Whoops! Recent Graduate Realizes That Having A PhD Does Not Make Someone Employable

Originally published on the satire science journal website DNAtured

Job interviewee taking notes during an interview and looking concentrated
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

A recent grad student, who has asked to remain anonymous as to not influence their perspective chances at finding a job, has come to the unfortunate realization that having a PhD does not make them automatically employable.

“I was told during an interview last week that I was overqualified,” complained the student. “But in the next sentence, they said I didn’t have enough experience. How can it be both?”

Tragically, like many other prospective PhDs, the student thought that having a plethora of knowledge in a niche scientific area would be applicable outside academia.

“In today’s day and age, we are looking for candidates who can thrive in interdisciplinary teams,” Ms. Laurie Durham, Senior Recruiter at Biotech Intl., “not people who can recite the base pairs that code for the angiotensin-converting enzyme within one minute.”

“I can do that, but at this point, it’s basically just a party trick” confirmed the grad student. “When I started listing them off in my interview, the recruiter just looked at me in confusion.”

For other recent graduates concerned about running into the same problem, resume experts suggest adding “soft skills” to your resume. Being able to distinguish blobby lines and gather meaningful blot information, being able to turn hours of “data analysis” into doom scrolling, and being able to convince your supervisor that you need three more weeks to finish a powerpoint presentation are, in fact, very transferable to work life.

Aww! Nobel Prize Winner Thanks Post-Docs For Generously Allowing Him To Take Credit For Their Discovery

Originally published on the satire science journal website DNAtured

Hand holding up a Nobel Prize (coin shaped with Alfred Nobel's profile)
Photo by Adam Baker, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Editor’s note: to protect the identity and avoid embarrassment for the people involved, we have retracted the name and field of the Laureate – though if you were assuming it was a man, you’d be right. Not that it narrows the possibilities by much.

Academics around the world are applauding a recent Nobel Laureate for remembering to thank his overworked post-doctoral students after their discovery helped him win the notorious award. 

A leaked draft of the Nobel Laureate’s acceptance speech revealed some open secrets about his true feelings toward his underlings, which many have described as “out of touch.”. The full draft reads:

“I am truly thrilled and honored to receive this prestigious award all by myself, with no co-winners. I would like to thank the Nobel Prize committee for continuing the decade-long tradition of giving this prize to a man, the obviously bigger-brained of the sexes.”

“I suppose I should thank all the people who made this possible, including the many researchers before me who laid the groundwork for this science, but it’s not my fault that I simply did it better (neener neener)! “

“I’d like to thank my undergraduate minions who have worked endless hours in the lab for experience and no pay, my grad students who have given up their chance of any personal relationship to make this research a success, and finally, my post-docs who have generously allowed me to take credit for years of their work.” 

“I hope all the members of my lab are equally as thankful for the prestige of working in the lab of a Nobel Prize Winner! 

Since my graduate students will benefit tremendously from the increased status this award brings to the lab, I trust that they will understand when I cut their graduate stipends by 50%.”

Grad Student Becomes Lab’s Go-To Graphic Designer After Making Half-Decent Image In Powerpoint

Originally published on the satire science journal website DNAtured

Cartoon of a woman giving a PowerPoint presentation showing a pie graph.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Grad student Anna Esquivel’s duties, which already include carrying out her research project, managing the lab, and TAing twice a week, have now expanded to include creating all poster and presentation images for her group after she created a half-decent image of a protein for a lab meeting.

“It was so amazing to see,” said Dr. Lyndon Vang, a postdoc in the same lab as Anna who attended the lab meeting in question. “The Prof was incredibly impressed by Anna’s ability to turn the standard shapes available in Powerpoint to an adequate representation of a protein. You should have seen the Prof’s face when the animation started!”

Anna has now been tasked to create all the images that the lab will use for all future talks, posters, and publications – including a (virtual) poster presentation that Dr. Vang’s due to present tomorrow. “Good thing I have Anna to help me,” Dr. Vang says. “So far, all I have is a title and half an abstract.”

Jadine Sparks, another grad student in the same lab, is an aspiring science illustrator. “It’s kind of frustrating; I’ve spent hours creating scientifically accurate figures in Adobe illustrator, both for scientific posters I’ve presented and to expand my portfolio – I want to make a career out of this. But apparently, all my figures look “too professional” for a scientific conference.”

Anna allegedly also knows how to do conditional conditioning in Excel, implying that soon she will also be designated the lab’s biostatistician.


Bonus: here’s an actual image I made in PowerPoint for my PhD theses. It took me embarrassingly long:

Schematic of the crypt and villus structure that lines the gut, indicating the different cell types.
Schematic representation of a crypt and villus in the small intestine and its cell types. From The biomechanical properties of epithelial cells and tissue in two and three dimensionsBentivegna, V. (Author). 2019

Grad Student Desperate For Feedback Thrilled To Receive “K.” From Supervisor After Just 3 Months

Originally published on the satire science journal website DNAtured

Fourth year graduate student Virinder Singh was excited to find a new email from his supervisor in his inbox last Friday at 11:13 PM. Responding to a three-month-old request for feedback on a first draft, his supervisor had sent the following message:

K.

Sent from my iPhone

“I was having a drink when I checked my phone and noticed a new email,” Singh says. “I immediately rushed back into the office to start getting back to work. It was then that I realized that Prof McNally had forgotten to include the attachment.”

Singh’s supervisor, Dr. Alistair McNally is known for his open door policy: students can come to him anytime with questions. The door to his office is always open. He, however, is never there.

Dr. Jena Li, a postdoc in Dr. McNally’s group, seemed disgruntled: “Good for Virinder, I hope he’s able to finish that paper. I’ve been waiting more than a year for a reply to an email asking for a meeting. I’m not even sure Dr. McNally knows I exist!”

When asked for a statement, Dr. McNally replied “K.”

Text bubble with "k". Meaning (okay), noun. used when things are really, in fact, not okay

Whoops! This Research Chemist Forgot To Add “But Not For Drugs” At The End Of Their Google Search And Now They’re On A Watch List

Originally published on the satire science journal website DNAtured

Upset Oh No GIF by Broad City
(From Giphy)

Research Chemist Dr. Jamie Dennis was shocked to discover that they were on the FBI watch list after googling the chemical structure of phenylalanine, without specifying that they did not intend to make meth.

“I’m usually so careful,” says Dr. Dennis. “One of the first lessons you learn in a chemistry undergrad course is to always, always, put “but not for drugs” in a google search. Especially if you’re looking at crystallization temperatures.”

This is not the first time a member of the chemistry department has been flagged. In 2015, a grad student was temporarily suspended bringing blue rock candy to an after-class happy hour.

Breaking Bad Pizza GIF
(From Giphy)

“For the last decade or so, we’ve had to be a lot more careful,” said FBI Agent Susan Pearson. “We’ve put tabs on all chemistry teachers, chemistry grad students, and chemistry researchers, just to be safe. With those paltry teaching salaries, everyone wants to be the new Walter White.”

Dr. Dennis says that they’ve learned their lesson, but after comparing their postdoc stipend to the money that could be made from a few illegal synthesis reactions, says they will now simply complete future searches in Incognito mode.

ninja turtles lol GIF
(From Giphy)