Student Veterans Research Network

Vets connecting with vets for success in graduate school

and research careers

What is SVRN?

We're creating a network of student veterans across the US who are pursuing or are considering pursuing careers in scientific or academic research. As student veterans ourselves, we've found that most career advice and services provided for veterans were geared towards careers in the private sector after obtaining a bachelor's degree. While we felt this was great for many students, we found no veteran-specific programs or workshops that were focused on the special requirements and expectations for an academic research career that required graduate degrees. The kinds of careers we were pursuing! We helped each other navigate the "soft skills" of professional science, pursue competitive awards and fellowships, get plugged into research as undergraduates, and prepare our applications to graduate school. Now, we want to push this "peer network" to as many student vets as possible, to share what we've learned and learn from others, so we can all pursue successful careers in research!

Who: Undergraduate and graduate students, US military veterans of any branch, pursuing or considering pursuing a career in research in any discipline.

What: A peer network to connect with others across the country, ask questions (no matter how dumb), meet people at other schools, talk about the "soft skills" and navigate the academic landscape, work on CV's and conference posters and grad school applications and anything/everything related to academic careers. Currently our main way to connect is via our slack workspace.

How: If you're a student vet interested in joining our network, please click the button below!


Did you know?

  • STEM PhDs are fully funded! You can get paid to go to graduate school and earn your PhD doing cutting-edge research!

  • Undergrad research experience is vital (even expected in STEM) for admission to graduate school.

  • Veterans are an under-represented group in graduate schools and academic careers.

  • You can do research as an undergraduate, even if you feel you "don't know anything". And you might even be able to be paid for doing undergraduate research.

  • Your military skills translate well to research and give you an advantage over "traditional" students!

  • There are so many (paid) summer research experiences you can apply for! And they really help your CV shine, and help you figure out if a research career is right for you.

Who is "we"?

Logan Pearce

PhD Student, NSF Graduate Research Fellow, University of Arizona/ Steward Observatory.

Veteran, US Navy, nuclear power specialty, 2003-2008.

Research: I study how planetary systems form and evolve using a technique for planet detection called direct imaging. I work with Dr. Jared Males (also a Navy vet) and the MagAO-x instrument team. I also run Astronomy on Tap Tucson, a monthly public education and outreach event in Tucson, and work with Warrior Scholar Project.

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Patty Standring

PhD Student, NSF Graduate Research Fellow, University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Geophysics.

Veteran, US Air Force, Dari Language Analyst, 2005-2015.

Research: I study Cenozoic paleoceanography using stable isotopes from benthic foraminifera with Rowan Martindale and Chris Lowery. My undergraduate research focused on Holocene coastal change due to sea level rise using foraminiferal ecology.

Twitter UT website

Rebecca Larson

PhD Student, NSF Research Fellow, The University of Texas at Austin.

Veteran, US Air Force, Arabic Linguist, 2004-2010.

Research: I study galaxies from the early Universe to understand how those galaxies, and the Universe itself, evolved into the one we live in today. I work with Dr. Steve Finkelstein, have done fellowships at Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), NASA's IPAC facility at Caltech, and the DAWN Institute in Copenhagen. I was president of the UT Student Veterans Association and also run the local Astronomy on Tap ATX show, a monthly public education and outreach event in Austin.

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