I meet Matti Nikkola in his office at Biomedicum, where he works as Head of Education at the department of Cell and Molecular Biology at Karolinska Institutet. Matti’s office is full of things that he enjoys, and things he’s proud of. A robot dog, beautiful glass statues, and a vast collection of newspaper articles. I comment that it’s tidy despite all the objects. “With my job, you have to stay organized”, he explains.… Read More “I have the right and the opportunity to be a generalist” – Career path of Matti Nikkola
Let’s be honest. Life in academia can be tough. I am not talking about the long hours, the uncertainty, experiments that do not work. I am not talking about the frustration of lab equipment that does not want to cooperate, or the way too common rejections. All these challenges and difficulties are part of the… Read More How to make the most of difficult people at work
Cutlery cluttering, excited voices, and intertwining conversation – the familiar pulse of a conference mingle. I was chatting with current and aspiring graduate students when I suddenly heard the dreaded advice: “Expect you will suffer during your PhD, I definitely did”. My skin crawled and I rushed to correct “No, you should not accept suffering… Read More You should not suffer during your PhD!
As I am approaching the last year of my PhD, I decided to sign up to an online conference entitled “The Academic Job Market” organized by “Beyond the Professoriate” organization. I don’t know what I want to do after the completion of my PhD but it’s always better to be informed. As the conference was online I could also watch the videos on my iPad during one of my many flights scheduled for the fall.… Read More Networking – getting to know a friend you haven’t met yet
As early career researchers, we are all trying to figure out our paths. Knowing this, Reinhart Reitmeier, professor at the University of Toronto, recommends everyone from PhD student to senior investigator to have a mentor that is around 10 years ahead of you in their career. For graduate students, he sometimes recommends to get a mentor outside of academia.… Read More Mentoring matters – how to lead your research group
Welcome to Part 2 of this series exploring the principal problems plaguing the postdoctoral period.
Part 1 discussed the poorly defined expectations of a ‘postdoc’ and the lack of infrastructure available to them. If you haven’t yet read Part 1.… Read More What is a postdoc? Finding answers amidst ambiguity – Part 2
It’s 8pm on Friday evening. You’re halfway through the experiment you had to restart because you forgot to add a crucial control sample in the first assay. You forgot to add the control in the first place because you’re extremely stressed. You’re stressed because you need to finalise a grant submission that you already worry isn’t good enough, aren’t receiving enough support with and aren’t sure if it will actually be enough to apply for an assistant professorship. You hear the last of your colleagues’ laughter as they disappear off to the bar and you’re left alone in the lab. A weekend at the bench and your computer looms ahead.… Read More What is a postdoc? Finding answers amidst ambiguity – Part 1
Can you imagine a lab where you feel part of a great team, where your PI makes you feel valued and, at the same time, motivates you and inspires you? Are you lucky enough to share your days with colleagues who are friendly, excited about their work and always happy to discuss or help? Do… Read More Meet with a blogger Ana Amaral: An academic saga in 3 chapters
“You don’t want to have a publication in Science!? But that is everyone’s dream!” exclaimed another participant of a mentoring for early career researchers at my summer conference. For years, I was not able to say this out loud, but by now – a fourth year in my PhD – I got used to the shocked expression that usually follows my declaration.… Read More The wrong type of scientist?
And then the sky opened up The best part about the ESOF conference earlier this month in Toulouse is that it reminded me on why I wanted to be a scientist in the first place: because the world is interesting, finding out new things is fun, and it is rewarding to do things that try… Read More Post ESOF: how science warmed my heart