Advice for mentees

This article has been written for the mentor/supervisor not the student. For those aspiring to be an academic, good luck. Hopefully, you might find the words in this website useful in the future. For those of you who are still undergraduates and are contemplating a postgraduate degree, go for it, as it is a very special stage of life for anyone interested in science. But one word of advice, put as much effort into selecting your supervisor and the field you will work in as you did or are putting into your honours year. Be brave and stretch yourselves. Unlike in the USA, in Australia we tend to simply complete our honours year and progress to a PhD on the same topic with the same supervisor at the same institution. That's what one of us (AL) did. However, even if you are totally happy with your honours supervisor look around and look for alternatives. Consider another University, consider another country, consider another field. Find groups of outstanding calibre you have read about and who may be willing to take you on.  Question others about your possible supervisor. Do they have the track record and attributes referred to above? What about the project? Don't make the same mistake shown in this very funny but also pertinent video clip. Zheng Lab - Bad project (Lady Gaga parody)
This is one of the most important decisions in your life. Take your time and investigate thoroughly. Good luck and if we can hang on a few more years, we may see you being nominated for Nature award!