Archive for: October, 2014

Who is screwed the most?

Oct 28 2014 Published by under Academia, life in the lab, mentoring, moving, postdoc, science

Yesterday on twitter people talked about whether to join a lab from a new PI with the risk that they do not get tenure, or whether to join an older PI who might leave or move or whatever. This is a difficult decision with many factors, but say you've chosen a lab and then all of a sudden the bomb gets dropped and the PI has to or chose to leave. Who in the lab is screwed the most?

1. The newest grad student who just decided to join the lab.

2. The grad student who is a couple years into their project but faaaaaar from finishing up.

3. The grad student who is really almost done, but just has to finish a few things and write their thesis.

4. The foreign post-doc who needs to leave the country when they don't have a job.

5. The favorite post-doc who thought they had saved their ass (i.e. secure funding) by writing a multi-PI grant with their PI.

6. Did I forget anyone?

Please discuss!

13 responses so far

You can take the person out of the lab, but it takes longer to take the #disgruntledpostdoc out of the person

Oct 22 2014 Published by under Academia, Decisions, industry, new job, science

It's been nearly two months since I started my industry job. My main reason to switch to industry was the insecurity in academia. The fact that you need to get grants and that it is unknown what will happen to your job if you don't get those grants. People had assured me that there is insecurity everywhere and these people appear to be right. The new type of insecurity is the fact that companies buy each other, and then it is unclear if the company will move, if the interests of the company will change or -worst case scenario - if everyone will lose their job.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about. Instead, I wanted to talk about the fact that even though I consider myself much happier in this job than in my post-doc job, I still very often feel like instead of gaining a cool and awesome job, I lost my chance of becoming an academic PI. I lost my shot at awards and stuff like that. And I wonder if academia has brainwashed me into thinking that being succesfull in academia is the highest attainable goal in everyone's life. In this job, I come home happy and feeling like I've accomplished something nearly every day*. In my previous job, I came home angry and disgruntled on many days. But whenever I hear about someone else getting a job, or a paper, or a grant, I feel kind of jealous. I worked hard, why did I not get there? I just can't figure out why I then still feel like I've lost here, even though in my heart I know that I am much happier here. Still dis-assimilating I guess.

* so yes, this can totally be filed under #firstworldproblems. I realize how whiny this post sounds and how lucky I am to have this awesome job .

14 responses so far

Reverse cycling

No this post is not about anything related to bicycles (although I did sign up for my first spinning class in ages today). Rather, it's about Little Brother's breastfeeding habits. He's now 10 months and he used to drink 3 big 5 ounce bottles at daycare (5 ounce is 150 ml for everyone in the world using the metric system). Then he turned 9 months and all of a sudden he is only drinking about 1,5 ounce during an entire day at daycare. I already knew that this is called reverse cycling: he catches up on milk at night.

But where with BlueEyes around this age I was exhausted, now I'm actually pretty well rested. I think I finally mastered the art of co-sleeping. Little Brother is in a cosleeper next to me and most nights I wake up and find that he is already right next to me. So apparently I woke up just enough to pull him towards me and have him nurse and then immediately fall back asleep. It's awesome to not feel as tired as I was with BlueEyes and it makes me wish healthcare providers wouldn't scare the shit out of people with the movies they make you watch* about dead babies from SIDS. Rather, I wish they would tell people how to co-sleep safely.

*At least I had to watch this movie about SIDS and co-sleeping in the hospital hours after giving birth...

No responses yet

Awards for women in science?

Oct 02 2014 Published by under Academia, women in science

Today I heard that someone wanted to nominate a woman in science for an award for women in science. When the woman realized what this person wanted to nominate her for, she said that she never wanted to be nominated for an award specific for women in science, because to her it almost felt like an insult; like she wasn't good enough for an award for men AND women.

What do you think? Is it good that there are awards for women in science to increase their visibility for example? Or are they like a consolation prize?

10 responses so far