Being a relatively new graduate student in a big lab where people do not have time to train me, I wanted to train myself. I read this book "At the bench" by Kathy Barker and wrote down things which were important for me. But nevertheless I thought it might be useful to somebody else also. I've attached the document with this post.
it's a very good start to read up on the basics, however never solely rely on manuals etc to 'teach' you everything you need to know
these manuals will give you the background knowledge and fundamentals.. but being a truly competent scientist in the lab is achieved by practice and making a lot of mistakes! don't be afraid to ask questions. i know exactly how you feel. even if you think you might feel stupid for asking too many questions - it will help both you and the person teaching you! always make the most of the scientist that is there - ask lots of questions and jot down whatever you can. each individual scientist will give you certain handy points you might not get from one.. so yeh.. ask whoever you can! Also, make sure that when you're reading about methods/protocols.. you ask yourself why they are doing it a particular way and try to find out how it can be performed easier and cheaper. adapt what you read in manuals to suit your needs.
I think the most important part of being a scientist is to never stop asking why. once you find out all the answers to the 'whys', it is only then where you can start to improve yourself as a scientist and the techniques which you employ.
woah ive talked too much!
Edited by themoon, 29 June 2009 - 04:24 AM.