science careers


This is a guest post by Stefanie Robel, PhD.

Most of my academic career I have been working toward big longterm goals: my masters degree, my first paper, my PhD, the next position, a Nature paper, a transition into independence grant, the next paper. The list continues… The job as a research scientist is characterized by long streaks of work, seemingly without reward. Oftentimes, we experience a series of setbacks before we advance our projects in meaningful ...(read more)



In this work, I see all kinds of crazy things. I label them as crazy not because I want to make judgement. I call them crazy because they lead to consequences that are at odds with the pronounced goals that people have for themselves.

So, let’s say, for example, that someone pronounces: “I want to learn how to get more grants funded.”

Then let’s say that they take it to the next logical step: “I’m going to pursue some training on this!”

Yay! ...(read more)



There’s this persistent myth that I need to tear down once and for all. Maybe it won’t all happen in this one blog post, but by God I’m gonna give it a good start.

The myth? It’s that all it takes to succeed is hard work.

I have seen lives destroyed by that myth, more than once.

For example: I’ve had a few conversations with a smart scientist who works for a hard-driving, work-all-the-time boss at a major university. This hard-driving boss is ...(read more)



We’re going to do something really different today. I’m going to tell you exactly why I feel like a Liar and Fraud.

But first… I’ll give you some context that explains why this is going to help you, a lot.

According to research at Georgia State and other places, more than 70% of us have experienced the Impostor Syndrome. That’s the feeling that, no matter what we accomplish, we don’t really “deserve it.”

Worse, the more accomplished and highly educated we become, the statistically ...(read more)



For many of us, the getting of grants is the one thing expected of us in order to get tenured, promoted, and recognized.

Yet this function that is at the very heart of expectations for us, is one for which:

The odds of success are remote.  Not quite as remote as being struck by lightning, but almost. The actual training provided in this vital skill is minimal. We’re expected to be like “concert pianists” in grant writing, and somehow a few occasional seminars ...(read more)