The Shah Lab Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology in a Changing World
If you are interested in joining the Shah lab, please read the sections below that are relevant to you for more information.
Postdocs One postdoc position (2 years funded) is now open! Start date is Fall 2022 (this is negotiable). I am looking for a motivated, talented postdoc who is interested in insect thermal physiology, trophic cascades, and climate change. Prospective postdocs that are interested in this position should e-mail me to discuss potential research projects and funding opportunities. I always encourage prospective postdocs to apply for independent postdoctoral fellowships such as the NSF Postdoctoral Fellowships in Biology or the MSU Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, and would be happy to discuss and help develop potential projects with the applicant.
I am looking for self-motivated, excited graduate students that are interested in physiological ecology, evolution, and climate change research. If that sounds like you, I'd love to hear from you! Please note, the deadline for admissions to enroll for graduate school at MSU is around December 15. I am accepting graduate students in Fall 2023, so please contact me via email well before (i.e., several months before) the application deadline to get the ball rolling. Applying to graduate school can sometimes be daunting and confusing, so below, I provide some information to demystify the process as well as give you an idea of my mentoring philosophy in a way that I hope will be helpful to you. Making first contact: When you first contact me, please include 1) CV; and 2) a brief, well-written statement that includes i) your academic background and previous research experience, ii) your current research interests, iii) whether you have applied for any fellowships (see below), and iv) why you want to join the lab. Your first email is the first impression! Proofread your email and if possible, ask a trusted mentor to read it and give you feedback. For tips on how to contact a potential graduate advisor, please see this excellent guide developed by my colleague Dr. Sarah Evans (MSU). Details for applying to grad school: After we have decided you are a good fit for the lab, you can officially apply to MSU (deadline is around December 15th). I am in the degree-granting program of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (EEB), but students must apply to a department graduate program. I am in the Department of Integrative Biology. Students wanting to join my lab should apply to this program and can join the EEB program later on if they wish. Graduate students are generally funded by a combination of research assistantships (from grants), teaching assistantships, university fellowships, and national fellowships. Applying for national fellowships: You can apply for national fellowships before you apply to a graduate program! Such applications provide an excellent way to learn how to write a proposal, think deeply about your research interests and goals, and they demonstrate to your potential graduate advisor that you are motivated and dedicated. Make sure you plan ahead because applying for fellowships can take many months. I encourage all eligible students to apply for a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. This is a highly competitive fellowship and you may not get funded during your first attempt. But, that's ok! You will learn some very valuable skills in the process of applying. Note, applying for a fellowship is encouraged but is certainly not a requirement for joining my lab. Overview of my training philosophy: Getting your PhD is a long-term commitment, is time-consuming, at times very challenging, and isn't always the right path for everyone. That being said, the graduate experience can be a rewarding one for many. I take training graduate students seriously and I expect to commit a significant proportion of my time to ensuring my students are thoughtful researchers and communicators. In return, I expect my graduate students to commit a similar amount of time to their training and doggedly pursue their PhD research goals. As a mentor, I try to inspire students to be quality scientists - to be constantly curious about our natural world, to think critically about what they are taught, and to be creative in their approach to problem-solving. Above all, I want my students to come away from their program having grown in their research, communication, and problem-solving skills so that they can apply those skills to whatever avenue of work they choose. As an immigrant and woman of color in ecology, evolution, and behavior, I understand some of the struggles in western academia, and want to show students that these struggles can be surmountable. My lab fosters an open, inclusive, and safe research environment that prioritizes learning, understanding, and collaboration.
I am currently only accepting undergraduate research trainees through the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program and the Kellogg Biological Station Undergraduate Research Apprenticeships (URA) program. Applications for 2022 are now closed.