Many PhD students and most postdocs want to pursue a career in academia. But is it a good idea to admit that you want to become a professor? Would you appear overambitious or pretentious? Or does it ruin your career to hide your ambitions from potential mentors and decision-makers? (more…)
Many young researchers struggle with their work-life balance. Especially for researchers with a family, it is challenging to divide their time and energy between home and work. The question “is it possible to be a parent and have a career in research?” keeps many researchers up at night.
Young scientists often produce negative results. All experiments were done correctly – but there was no difference between test and control. They get conflicting advice from supervisors and ethicists. Some say that publishing negative results is a waste of resources and ruins their careers. Others say that ‘not publishing negative results is unethical’ and promotes the reproducibility crisis. What should young scientists do in such a situation?
Being a professor is amazing: a lot of academic freedom to investigate and teach very interesting subjects and a considerable and secure salary until retirement. However, the way in which to obtain this position can be pretty hard and more than 90% of all PhD holders find a job *outside* of academia.
If you want to become a professor how do you qualify?
Impact factors are heavily criticized as measures of scientific quality. However, they still dominate every discussion about scientific excellence. They are still used to select candidates for positions as PhD student, postdoc and academic staff, to promote professors and to select grant proposals for funding. As a consequence, researchers tend to adapt their publication strategy to avoid negative impact on their careers. Until alternative methods to measure excellence are established, young researchers have to learn the “rules of the game”.
However, young scientists often need advice how to reach higher impact factors with their publications.