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Showing posts from February, 2017

Superwoman doesn’t exist- qualities of a successful woman in science (and why they help with success).

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Superwoman woke up at 5am. She’d been up most of the night feeding and settling her three-month old baby, but she didn’t really need much sleep, did she? She jumped out of bed and got ready for her gym session (despite being Superwoman, those last few pounds post-baby were proving difficult to get rid of after having her fourth child).

After the gym, she returned home to get the older children fed and ready for school. Her husband, Superman, was heading off to save the world again, so she took care of most things on the home front. After seeing the three oldest safely to school and taking the youngest to childcare, she made her way to the lab to start her work day.

Another busy day-- It was grant season, and she was putting two in this round. She also had a manuscript to submit, two manuscripts to review and a draft of a PhD student’s thesis to finish reviewing- they were going to discuss it this afternoon. In between, she needed to pump milk for her baby every three hours, catch up on …

Navigating Career Development Awards

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For young scientists on the brink of independence, attaining a career development grant can be pivotal for a successful job search.Establishing a trajectory of external funding early in your career demonstrates not only your capability for grantsmanship, but also your ability to navigate funding opportunities.In some cases, a career award can bring you to a specific institution or even (back) to a specific country.It also provides you with an unparalleled opportunity to scope out and define the pathway(s) for your future independent research, and lay out a tentative plan that will prove invaluable when you prepare research statements for job applications.

Although it is arguable that scientists these days spend too much time writing grants, there are definitely benefits to the process. Grant writing provides the rare chance to catch up on relevant literature, formalize research objectives, and think about future directions.This is particularly true for young scientists, who still spend…

Making The Leap, Pt. 2: Some Strategies for Interview Success

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“Eric, I’m going to ask you some hard questions now. Give your nobel prize speech, in 50 words or less. Go.”
-Interviewer at an academic institution

This post is the second in a series relating to making the leap between postdoc to faculty. The goal is to relate some of my insights into the process based on my experience, both then and now, from the other end of the desk. In this post, we’ll explore some strategies to master the main components of interviews: meetings, the seminar and the chalk talk.

Know who you’re meeting with: If you’ve applied to an institution, then it’s a fair bet that you’ve already identified potential collaborators or people of interest who you will want to speak to while you are interviewing. Often (though not always), institutions will ask you if you want to meet with specific people. If they don’t ask you about specific meetings you’d like to have, it doesn’t hurt for you to ask the faculty member or admin handling your visit about some individuals you have i…