing papers, Start of posters
Friday May 15, 2009, at 13.00: Cancelled
Tuesday May 19, 2009, at 9.00, Acceptorn (A604):
Tuesday May 26, 2009, at 9.00, Acceptorn (A604):
Friday May 29, 2009, at 13.00, Acceptorn (A604):

The Curriculum Vitae (CV)

There are many ways to write good CVs, but what you need for a start is simply something that works, no fuzz. Here is a link to help on writing that first academic CV from the CV doctor, and two commented real CVs example 1 and Example 2. Further, here are two examples with guidelines: John Wilkins' "one-pager" on writing a vita (look down to about the middle of the page) and an example of a research-oriented CV from "The Chronicle of Higher Education".

Please prepare, if you don't yet have one, a CV, and give it to me / send it no later than Thursday April 9 at 3 pm. You might want to revise your present CV after reading the guidelines. We will read the CVs during the course and comment on how to improve the document.

If you need to translate some specific Chalmers-related titles from Swedish into English you may want to consult this list (you must be on Chalmers Intranet to access the document).

The elevator talk (hallway, office,...)

We'll concentrate on training short descriptions of what you are working on (and why should anybody care?). Please as a starting point read the article "Making Science Understandable to a Broad Audience" by R. M. Reis, which appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, July 23, 1999 and is available electronically at


How to make a successful poster by J.W. Niemantsverdriet, also see the three example posters linked to from "How to Give Successful Oral and Poster Presentations" main page. Further links: Preparing Effective Posters and Creating Effective Poster Presentations.

Writing a research article

A good series of pages about writing an article is Wilkin's course homepage Writing & speaking about physics & astronomy homepage.

Copyright issues

On conference travels

Don't forget to plan ahead... hotels do need to be reserved and paid, your supervisor is not a piggy bank when you forget to bring sufficient cash, and sticking to your group of students from home does not give you the optimal experience science wise (but it may be fun...).

The following link is about seminar attendance (at your home university) but applies also to conferences Etiquette in departmental seminars (you may need to be at a Chalmers computer to access the paper).

The homepage of the professional physicist

You should have one with at least a minimum of information about your professional life. And it sure shouldn't look like the school kid's first attempt at communicating on the Web ("Hi, mom, see what I can do with a Web editor!"...).
What goes in, and what does not?

Useful links, besides the links above:

Back to:

Elsebeth Schröder's homepage MC2 Chalmers University of Technology

Revised May 5, 2009, by Elsebeth Schröder, schroder (at)