Choosing the right place for a position as a PhD student, postdoc or professor is always a key career decision. Spontaneous advice from colleagues mostly tends towards big universities. However, there are good arguments to choose for small universities.
One of the most distressing experiences for a scientist are false allegations of scientific fraud. As a result of technological progress it is easy to screen publications and PhD theses for plagiarism, photo manipulation and statistical abnormalities. A disadvantage is that false accusations are distributed quickly all over the world and ‘haters’, ‘trolls’ and ‘stalkers’ can stay anonymous while damaging the career of a scientist. What to do if you are falsely accused?
In the US postdocs are often “lab rats” who primarily create experimental data. In Europe, they have more management functions. They are in a sandwich position between the crazy professor and the demanding PhD students, technicians, bachelor and master students and industry partners. They need a complex set of leadership and management skills to perform well. However, at most universities there is no specific leadership training to prepare postdocs for their current management functions – although these skills are desperately needed when they become the next generation of junior group leaders in academia or industry.
You see these big science stars who publish in Nature and Science. They have huge grants, a huge machinery of high-class technology and a huge team of highly ambitious postdocs and PhD students who hope to publish in Nature or Science.
But you are not like that… How to handle the feelings of inferiority when you compare yourself with these science stars? And how to become better anyway?
One of the unspoken rules in research is that a successful career in science is only possible with one or more papers with an impact factor above 10 or higher. This belief creates a lot of peer pressure among young scientists and may be even one of the causes of increasing numbers of scientific fraud cases. But is it true?
When we organize career events for PhD students and postdocs locally or at the national level we realize on a regular basis that most young researchers envision an academic career. When we confront them with the fact that only 3-5% of them will actually end up as academic staff they are shocked.
To find your dream job in science you have to invest quite a lot of thinking and work.
The following 8 tips will bring you much closer to your dream job in science:
Many young parents in science have a strong feeling of guilt when they try to combine a successful scientific career with a healthy family life. However, there are many good examples of parents who succeeded. Integrate these 12 strategies into your life to enjoy your family and a career in science:
Social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are present everywhere. Many scientists wonder whether they are missing out on something and ask themselves: “Should I create LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles as a scientist?”
The surprising answer is “No”!
It is a good advice to start with one of the four major services: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Google+ and add a ResearchGate account. The different services have quite different target groups, thus depending on your aims you should choose wisely: