science mentoring


Grants suck. That’s funny, coming from someone who has been helping people with them for the past four years. However, working with so many people on them, I’ve seen the dark sides. There are several.

The grant game breeds fear. Lots of it. Fear breeds conservatism and unhealthy competitiveness. Fear is the enemy of creative thinking, and it is the enemy of fun, freedom, and clarity.

The conservatism that comes from fear leads most reviewers to be extremely conservative about what they’ll ...(read more)

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So I froze my buns off to bring a new video to you, and it has some killer content that you need to see if you’re writing grants.

I didn’t want to bring you a plain old boring video. Nope. It would go against my advice for your grants. It would go against what I stand for.

Now I admit. I’ve screwed that up in the past. I’ve on occasion let things go on for too long and be a bit boring. But you ...(read more)



If you’ve ever wondered why “success” is so hard to come by, this blog post is for you.  If you’re already as successful as you want to be, then you probably don’t need to keep reading (and congratulate yourself that you’re in the minority of about 1% of all people!).

What is success?  That totally depends on you.  But if you’re in an academic career, that often means getting a PhD, getting some publications, doing a post-doc, getting some more publications, ...(read more)



We all know that science education has been slipping … along with our society’s general interest in things related to science.

This is really bad, methinks.  We need more scientific innovation, not less, to face the challenges of today – energy, hunger, poverty, disease, and all those other nasties.

The question is, how do we do this?  One way is to improve our science communication and marketing skills, so that when we encounter members of the general public (like those pesky inlaws ...(read more)



If you’re at the stage in your career that you’re writing grants, then the team that you build will define your success (or failure).

This is a slight but important digression: Getting a grant is all about leverage. The money that a grant brings in allows you to do things that involve other people’s time and energy. Hence you can accomplish far more than you would by yourself. (And if you’re a faculty member, you might be ...(read more)