Suggest a Topic

Colleagues who have viewed my pages have, despite the short life of this blog, suggested a few topics they might like to see me write about and see comments on… If you have any topics that you would like to see covered, please leave me a comment on this page. If I feel I can adequately talk about a subject, I will … or I’ll find someone else who is qualified to.

Areas suggested thus far include:

1. Negotiating your for your first faculty position. Actually, negotiating in general is probably a really good place to start.

2. Dealing with problem colleagues.

3. How to develop a support system/network of colleagues.

4. Maintaining perspective … this could apply to lots of areas..

5. How to stay motivated, and be persistent during difficult periods in one’s career.

6. Learning to just ask…

7. Maintaining work/life balance…

8. Search committees and how they work, how they make decisions… sometimes rational/sometimes not.

9. Emotional intelligence in scientists… or lack thereof.

AAAhhem. I’m supposed to be finishing a paper…


12 thoughts on “Suggest a Topic

  1. Gen
    August 27, 2008 at 10:18 pm
    Can this career be saved? I was hosed out of the pipeline.

    As an NSF predoctoral fellow in the life sciences, I climbed pretty high up the ladder at a soft-money research institute. It was crazy trying to balance a toddler, two pregnancies and a new baby with what has been called an “extreme” career as a laboratory head. However, I did contribute a number of significant, recognized papers to my field.

    As an independent investigator I earned four research grants (2 federal and 2 private) over the course of ten years. I was awarded a five year R01 just after having my second and last baby (at age 42–don’t think it is easy–I was just lucky)! I was an Associate level researcher before my lab was shut down because my R01 wasn’t renewed after two tries. During this time I had two sons and a miscarriage. This contributed to a “productivity problem” that grant reviewers have been eager to point out as a reason not to renew my grant (we all know there doesn’t need to be much of a reason to deny a grant these days). I published three papers on a single R01 grant as my only source of funding, with only one post doc in the lab. Two more papers nearly ready to submit. Well, at least you can say I was efficient?

    Now what? I have been out of work for nearly a year. I have some well-recognized publications and the colleagues I have contacted stated they regard my work highly and are really sorry that I am no longer engaged in my research.

    I do want to return to my former career trajectory and become a full professor in 5-7 years time, but with certain modifications. I believe that I will need about three years to regain my publication “quantity”: my publication “quality” is excellent. I currently have a small grant, with funds I can make last for 2-3 more years. I can probably get work as a “research track” faculty member (i.e. superpost-doc) in someone else’s lab. I’m not currently competitive for a faculty position because I am a 50 yr old woman and it seems that most places would prefer a younger, “hotter” new investigator. Is it a good idea to take a downward step for a few years while my youngest (age still needs Mom a lot? If so, can I get back on track…ever?

    Any advice would be tremendously appreciated!

  2. Gen-

    Yours seems like a complex case- and it is difficult for me to make comments without knowing a few specifics. I don’t understand what you mean by being out of work yet having a small grant simultaneously. Can this grant be moved? Is a TT position really what you want- there are many interesting careers that aren’t TT … (Check the ‘the alternative scientist’ blog on my blogroll! If you wish to tell me some specifics- you can send me an email at my contact address listed above and on the right- under the search box!

  3. considering the current economic situation, what are you doing in your lab to cut costs? related, what are you doing to make your lab more “green”.

  4. I’d like to hear some thoughts about writing grant renewals. There is a ton of information about writing the proposal, but what specific thoughts are there about the renewal?
    Does one re-write the entire thing? Do you recycle text? Is this an area where it’s ok to be lazy or does it pay to spend the time rewriting?
    Do you focus on the data you’ve already generated or the experiments to come, or give them equal importance?
    Is there anything reviewers typically hate to see in a renewal? Common mistakes?
    Is it okay (maybe even it’s sometimes a good thing?) to stray a bit from the original experiments (or hypothesis) proposed? How far?

    I have my own ideas about most of these topics, but I’m curious what others think.

  5. I would need some advise on how to get into a faculty rank. I am currently working as a senior research associate for a long time(7 years). I have just 2 first author publications but 3 more are coming and 6 other publications as mostly second author. I have not been successful so far with my applications. I would really like to know the dos and the don’ts in this area.


  6. I’m envisioning….a t-shirt. on the front…”Comrade PhysioProf is my Life Coach”…on the back “Science is not a CareBears Motherfucking Tea Party”

  7. Your blogs are awesome. I am a senior post-doc, who had to relocate due to husband’s new faculty position. We tried our best but could not negotiate a full-fledged position for me. So I compromised, since it was perfect for him. I am still looking for a job and really annoyed at the dual-career situation. Any thoughts on that!

  8. drdrA, What about a blog post on your opinions of current publications practices and what to look for when finding a home for your manuscripts?

  9. I came here through finding your ten minute talk post. I’m a humanities student and I’m presenting at an international conference in medicine. I think it would be interesting if you had something on the exchange between the two disciplines and the fault lines you might perceive between the humanities and the sciences.

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