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Career Development & Networking

Five Reasons to Mentor an Intern

To become an expert in managing people and projects together, a scientist needs a variety of important skills to succeed. One way to add to an already impressive skill set is by mentoring others through internships. Students take internships to be exposed to new things. Mentors give internships to inspire others to do research. They…

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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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Book Review: “How Economics Shapes Science”, by Paula Stephan

Paula Stephan’s ‘How Economics Shapes Science’ both reassures and discourages any would-be scientist considering a six-and-a-half year jaunt through the United States’ doctoral system.  According to Stephan, money drives everything in American science – from students’ willingness to earn tiny stipends for indeterminate lengths of time, to new graduates’ decisions between the tenure grind and…

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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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My Mommy’s In The Shower (or How to Lose a Job Opportunity)

We all know that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This begs the question, why do so many job seekers allow other people to make a poor first impression for them? People spend countless hours and often hundreds of dollars on their resumes. They draft, review, re-write, and re-review until…

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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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How To Kill Your Interview Chances Stone Dead

You know the old adage; it’s not what you say, but how you say it. This does not apply to interviews! What you say is extremely important; every word choice and every sentence choice can have an impact on whether or not you are selected for a job. We get feedback about why people are passed over for…

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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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Hints to go from contract to a full time position

With the economy heating up, companies are more likely to begin hiring full time again. So, you just signed up for a two-month position with a great company – one where you would like to work full time. Now what? You got your foot in the door, so now it’s time to make the most of this opportunity…

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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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Got a Job? Keep the job

  Congratulations on your new position! Now that you have successfully landed your new job, your hard work is not over and it’s more important than ever to keep your eye on the ball. The probationary period You may have a probationary period, but even after this, you can presume that your employment is “at…

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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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Holiday Rush

Happy Holidays! ‘Tis the season to shop and prepare for time with our family.  Might as well put the job search on hold until the New Year, right?  WRONG!  Although conventional wisdom states that people do not hire in December, this is false.  Many staffing firms have their strongest months in the fourth quarter and this…

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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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