How to find a job that leverages what you love

The following is a transcript from I talk I gave at the Mentor Celebration Event, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, MA) on May 23, 2016. Due to length, I have broken the talk up into three parts: Part 1: Academe and industry are not your only career choices as a life sciences scholar Part 2: Science careers outside of academe Part 3: Your Next Steps Most of you won’t have come in contact with or…

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Attracting academic talent in the age of Brexit and Trump

When I moved away from Canada in 2009 – there was a “war on science” in the country.  I won’t rehash the details – they’ve been far better described by people like Chris Turner – but the mood amongst academic and government scientists was not a positive one. This was also the time that my co-blogger Jonathan left the country for Harvard and we have scores of colleagues spanning all levels of science who did the same. While there…

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Science careers outside of the academe

The following is an excerpt from a talk I gave at the Mentor Celebration Event at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA on May 23, 2016. Due to length, I have broken it up into three parts. What follows is the second part. In the first part, I addressed career options in academe when working in the life sciences: Part 1: Training, Life sciences careers, and academics In this post, I will break down…

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Troubling longterm trends despite improved wages – postdoc survey

Last week, the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) released its most recent survey of over 2,000 postdoctoral fellows across Canada. It is the third such survey (the others were 2009 and 2013) and offers the first robust longitudinal data set to help us understand the core issues facing the most uncertain and precarious phases of the academic career path. The good news is that some progressive action has been taken, but two troubling trends…

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Academe and industry are not your only career choices as a life sciences scholar

The following is an excerpt from a talk I gave at the Mentor Celebration Event at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA on May 23, 2016. Due to length, I have broken it up into three parts. What follows is the first part: Part 1: Training, Life sciences careers, and academics PhD and postdoctoral training is among the best in the world. It takes the smartest, most self-motivated, ambitious and creative people from all…

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Quarterly Summary – Life choices in (and out of) academia

This quarter, although we didn’t really plan a theme prospectively, the majority of our posts have focused on the critical decision making process of early career researchers at the end of their training or the beginning of their independence. Jonathan has collated a particularly insightful series of stories from colleagues of his about the varied career trajectories of young scientists in a highly uncertain economic climate. Reading stories from other people charting their journey can…

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Go ahead and jump: from academic to scientist entrepreneur

The landscape of scientific research is constantly evolving alongside your career trajectory since the needs of society versus the needs of your career and life are always in flux. To read the previous articles in this series please visit the links below: The line between successful academic and unemployment is razor thin Academic science does not prepare you for the challenges ahead The faculty recruitment process is complex, competitive and crazy In an earlier post…

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Reflections from a male scientist on parental leave

My 3.5 months of parental leave recently finished and I’m back in the lab. It’s been a fantastic experience overall – I’ve learned a lot and enjoyed my time. The lab did not fall apart (phew!) and the physical removal from the day-to-day of running the group has cleared my head.   I’ve also interacted with large numbers of academic parents in Cambridge (mostly mothers I must admit) and, these parents worry regularly about their chances…

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The faculty recruitment process is complex, competitive and crazy

The faculty application and interview process spans over months and takes away precious time from experiments and grants. To read the previous articles in this series please visit the links below: The line between successful academic and unemployment is razor thin Academic science does not prepare you for the challenges ahead In an earlier post I defined the present economic climate for burgeoning young scientists, and the career uncertainty that should be expected if pursuing…

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Parental leave: the poor man’s sabbatical

Editors note: This entry is the third in a series on taking parental leave as a scientific group leader. Could parental leave actually be good for my academic career? Taking parental leave: I’m glad I’m not a postdoc Getting a job in academic science is not easy. The hours are long, the work is intense, and there is no clear relationship between amount of work and success. Jonathan and I have spent a long time…

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