Should I quit my prestigious PhD program if I no longer want to be an academic? Should I leave with a Master’s?

If you're close to finishing your project, don't have impending health, relationship or financial issues putting a timeline on your PhD, you may want to weigh the opportunity to stay for the degree while spending some time outside the lab amassing other skills that will launch you in a new direction upon graduation, with quitting

2018-04-09T03:57:10+00:00 By |Categories: AMA|0 Comments

What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to young scientists to increase their chances of getting a job in today’s job market?

There is only one universal answer: Plan seriously for your Plan B. It’s as simple as that. Not planning for the (very likely chance) that you may not end up with a faculty track career in academia today is like buying a home by a lake that is known to flood more and more every

“I’m a Scientist”: Advice on Changing Careers

By Laura Mariani, Ph.D. Dr. Mariani moved from mice and brains in the lab to identifying the next generation of academic and institutional leaders. Check out one of our very own Advisor's career transition wisdom from the real world. ======================== “I’m a scientist.” It’s a title that packs a punch. In summer blockbusters, there’s guaranteed

How do scientists find internships (or volunteer or freelance gigs)?

You go out and look for them. It sounds a bit facetious, but I’m not kidding. If we think about how most people found the opportunities they got, it's usually not by sitting in their labs or research offices 80% of their lives, then going home and surfing Facebook the remaining 20% of their time,

2017-08-08T16:51:31+00:00 By |Categories: AMA|Tags: |1 Comment

What’s the timeline for shifting from academia to industry?

What should you be thinking about, depending on what stage of your research training that you're in?  Let's take a look! Best Case Scenario Early in your PhD career, yrs 2–4 Get to know, or explore some organizations or groups doing something you find interesting (non research related) and contribute in a tangible way.  If

Should I get a PhD if I’m Not Sure I Want an Academic Job?

Here's the thing: a degree is not a career. We get that rude awakening at different stages of our scientific training, but that no matter when you realize this, it can come as something of a shock. You mean my PhD doesn't automatically get me in the running for a great career?  In fact, it

2018-03-09T17:27:18+00:00 By |Categories: AMA|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Why do some people hate their PhD?

The disappointment or avoidance of talking about one's graduate research experience can be disheartening for advocates of science, or budding scientists.  Why are some people so unhappy about their decision to do high-level scientific research? If we examine the reasons, it should not seem like a mystery: The people. Like any job, your experience in a

2018-03-09T17:25:49+00:00 By |Categories: AMA|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

How much time should I spend on marketable skills, networking, and writing job applications?

This is a great question. The job hunt is, for the average PhD, as much of a mini marathon as your PhD was, so you want to prepare and plan well: Developing marketable skills (45%) - this doesn't just have to be learning a hard skill, though this is of course valuable. This can also be

2017-08-08T16:52:16+00:00 By |Categories: AMA|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Do we really need this many PhDs in society?

By the traditional, limited definition of a PhD, it's clear that we don't. We have an oversupply of doctoral researchers, and 80% leave the academic track in the biomed fields, ending up with careers outside the faculty path. Postdocs also take a substantial pay cut and delayed progression on their future careers, thanks to the often outdated

2017-08-06T22:47:13+00:00 By |Categories: AMA|Tags: , , |0 Comments

How can I position myself for working in biotech or startups while in the lab?

As someone who entered a biotechnology startup out of grad school and have coached and interviewed PhDs for different positions within and outside startups, it's clear to me that scientists can thrive in the breakneck, uncertain environment of startup companies. Since science can be frustrating, ambiguous and in need of independent thinking and execution, academic

2017-08-08T16:52:25+00:00 By |Categories: AMA|Tags: , , , |0 Comments