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Career Development and Networking

Four Ways To Keep Up With Your Field If You Are Out Of A Job

Keeping up with the latest developments in your field of research is important whether you are taking a sabbatical to travel the world or your funding has finally dried up. Whatever your situation, it is good to maintain a broad working knowledge of your field of interest and not leave yourself a mountain of reading…

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Advice To An Earlier Me, On The Occasion Of My Graduation

I recently had my PhD viva (that’s a thesis defense, to those of you in the US, and it was successful – yay!), and one of the questions my examiners brought up was: “if you could go back and do things differently, what would they be?”. Obviously they were thinking more about what different reagents,…

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I’m Leaving…

By the time you read this, I’ll have left the lab. Not as in popped home in the evening for my daily allowance of food and sleep. Not even as in taken a long weekend to recharge the batteries. I mean as in properly, irreversibly left the lab. After spending the best part of a…

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!BAM! !POW!: How to Become a Better Job Search Street fighter – Round Two

Thomas Edison, when asked about his failures in creating the world’s first single carbon filament incandescent lightbulb, said (and I’m paraphrasing here): “I didn’t fail, I simply found 2000 ways how NOT to make a lightbulb – and only one way to make it work”. If only most job-seekers possessed this attitude. It’s amazing the…

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How to Pursue a Non-Research Career While in Graduate School

‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ ‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat. ‘I don’t much care where,’ said Alice. ‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.                                    From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. According to a…

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!BAM! !POW!: How to Become a Better Job Search Street Fighter – Part One

Career searches and job hunts are painful: answering ads, resumé tweaking, phone calls, interviews, preparation, sweat, tears, fear of rejection, etc. But it’s funny, even after investing all of this effort, the same mistakes are often made by newbies and veterans alike. In this series of articles, we’ll be talking about a variety of ways…

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How to Find a Postdoc Overseas

I have always had it in the back of my mind that I would like to live and work abroad for a year or two. This was augmented in my mind by the mainstream view in scientific research that a stint in a foreign lab is beneficial to a scientist’s career. The benefit of working…

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Do YOU Want to Work in a Lab This Summer?

Graduate programs in science can take an additional four to seven years beyond a Bachelor’s degree. That’s a lot of time to commit to advanced training! If you’re currently a high school or college student wondering if graduate school is the right path for you, perhaps an internship in a laboratory can help you decide.…

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Lessons I’ve Learned in Grad School (Despite Myself)

“Don’t let school interfere with your education” – Mark Twain We all started our PhDs with stars in our eyes, hoping to make great contributions to technological innovations in our field. However, by the time we are a few years into the program, weighed down by the failures and frustrations of graduate life, we forget…

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How to Land a PostDoc Position

You have been toiling away at your thesis project for years and you think the end is in sight. Now the big question is “What’s next?” If you think you might want to move away from the bench, then you should check out our suggestions for alternative careers for scientists. If you think your future…

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“Networking” is NOT a Dirty Word

Merriam-Webster defines networking as “the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business”. Less formally, networking is actively communicating with the other people you know (mostly scientists, in our case) for career advice and job openings, in addition to utilizing opportunities to meet new people for the same purpose. This is a core activity of…

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Build a CV You Can Be Proud Of – Part II: Teamworking and Networking

Previously, we covered how to add communication skills to our CVs; now it’s time to consider teamwork and networking! In science it can sometimes seem like finding ways to work as part of a team are difficult – after all, how many people does it take to do a Western blot? However, there are ways…

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Life in Science—“How to Choose Your Next Lab”

For some reasons grad students and post-docs don’t seem to see a lab choice as a major career decision. Nothing could be farther from the truth! You will spend 4-7 years working for one person in a small group—don’t you think this is worth a little pre-work to make sure it will be a good…

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Are You Getting the Most Out of Conferences?

Travelling the world attending conferences is arguably the perk of a scientific career. After many long, long hours in the lab, once a year (or twice if you’re lucky!) you get to hang up your lab coat and get out for a breath of fresh air, meet new people, share new ideas and see fantastic…

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5 Things You Should Know Before Working Abroad

We have previously discussed some of the pros and cons of moving countries for a new research position.  If you’ve made the decision to take the plunge and move abroad, here are 5 tips from a seasoned scientific wanderer. While I was doing my Master’s degree in Biotechnology, I decided on something – I would…

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My Job: Life Sciences Software Developer

Any research biologist spends a large amount of their working time at the computer, whether it’s writing articles, analysing data or just checking emails. In fact, any new research proposal will likely start by trawling Pubmed and online databases to get the latest information on a particular topic. But have you ever stopped to think…

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Interviews: Stop Talking, Start Asking

Often, when we interview, our primary concern is explaining the variety of ways that we can benefit the organization. Unfortunately this often results in the interviewer talking incessantly about themselves and it can be perceived poorly. Additionally, if you keep talking about yourself, you may make yourself out to be a generalist (someone who is…

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Tell Good Stories About Yourself To Get The Job

In our recent webinar on 10 Tips to Maximize Your Job Hunt Success, career development author and guru, Peter Fiske give an excellent tip on acing interviews that I’d like to highlight. Peter’s assertion is that one of the most important things you can do to prepare for a job interview is to construct and…

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Careers for Scientists – Research Technician

One of Bitesize Bio’s regular readers asked me to interview people in jobs that don’t necessarily require a PhD.  So, today I’m talking to Angela Briski who’s a research technician and currently working in stem cell research.  Hope you enjoy the interview… You describe yourself as a Research Technician.  And what exactly is it that…

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Careers for Scientists – Medical Writer

This week our careers interview focuses on medical writing and what kind of opportunities are available for anyone looking to move into this field.  Lauren Donaldson tells us how she got started out after her PhD and we’ll be comparing this with a freelance medical writer in the coming weeks so keep posted. You describe…

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If Its Not On Your Resume, It Never Happened

Over the past decade, resumes have played a increasingly important role in the hiring process, even though companies insist they hire people, not resumes). The problem has only been exacerbated by the current economic condition, though it is improving. The new role of the resume has caused job seekers to have to make significant changes to…

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Careers for Scientists – Clinical Research

This week we’re taking a look at the clinical research industry for some great advice if you’re thinking about moving into this field.  Vicki Ronaldson, one of our staff writers, tells us all about her job and how she got there… You describe yourself as a clinical research scientist. And what exactly is it that you…

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Careers for Scientists – Operations Director

It’s time for another interview with a scientist to see what careers are out there waiting for you.  A few Bitesize Bio readers have asked for more information on jobs within the editorial or publishing industries, so this week I spoke with Laura Stemmle of American Journal Experts.  Here’s Laura’s low-down on what she does…

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Careers for Scientists – Scientific Policy

So you want to make a difference?  Here’s a career move for you that I personally think is a terrific choice for a scientist.  I’ve been speaking with Jennifer Pohlhaus, who works in science policy and here’s what she had to say about her job. Hi Jennifer, Your job as a Science Policy Project Manager…

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5 Signs That Your Interview Went Well

So now you’ve had your job interview – how well do you think you did? Here are 5 tell-tale signs that should give you a clue. 1. The interview lasted longer than you expected. This isn’t 100% true in all cases, and I definitely know people who got jobs they didn’t expect due to the…

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Careers for Scientists – Business Development Manager

Looking for a new direction in your career? This is the latest in our new series of articles that focus on careers for scientists.  When we started this series, we thought you’d be interested in finding out about who does what behind the scenes at Bitesize Bio, and how we got here.  I interviewed our…

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Careers for Scientists – University Teaching Fellow, UK

For this week’s interview I’ve been speaking to Peter Kirsop from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Peter has been taking part in our webinar series “Chemistry for Biologists” which has proved really popular, so I thought it would be interesting to hear about what he does every day….. Hi Peter, You describe yourself as an…

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Careers for Scientists – Beverage Scientist

We’ve had some great feedback about this column lately.  I hope you enjoy today’s interview as much as you seem to have liked the first couple we’ve covered.  There’s more coming soon, looking at scientists who made the move into areas like Marketing, Regulatory Affairs, University Teaching and lots more in the pipeline.  Today, we’ve…

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GOT AN INTERVIEW! What to wear? What to wear?

Recently I had the opportunity to help a job seeker prepare to interview for their dream job. They successfully navigated through rigorous phone interviews and secured the make-it or break-it face-to-face interview. The candidate and I discussed all of the preparation, research and pre-work necessary to ensure a successful interview. Dress to impress When I recommended…

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Careers for Scientists – Editor & Proofreader

Looking for a new direction in your career? Well you’ve come to the right place. This is the second interview in our new series of articles that focus on careers for scientists.  We’ll be looking at jobs that are off-the-beaten-track (and sometimes on no track at all) and ones that are certainly not on the…

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Careers for Scientists – Editorial Manager

Looking for a new direction in your career? Well you’ve come to the right place. This is the first in our new series of articles that focus on careers for scientists.  We’ll be looking at jobs that are off-the-beaten-track (and sometimes on no track at all) and ones that are certainly not on the standard…

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Are University Career Services Worth Their Weight in Gold?

Suddenly it’s time up, write up, and make room for the next batch of PhD students in the lab – so how do you find that first job? OK – so now you’re finishing your PhD or graduated already, and it’s time to look for that first job.  Maybe you’ve already started endless hours of…

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10 Signs You’ll Like Working in Biotech

The decision to make the switch from an academic lab and career to a biotech company doesn’t come easy. Many scientists are wary of the lack of independence and doing science for profit.  But there are advantages too. Working in a biotech lab allows you to work on many varied and interesting projects that actually come to…

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Important Considerations for a Career in Biotech

When I was in graduate school, it seemed that almost no one aspired to work in industry or be part of a company. But times are changing. Now, when I go to conferences and talk to scientists in training, I am asked, “how do I get a job in a company?” and “How did you get…

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References – The Final Frontier

You applied to a position and have run the interview gamut – you’ve had an initial phone screen, a follow-up phone screen, an initial in-person interview, a follow-up in-person interview, and a final interview – Phew! You’ve talked about your career, your ambitions, your salary requirements and your future. You love them and they love…

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Are You Good Enough?

We all suffer from different types of fears, self-doubts and insecurities. Especially when we are about to do something new. And commonly these negative thoughts center around wondering whether you are good enough. Whether you are applying for a postdoc or PI position, considering starting a PhD, or thinking about leaving science for pastures new,…

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Take Charge of Your Job Hunt

If you are looking for a new job, it probably feels like full-time work right now. The number of positions is low and the number of calls and emails you are receiving regarding your resume are probably less than you would like. So it is more important than ever to take control and maximize every…

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Do You Know What You Want?

It’s funny (or maybe sad) how we spend a lot of time planning experiments, thinking about our next paper or preparing for a lab meeting, yet we don’t take time our to plan our lives, to think about what we really want. Most of us think that what we really want is to be successful.…

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Is It Time To Quit?

No matter where you work there will always be certain moments in your life when your feel you are going nowhere, you don’t have time for yourself, you miss your family etc etc. In short, you wonder if you are wasting your time, and whether you should quit. Or maybe you’re sure you want to…

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18 Things You Need to Know for Job Hunting Success

We recently attended a meeting for job seekers in the biotech industry during which a panel of senior Human Resources professionals answered questions and provided insight for people looking to find work within biotech. The points that they shared were not all that different from what we have discussed in previous blogs, but I think…

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