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Personal Development

Does Humility Harm Your Career?

Jumpstarting Your Career as a Happy ScientistDoes Humility Harm Your Career? Date: 1 September 2021Time: 11:00 EDT | 16:00 BST | 17:00 CEST Whether you’re new to the lab or a seasoned principal investigator, isn’t it time you started being happy in your chosen career as a scientist? Wondering if this is practical or even…

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The Difference Between Efficiency and Optimization

Jumpstarting Your Career as a Happy ScientistThe Difference Between Efficiency and Optimization Date: 1 September 2021Time: 11:00 EDT | 16:00 BST | 17:00 CEST Whether you’re new to the lab or a seasoned principal investigator, isn’t it time you started being happy in your chosen career as a scientist? Wondering if this is practical or…

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What Constitutes a Happy Scientist?

Jumpstarting Your Career as a Happy ScientistWhat Constitutes a Happy Scientist? Date: 26 August 2021Time: 11:00 EDT | 16:00 BST | 17:00 CEST Whether you’re new to the lab or a seasoned principal investigator, isn’t it time you started being happy in your chosen career as a scientist? Wondering if this is practical or even…

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Online Learning Resources for Scientists Working From Home

From bad weather to rail strikes or global pandemics, there are several reasons you may find yourself working from home. After writing up any outstanding grant proposals or papers, reviewing the literature, and perusing the endless field of coronavirus news updates, what’s a scientist to do? Brush up on your non-lab skills, of course! We…

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Marching for Science: How to Become a Science Advocate

In this webinar, you will learn: Why advocating for science is necessary (and why you should be an advocate) How to be an effective advocate for science, using skills gained during your career Ways for you to get involved in science advocacy Have you ever thought about getting out from behind your microscope or lab…

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Flashing Red Signs During a Job Interview

In all the stress of having a job interview, it’s easy to forget that it takes more than one to tango. In fact, a job interview is like a new flat mate interview. While your prospective boss and colleagues are interviewing you and assessing your fit for the lab, you should also keep your eyes…

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Can’t Decide Between Medical School or Graduate School?

For the longest time I just couldn’t decide between medical school and graduate school. I mean come on, being a physician would be great. I could save lives just like they do on TV! But on the other hand, being a biomedical scientist excited me just as much. You can’t tell me you’ve never dreamt…

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Lactation in the Lab: What You Need to Know About Pumping at Work

When you think about having a baby, you picture all kinds of things. The good: cute baby clothes, new baby smell, unlimited cuddles. The bad: sleepless nights, bodily fluids, being on-call 24-7. You probably also give some thought to coming back to work. You planned out your maternity leave, paid or not, and figured out…

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Getting Through Graduate School: Advice from Beyond the Battlefield

“If you could go back in time, would you do it again?” It’s a question I’ve been asked more times than I can remember. If I knew what getting a PhD entailed, would I still have gone for it? I wish I could tell you “Absolutely”, but the truth is more like “I don’t know”.…

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Five Reasons Why You Should Have Hobbies While in Graduate School

You’ve chosen a career in science and gone off to graduate school because you love doing it. For you, lab is home. You are so used to wearing your lab coat all the time that when you go to the kitchen to boil water for your coffee, you can’t do it without wearing an apron!…

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Are You any Less of a Scientist after You Transition to Non-Bench Science?: Opinion

In this ever-evolving world, scientists in “alternative”, non-academic positions are more commonplace than ever. Gone are the days where ideas of leaving bench science would label you as a “sell-out”. Now there is a push to support every scientist, regardless of their goals. Whatever the reason for this shift in opinion, be it the realization…

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How a Career in Science Prepares you for Parenthood

Science is a career unlike any other. At times it can seem like the tools we gain can’t be used in any other profession. But that is where you are wrong! Unlike other occupations, going to graduate school and/or devoting your life to science actually prepares you for parenthood – in case you were worried…

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How I Learned to Love Science All Over Again

A lot of grad students have probably seen this blog post on the development of science and had a good laugh about it. Long story short, if you imagine that all of human knowledge is a circle, the specialized research that you do is just a small part of the circle. When you contribute to your…

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Advocacy for Scientists – Why and How

Advocating for the research that scientists perform is important.  Your advocacy helps politicians and the general public understand why funding is needed. In fact, many funding agencies require a disease to be associated with the research, because citizens and politicians do not typically care to fund projects unless they foresee a cure or treatment. Scientific advocacy…

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Be More Objective in Your Approach to Science

Part of the fun of science is the opportunity to conjure up hypotheses and ways in which to test them. Of course, being scientists, our ideas are highly thought out and logical. We aim to test the hypothesis which we think is the most likely explanation using the available supporting evidence. In addition, it is…

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How Taking Time Off Can Prepare You For Grad School

Halfway through college I decided I wanted to go to grad school. But for a little while, I entertained the idea of taking time off after graduation. So, I asked around for advice – I wanted to cover all my bases before committing to another five years of school. But with what I know now,…

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Reframing – A Way to Cope With Stress in Graduate School

I’m an anxiety-ridden stress ball 90% of the time. Graduate school only amplifies my nervous energy, and it’s a struggle. However, recently, while I rushed to catch a bus, I had a life altering experience using a mental technique called “reframing” From “Flipping Out” to Flipping the Switch to “Cool” It rained heavily. I balanced…

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Thanking Hardship in Science: One Reason to Appreciate Struggle and Failure

A scene from the 90s hit sitcom Home Improvement about parenting and dealing with children’s problems has stuck with me for years. As he often did, the father figure, Tim Taylor, sought advice from his eccentric neighbor, Wilson. In this episode, Wilson’s point was that parents deal with little problems when their kids are little.…

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Perfectionism: Are you on the downward spiral?

Do you fear failure every time you do an experiment? Do you feel constantly stressed about obtaining poor results? Do you feel personally culpable when an experiment goes wrong? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, you may be suffering from perfectionism. For a scientist, this is a particularly damaging trait…

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Denied: How to Deal with Rejection in Research

It is amazing to get that “Eureka!” moment or finally get that assay to work, but the downside of those moments is that we do face a lot of rejection. Scientists push the envelope of human knowledge and that means we have to deal with a fair amount of negativity in our line of work.…

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Pregnancy and Post-docing: A Case Study

Deciding to start a family with your partner is one of the most exhilarating and frightening times you’ll likely ever experience, outside of welcoming the little F1 to the world that is. Your job should not be an inhibitory factor in making that decision. We all know that post-docs live in a purgatory of sorts:…

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Five Ways Science Outreach Can Benefit Your Benchwork!

You’ve had a rough day at the bench, putting in long, grueling hours with no pay-off. Your fantasy of running away to join the circus starts sounding rational. The last thing on your mind is to add to your already overloaded schedule. Yet as crazy as it sounds, participating in science outreach really improved my…

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Taking Care of Your Mental Health

This article mentions of suicidal thoughts. If you are having thoughts of self-harm, I encourage finding someone to talk to. It can be a family member, friend, or professional counselor. Many countries also have suicide hotlines. Mental Health is often not a priority for institutions or individuals in academia. Making institutions friendlier will take time,…

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How To Be Happier and More Productive in Your Work

In this webinar, presented by Bitesize Bio founder, Nick Oswald, you will learn: How going with the crowd is toxic to your happiness in science (or any career), and what to do about it. The role your habits play in shaping your productivity and happiness, and how to form habits that serve you. How a…

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6 Common Fears When Entering the Lab and How to Deal With Them

The prospect of walking into the lab for the first time to do some ‘real’ research is hugely exciting. Ambitious thoughts fill your mind about what a brilliant research scientist you are about to become, making that all-important difference and saving the world. That is, until you step over the threshold and The Fear overcomes…

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Buffering Your Life with Wellness

How are you working toward wellness now? This article provides a framework you can use to think about how your holistic life influences your life as a scientist!

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Feeling like a failure?

Everyone else in the lab is so much smarter and more capable than you and feel that your accomplishments so far in your career are no big deal. On top of that your ligation didn’t work… again.., your boss is always on your back and you are dreading your upcoming poster presentation. Sometimes you feel…

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Stop Pushing, Start Enjoying and Get Better Results at the Bench (and in Your Life)

Most of the time, research (and life!) can feel like a struggle. Constant deadlines, incessant demands, pressure to get results, grants, job, publications – and dealing with irritating colleagues and bosses. You know what I mean. The struggle saps your energy, and removes the color from your life. It reduces your capacity to focus on your…

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The Pros and Cons of a Life in Academic Science

The great thing about being a scientist is, well… that you get to be a scientist!  And it can be fun and rewarding. But being a scientist can be a nasty stressful business too. As I come to a turning point in my ‘academic career’, I find myself making mental notes of the pros and…

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Scientists: Can any of us REALLY multi-task?

Unlike Nick Oswald I think I can multitask in the lab. If I organize my day efficiently and perform lots of experiments and other tasks in parallel, I get more done. But there is a school of thought – the one described in Nick’s article – that says no-one can really multitask, that our brains…

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Scientists Work Too Much – Is this Bad for Science?

In my time in the lab, I came across people with lots of different work ethics. The lazy scientists, the let-everybody-else-do-all-the-hard-work-for-me scientists, the strictly-nine-to-five scientists, the nocturnal scientists, the always-on-holiday scientists and, of course, the workaholic scientists. Science is no easy trade. It’s time consuming, and the pressure to get results can be huge. It’s…

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Research is Stressful: What Can We Learn From Science?

Everybody seems busy nowadays, and for many of us, this results in stress. Scientific research in particular is a highly stressful occupation. Perhaps in reaction to this phenomenon, more and more scientists are starting to explore the biological aspects of stress. Since there’s a good chance that you will run into stressful situations in your…

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Make Every Day As Effective As Deadline Day

I’m sure you’ve heard of Parkinson’s Law, or at least the modern-day generalisation of it. It states that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”  When I first heard this, back in the mists of time, I thought Mr Parkinson was damn right, had a chuckle at a very accurate…

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Do You Work Like A Professional Scientist?

In my  last article I looked at how to efficiently self-manage the scientist in us all. But, to transform efficient and elaborate planning into a mass of (publishable) results, you need to be technically proficient. Here, I’ll look at some ways to acquire and improve your technical prowess, while on your way to becoming a…

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New Year’s Resolutions for the Lab

The beginning of a new year is a great chance to make a fresh start in the lab Here are a few of my resolutions for the upcoming year: 1. I will faithfully update my lab notebook every day. No more marathon sessions once a month with a handful of post-it notes and a few…

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