Applying for Genome Canada funding: what to expect

Genome Canada funding is pretty amazing. While I am not sure exactly how much money they make available each year, I think it is safe to assume that it is a lot. They definitely received a $100.5 million commitment from government recently. If you work in the genomics realm, this seems to be (perhaps) THE holy grail for funding.As the name implies, Genome Canada has a mandate to support, accelerate and diversify genomics research within…

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The first academic year: highlights & lowlights

Yaaaaayyyyy.... I made it.... right??There's a funny thing about the first academic year. You aspire to it - for many, this is what they have been waiting for. A tenure-track position. Really belonging to a faculty/department. On the other hand, once you get it, everyone will be quick to warn you about how hard it is. It's a little like the back-handed compliment: "Congratulations, hope you enjoy hell!"Everyone knows it is not meant to be…

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Helpful apps and websites for lectures

Ah lectures. Prepping, delivering, tweaking, delivering again. This idea that you can just make a series of lectures and use them for years isn't exactly true. Lectures and labs do require a lot of maintenance as you improve, update and tailor to suit the class/topic/cohort.I'm only halfway through my first year at Assistant Prof level, but I have already come across some neat apps and resources. Below is a list, in no particular order:PeergradeFree and…

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What made you pursue a career in biology?

I have been asked this question many times. Friends, family, strangers, hiring committees, students... many people are interested in personal stories around this topic.I had been thinking about this for a long time. Manu Saunders' recent post for International Day of Women and Girls in Science gave me the kick in the pants I need to finally sit write something - that plus a snowday! (The first academic year annihilates time). Manu's story is very…

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If we get rid of ‘PhD student’ titles, should we scrap others too?

Should we stop using the title of PhD student? This was a blog topic covered recently. The blog raised some good points, but the take home message was that many 'PhD students' don't fit the traditional student mould. Some are older, some are already employed and completing PhDs part-time. It was also pointed out that PhD students fulfill roles in departments that are above the status quo for a typical student role.Does this matter? Likely…

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Life at a teaching focused institution is not ‘easier’ – some examples of why

This morning I read the blog at Small Pond Science entitled "Really, faculty jobs in teaching-focused institutions are not inherently less stressful or easier or more balanced".I enjoyed reading this blog because it is true and it reflects my current status. It also speaks to a larger misconception that is often held by other academics, non-academics, administrators and students. I completely agree with the sentiments in the article - being a faculty member at a…

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What does it mean to be a citizen?

A few weeks ago, I attended my Canadian citizenship ceremony. Applying for citizenship, learning the history and attending the ceremony, it was all a truly fascinating experience from so many different perspectives.This blog seems particularly relevant at a time when Trump is proclaiming that birthright citizenship should be abolished in the USA.So, what does it mean to be a citizen? If you live in a country that is relatively safe, wealthy and democratic, you probably…

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Fantastic beasts and how to fake them

Fakery. Confabulation. Malingering. Denial. Lies. The English language has around 112 words to express deception in one form or another. We've all done it. Most likely as children where we would quickly be scolded for such mistruths. Even then, as young children, we usually recognized the risk of being caught in a lie. So, what makes a person, who should otherwise be perceived as 'reputable', create fabrications at a global scale?Over the past few days…

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I got nominated for Canada’s Favourite Science Blog! (So, please vote for me).

I got nominated! This is pretty amazing!For starters, I don't blog that often, I don't have thousands of followers on Twitter and I am not a long-established prof with a legacy of high-impact papers that people 'should' listen to. Relatively speaking, I'm just a regular ECR (early career researcher) trying to do some cool stuff, keep my head above water and throw a life-ring to others along the way. I have no idea who nominated…

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What are the (personal) odds?

Many people publish a Shadow CV of sorts, including Jeremy Fox at Dynamic Ecology and Manu Saunders at Ecology is not a dirty word. Jacquelyn Gill at Contemplative Mammoth advocates for the idea but hasn't published one yet - tsk tsk! Personally, I really liked the post by Jeremy Yoder about time to tenure track.The Shadow CV is supposed to illustrate that life isn't all peaches and cream. It serves as a reminder that for…

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