Frequently Asked Questions about EDIC

I’ve just been offered an EDIC fellowship starting in the Fall…

Q: What does it mean that I will “not be affiliated” during the first year?

A: Congratulations for being part of a select few who receive the EDIC fellowship! Being unaffiliated is a good thing: you will be free to engage in projects with different labs, while being financially supported by the EDIC fellowship. These projects will enable you to decide which research area and group of people you like the most. You will also get the chance to demonstrate your talent and skill, so at the end of the first year both you and the labs can decide on whether you’d like to work together.

Q: Should I contact professors now in order to work in their labs?

A: That is a good idea, though not strictly necessary. During the EDIC Open House (which you should definitely attend), you will get to meet in person with the profs and labs you are interested in. My recommended strategy is to contact the ones you’re interested in, probe for their plans in terms of taking on new students, then educate yourself in more depth about their work, and during the Open House meet with the two or three that you consider your absolute top choices. Such a meeting will help set the stage for your first-year projects.

Q: How will the first-year projects impact my PhD journey?

They will have a significant positive impact, which is why you should plan on doing at least two. You get a chance to sample some possible paths before picking one and following it to the end, and we rarely get such chances in life. Even if you feel you know 100% for sure what you want to do during your PhD, still consider pushing yourself out of the comfort zone with a project outside that area. Being flexible, imaginative, and productive no matter what task you apply yourself to is something that will serve you well throughout your career.