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Career Development & Networking

How to Have a Great Scientific Collaboration

Why do we need scientific collaboration? There is no science without collaboration: science is incredibly social. When you publish a paper or even a conference abstract, you collaborate with editors or a committee to produce an outcome (successful journal or scientific event) together. So, you have to understand the principles of collaboration even if you…

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Science Research at the Crossroads: Academia versus Industry

Academia or industry? Basic research or applied research? You are thinking of what to do next. What is right for you? Honestly, it is a never ending discussion. So what should you do? Here are some insider tips from a person who has worked in both biotech industries and universities. The Freedom to Manage your Own…

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How to Become a Medical Writer

If there is one profession that benefited from globalization, it is the medical writer. While the university research groups shrink and global biomedical companies fire their research stuff, medical writing companies are expanding, providing stable jobs with good salaries. The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) reported in 2011 that the median salary of an experienced…

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Qualifications for Off-the-Bench Science Careers

Scientific research is a demanding and stressful career requiring lots of patience, dedication and hard work. Sadly the monetary benefits are not commensurate with the effort. Moreover, lack of opportunities, uncertainty, instability and the pressure to publish makes a traditional academic science career difficult. Inspiring (forcing?) many scientists and researchers to leave their traditional science…

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How to be Proactive in Your Career Planning

Nowadays, it is no longer absolutely true that applying for a PhD means that you are striving for an academic position in the future. Although a majority of graduate students are certainly still aiming for a career in academia, and will thus benefit from doing a postdoc or two, more and more graduates are pursuing…

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To Be or Not to Be a Post-doc? A Recurring Dilemma

A recent article published in Nature, The future of the postdoc, painted a very bleak picture of how there is a “growing number of post-docs and few places in academia”, a concern that I am very much familiar with. As an Early Career Research Scientist, nearing the end of my first post-doc, I am faced…

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5 Tips to Help you While you Transition From Academia

After a decade of toiling in the lab, dreaming in colorful dots (flow cytometry is my favorite technique) and endlessly pursuing a Nature article, I finally decided to hang up my lab coat. I knew several people who had successfully made the transition from academia. Also, I had attended countless alternate science career seminars while…

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The Leap of Faith – Are You Ready for Biotech?

So let’s just say, hypothetically, that you’re defending your thesis in 2 months and it’s only recently occurred to you that “I really should figure out what I’m doing after grad school.” Or you’re a post-doc whose boss just informed you that they’re interviewing for a position 2 time zones away. Or you’re a technician…

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Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a Cover Letter

A cover letter is a letter written to accompany a job application, a grant application, project reports, manuscripts, etc. that explains the purpose of your writing and incorporates certain key points of your application. It plays a decisive role in accomplishing the task it’s been written for, which is why it is so important to…

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How to Stay on the Margin of Academia During Your Gap Year(s)

The gap year I intended to take between my Master’s degree and hypothetical Ph.D. is now going into its 4th year. Here’s why I’m not worried. These days it seems like undergraduates are proceeding en masse to graduate programs shortly after completing their senior year of college. An abundance of undergraduate research opportunities and poor…

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How to Communicate Your Way to Scientific Success

As a new postdoc, I found myself in an uncomfortable situation. In my new environment, I am constantly in contact with my mentor and fellow lab members. I must regularly communicate with them and I have routine access to a sounding board for advice and troubleshooting. While I recognize the value of this situation, I initially found it difficult to navigate.

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The Why and How of Promoting Your Science Publication Online.

In the frenzy of today’s scientific publication landscape, it is essential to take a proactive stand at your online visibility and reputation. There are online tools that can help you make yourself spotted and translate your hard work and high-quality science into actual impact. So if you are interested in improving your chance of landing…

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How to Choose a PhD Topic

Choosing a PhD topic can be very hard. There are a lot of things to consider from the subject to the supervisor. Here are some tips to help you choose. Find out what you really like This is the first topic because it is the most important. My first advice would be to get some…

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My job as a Clinical Study Coordinator

Clinical Trial Coordinator, Clinical Study Coordinator, and Clinical Research Coordinator are all names for the same job and refer to the person responsible for the day-to-day running of human trials. Usually when I tell someone that I’m a Clinical Study Coordinator, they have no idea what that means. I guess it’s like when someone tells…

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