Pivoting from Post-doc to PI - meet the ISEH’s new Junior PI Committee

As we progress through our scientific career from undergraduate, then PhD to Post-doc, a key inflection point is the transition to an independent faculty position. The journey into this new career chapter is both exhilarating and challenging. On the one hand, you have seemingly limitless possibilities: you can choose your staff and mentor them however you wish, spend your funds to test your new research ideas and push out into new directions, and establish new collaborations and relationships in the field. On the other hand, your science will now need to be balanced with host of new responsibilities as a faculty member. You may find yourself asking how will you attract new staff to your group? How will you manage budgets for each of your projects and people? How will you manage your time as you balance responsibilities of institutional committees alongside publishing and obtaining funding to sustain your group for the long term? Finally, given the scope of your new position, how will you keep your big-picture vision intact and remember to have fun along the way?

If it seems like a daunting task at first, it doesn’t have to be! In fact, your first years as a faculty member can be more than survivable - they can be enjoyable too. To help navigate the many challenges we face during the transition from post-doc to faculty, the ISEH Junior PI Committee was formed in May 2021. Our goal is to serve the career interests and needs of junior faculty the same way that ISEH’s New Investigator Committee serves our community of trainees. Our overarching aim is to help smooth your leadership transition by providing guidance from those who have been through the process and to establish a support network of colleagues at the same career stage. Here, we’ll introduce you to the members of the Committee and discuss some key projects the JPIC has in store for 2022!

Our Members

Reflecting the international makeup of ISEH, the JPIC currently consists of a diverse mix of eight ISEH members from across the globe who are at various stages in their faculty careers:

What’s Happening in 2022?

The JPIC is taking on several initiatives in the coming year to help junior faculty publicize their labs and support their career development. Here are a few to keep an eye out for:

Quarterly junior faculty webinars: We’ll be launching our first webinar in Winter early in 2022! Each webinar will feature two junior faculty speakers, who will share their science and insights about their careers and how they got to their current position. Plenty of time will be reserved for a Q/A session and discussion! Each webinar will be complemented by a Simply Blood post about the speakers.

Annual Meeting career session: At the 50th ISEH annual meeting in 2021, we held our inaugural session on career development where our panel tackled the question of how to make the right choices in hiring and retaining laboratory staff. We had perspectives from academia and professional recruiters to cover this topic with some outstanding insights that were relevant for not the only new junior faculty members’ minds but seasoned PI’s. Stay tuned as we develop our next career session for the 51st ISEH annual meeting in Edinburgh, 2022.

Simply Blood postings: In addition to our career session, JPIC’s members and guest contributors will provide insights into a range of topics germane to junior faculty.

Perhaps you have ideas for topics that should be covered in these outreach/training events or know a new Junior PI lab that we can feature in our webinar series? If so, please reach out to us here at the Junior PI Committee or send a message to ISEH! We want to hear from you.

This blog post contributed by members of the ISEH JPI Committee


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