Category Archives: Careers

In which a new Doctor is born

No, not that Doctor. (Besides, I’m not sure any graduate student would care to regenerate and repeat the experience for all eternity!) My first PhD candidate, Harry Horsley, recently had his viva. Here he is, about an hour before the … Continue reading

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In which we are snapped

Current Team Wee-Wee: Jane, Johannes, Dhan, Harry, Monika, Me, Kristina I’ve been meaning to make a lab website for a long time now, but you know how it is: ten million other things intrude, higher priority items forever bumping lower … Continue reading

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In which I hire

A colleague I respect very highly once likened academic careers to a rocket launch: once you hit escape velocity, you’re safely in orbit. Problem is, achieving this state as a post-doc or untenured faculty is becoming increasingly difficult. Hundreds of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Careers, Recruitment, Research, The profession of science | 1 Comment

In which we ride the imposter rollercoaster – again

We often think of our personalities and tendencies as being immutable, fixed, typical. But the older I get, the better I know myself. And what I know is that I’m often no more in control of my perceptions of self … Continue reading

Posted in Careers, Research, Staring into the abyss, Teaching, The profession of science | 5 Comments

In which horizons expand

Every career probably has a tipping point. Twenty-seven years after embarking on my PhD, a period riddled with false starts, uncertainties, twists and turns, I sense the shifting of weight beneath me and momentum gathering as I start to swing … Continue reading

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In which we are unlucky: on lab superstitions

I was thinking the other day that if academia were a mental illness, it would be bipolar. One day it treats me well: a student shows me an experiment that shows great promise. I have a spirited chat with a … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Careers, Research, Scientific thinking, Silliness, Staring into the abyss, The profession of science | 5 Comments

In which I lose my tubes, and other manifestations of lab rustiness

When you’re a young scientist, it’s the done thing to poke gentle fun at the lab head for being out of touch. For example, when I was a graduate student, we’d all pretend to be horrified whenever our boss, wearing … Continue reading

Posted in Careers, Research, Scientific thinking, The profession of science | 4 Comments

In which I embrace the literature

I think I’ve earned a five-minute break. I’ve been working hard to ready myself ahead of a big interview for a significant funding scheme. I’m being subjected to a series of mock interviews, and I’ve been reading as much as … Continue reading

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In which I avoid the topic

I have been downtrodden this week, struggling to stay afloat in this erratic and stormy sea we call academic science. I suspect there is a post in there waiting to get out, but I am too blue (and overworked) to … Continue reading

Posted in Careers, Silliness, Staring into the abyss | 1 Comment

In which the small fish contemplates the bigger pond

The wandering path of my unconventional scientific life is about to shift yet again. It’s with mixed feelings that I report another lab move – same Division, another new campus. The retro digs in Bloomsbury, with its polished hardwood trimmings, … Continue reading

Posted in Careers, Staring into the abyss, The profession of science | 2 Comments