Robert Maul decided UB’s biochemistry department was right for him the first time he met the faculty.
“Interviews at other universities that focused heavily on the P.I.’s scientific research left me feeling overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge,” he says. “UB faculty acknowledged my concerns and current knowledge level in science. The sense that they understood where I was and had a vision of where I would need to go was very comforting.”
That vision led Maul to a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute on Aging.
Thanks to strong departmental mentoring and solid research experience, he has advanced his career ahead of peers from other programs, he says. Especially helpful were all of the opportunities to present his findings.
“Learning how to defend your research while being open to criticism is invaluable for conducting a good job interview and presenting at scientific meetings.”
UB’s presentation environment is relaxed and open, Maul notes, allowing for discussion among faculty and other students. “These critiques are used productively, as a teaching tool, rather than for the sake of belittling students or their research, which often occurs in more competitive settings.”
Maul urges prospective students to consider this when choosing a program. “You need to be comfortable with the people or your productivity and educational experience will suffer.”