My statement of purpose from a successful graduate school application

In this post, I am sharing my statement of purpose from a successful graduate school application.

I wrote it over 5 years ago, so I definitely cringe at a few things now, but hey, it got the job done and I am still rather proud of it. 


oindree banerjee at her college graduation at nc state on blog how to phd write a statement of purpose for graduate school
The author of the example SOP in this post, that is, me 5 years ago ;)

How much do graduate students get paid as stipend?

Question from an undergraduate student:


How much do graduate students get paid as a stipend?


at my desk during my PhD oindree banerjee how to phd blog how much do graduate students get paid as stipend?
Just a day in grad school - I was cold!

Should I stay longer and make sure the paper gets published?

Question from a PhD student:


I want to transition to industry as a research scientist. 

I have one protocol paper accepted, one second-author paper, and one first-author paper that is not yet submitted.

I am worried as my advisor wants to add more data to the first-author paper before submitting, and it keeps getting delayed. 

Now he wants me to stay as a postdoc to finish it.

My advisor knows I want to transition to industry.

Should I stay longer and make sure the first-author paper gets published?


oindree banerjee at phd graduation pic for blog how to phd should I stay longer and make sure the paper gets published
This is at my graduation, but I think I could pass as an agony aunt here

Free food in graduate school and what I learned from it

In graduate school, my office was on the third floor of the physics research building.

There was a big atrium in the middle of the building on the ground floor. 

There was a seminar room adjacent to it - this was where many events took place.

Events that generated FREE FOOD.


picture of plate of food by oindree banerjee for blog how to phd free food in graduate school and what I learned from it
No, this is NOT free food, just a pic I took and decided to use for this post

What happened when I joined the Cheeky Scientist Association

I sat in the dark in my bathroom.

It was late one night in November of 2017.

I was worried about my future.

What was my future?


what happened when I joined cheeky scientist association blog how to phd oindree banerjee
Photo credit: Linda Cremonesi, a postdoc at University College London

How to finish your PhD and graduate in a timely manner

So you started a Ph.D. Great!

You are doing lots of research, or maybe you are burned out. Either is understandable.

Maybe your advisor loves you and wants you around forever.

Or maybe they hate you and don't want to support you in any way. 

Or maybe they ignore you... a lot. 

Whatever the situation, it is in YOUR best interest to finish your Ph.D. in an (at least somewhat) timely manner.

But how?


picture of me Oindree Banerjee at my graduation ceremony used on blog post how to finish your phd and graduate on blog how to phd
At my graduation!

How to finish your PhD and graduate in a timely manner

So you started a Ph.D. Great! You are doing lots of research, or maybe you are burned out. Either is understandable. Maybe your a...