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Showing posts from March, 2016

Women in Science – managing family and career

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Finding the balance…

Combining a scientific career and being a mum was never going to be easy, but is it worth it? As mother from 2 young children and being a junior group leader trying to set up our own lines of research and getting a foot in the door as an independent research group in the field of stem cells is not an easy one. It’s basically about running 2 fulltime jobs, which both take all the energy, attention and time you have and even more. Of course there are the sleepless nights, because there is always one of the kids waking up in the middle of the night from a bad dream, teeth that try to get through, or just because they are convinced sleeping time is over. The constant lack of sleep makes concentrating on writing grants and papers not an easy task. And then there is the time management. Before the children were there you had the whole day and evening for yourself. If days were packed with meetings, talks and administrative burden, there were always still the early mornin…

The Inexact Science of Being a Parent Scientist

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Balancing work and family is challenging for any parent, but for the academic scientist the challenges can be even greater. In addition to worrying about factors that all parents consider, such as money, school districts, daycare, grandparents, those of us in academic science also need to contend with unusual work hours, the instability of scientific funding, lengthy training periods and frequently changing residencies. I recently polled a few Parent Scientists from different parts of the world for their perspective on how they make it work.

To be or not to be a Parent Scientist? Prior to being a parent, I remember having extensive internal discussions with myself trying to determine whether I could be both a parent and a successful academic scientist. Therefore, I am always interested to hear the philosophies of other academic scientists on parenthood. Dr. Mick Milsom of the HI-STEM institute at the DKFZ in Heidelberg never had any doubt: “My wife and I knew that we wanted to have …