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From Start to Finish

A Practical Guide to Becoming a Scientist in Psychology and Neuroscience (First Edition)
Ashleigh M. Maxcey and Geoffrey F. Woodman
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From Start to Finish: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Scientist in Psychology and Neuroscience helps readers navigate the scientific disciplines of psychology and neuroscience. The text provides practical, real-world advice to a wide range of scientists and those who aspire to be—from undergraduate students mapping out initial career paths to established professors. The book helps early-career scientists develop a plan to pursue a meaningful and fulfilling career, discussing the relative strengths of different types of career outcomes, and carries them through tenure.

Readers learn practical tips for applying to graduate school, selecting a graduate mentor, and using post-doctoral education as a launching pad for a career. The text outlines how to get a teaching appointment or a research-based position at a university, and how to secure tenure in either setting. Readers learn how to apply for a grant, run a lab without graduate students, and establish a healthy work-life balance. Each chapter features an interview with a subject matter expert to provide a fresh perspective and additional advice.

Designed to help readers better understand the various career paths available to them, From Start to Finish is a valuable resource for anyone interested in developing and pursuing a career in the scientific fields of psychology and neuroscience.

Geoffrey F. Woodman, Ph.D., is an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, the director of graduate studies in the Department of Psychology at Vanderbilt University, and the co-director of a National Eye Institute T32 to the Vanderbilt Vision Research Center. He earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Iowa. Dr. Woodman’s research examines how the mechanisms of visual attention and memory influence how we interact with the world around us. Visit his website at
Ashleigh M. Maxcey, Ph.D., is a visiting associate professor in the Department of Psychology at The Ohio State University, currently with a summer appointment at Vanderbilt University. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Iowa with a specialization in cognition and perception. Dr. Maxcey’s current research examines how human memory functions. Visit her website at
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