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Broadening the Graduate School Experience: Paper-In-A-Day

K Kisling1*, R Ger1 , C Cardenas1 , A Rubinstein2 , T Netherton1 , W Ingram3 , X Fave4 , C Owens1 , B Anderson1 , J Lee1 , S Gay1 , J Yang1 , R McCarroll1 , D Mackin1 , Y Li5 , D Rhee1 , S Edward1 , Y He1 , S David1 , P Nitsch1 , P Balter1 , L Court1 , (1) MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, (2) McGovern Medical School, Houston, TX, (3) University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, (4) university of California San Diego Moores Cancer Ctr, La Jolla, CA, (5) Ohio State Univ, Columbus, OH


(Sunday, 7/29/2018) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: PhD students can become totally engrossed in their own projects, and often lack opportunities to put research in its wider context, work in collaborative groups, and experience the excitement of solving problems together. Any steps to address these gaps must be balanced with the advisor’s need for students to remain focused, spending most of their time in the laboratory. We have attempted various approaches, the most successful of which is our Paper-In-A-Day project. The overall concept is for a group of students and faculty to work together to complete an entire scientific manuscript from scratch to submission within 24 hours.

Methods: Student leads are selected to coordinate different aspects of the project and lay some groundwork (e.g. organizing task groups, anticipating pitfalls). On the project day, the students split into workgroups, preferably in the same area. People may move between groups as the day progresses. All writing is carried out in Google Docs, as this allows simultaneous writing and editing tasks. All experimental work and most analysis is completed on the first 12-hour day; the project then restarts a few days later for a final 6-hour stretch where ends are tied up, and the manuscript is finalized by the entire group in the same room.

Results: We have completed two Papers-In-A-Day with 16 and 17 participants, both submitted to JACMP. The first was accepted with minor corrections; the second is currently under review. The majority of participants contributed approximately 18 hours. An informal poll of the participants showed that the process was enriching and a very positive experience.

Conclusion: Paper-In-A-Day is a fun way of exposing students to new experiences outside their own projects, including experimental design, rapid decision making, team projects and leadership, while minimizing the impact on their main PhD project.


Not Applicable / None Entered.


Not Applicable / None Entered.

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