Interested applicants should send the following material via email to Dr. Nabil Simaan nabil.simaan( at )vanderbilt.edu with a subject title "post-doctoral position":1. Cover letter stating reserach interests, Ph.D. topic, and names of advisors.
2. Names and contacts of 3 references
Updated C.V. with a list of publicationsPLEASE SUBMIT ALL MATERIAL ONLY USING ADOBE PDF FORMAT.
GRA Positions (Graduate Research Assistantship):
Currently there are no immediate openings for a GRA position. Graduate students interested in Ph.D. level and in M.S./Ph.D. track are encouraged to apply for a graduate position in ARMA. The availability of these positions depends on the availability of grant funds so you may want to plan ahead and contact me 1 year in advance to inquire about open positions. This is a general posting and it does not refer to any specific immediate open position for a Research Assistantship (RA).
The qualifications and personal traits I usually look for are:
Hard working with an evidence of successful undergraduate projects supported by strong recommendation letters from advisors. Being a graduate student is a hard job. It ia also probably one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever have.
Good GPA: I found that a high GPA from a good engineering university is usually a good indicator for the student potential. I do not place a very high emphasis on high GPA, but it does play a negative role if it is low (below 3.4). In some cases excellent graduate students do not have a very high GPA, but usually they have some evidence showing their potential in terms of unusually successful research projects completed during their undergraduate studies.
Publications: if you are already an M.Sc. student you would have an advantage if you had at least 1 publication with you as the first author.
High motivation: research requires someone who has a bulldog personality. Patience and perseverance are the best personal traits that will make you an exceptional researcher. Just because it is Friday night and you still have not solved a research problem you have been stuck with for the past month does not mean that you will give up. You may go party for the rest of tonight :-) , but tomorrow morning you will be back scratching your head and trying new ways to conquer this problem.
Prior indicators for your research potential: if you took any honors or research projects during your undergraduate studies your advisors will be able to provide a reference for you indicating their assessment of your research potential.
Clarity of goals: Do you know Why you want to do a PhD?. This is probably the hardest question to answer, but if you know why you want to do a Ph.D. and in what research area, then you are more likely to succeed.
Good communication skills: as much as I hope we can exchange ideas without the limitations of language, we still have to use words when speaking or writing technical reports. Obtaining high scores in your TOFEL and your GRE is crucial. If you can score higher than 80% of the rest of your peers in all GRE categories then you are considered a competitive candidate.
To inquire about available GRA positions you can send an email to nabil.simaan( at )vanderbilt.edu with a subject line "GRA position inquiry". Indicate in your email when you are graduating and from what school. Include the name of your advisor and your research interests. Also include your contact info. I usually try to respond to all emails I receive, but some times I may be traveling and I may miss some of my emails.