February 7, 2011
Biomedical research scientists in the US (and worldwide) are bright, highly educated and creative folks. Most are dedicated to the public good, undergoing years of low pay while fueling the greatest research apparatus ever built- the NIH-funded behemoth that is American health science. Yet they persist in various types of employment stress and uncertainty for years, with minimal confidence of ever attaining a “real job”. It is dismaying to realize that by the time he received his first R01 (the major NIH research grant) Mozart would have been dead for 7 years (tipohat to Tom Lehrer). The official noises coming from the National Institutes of Health, and even some individual institutes such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (scroll for comments on the young investigator) are positive, sure. We’ve heard such sentiments before, however, and most objective measures show long, uninterrupted dismal trends for the young and developing scientist.
Some things have improved since I wrote this. The NIH started taking things a little more serious with respect to unending “training” and the slow transition to independence via their first genuine broadly-available transition mechanism (the K99/R00), Early Stage Investigator checkbox (with special funding priorities) and (yikes) DP5 award. But we still have people lamenting the job market and claiming that their local institution refuses to hire anyone who comes without pre-existing grant funding.
July 26, 2010
I’m anticipating making some design changes for ye old swagge shoppe in the near future. Since it is just the free version of Cafepress I’ll have to take down the old designs to do so.
Thought I’d put out a last call on the old stuff for a week or so. They look like the following.
In case you didn’t know, you can also get items related to ScienceBlogs.com, Adventures in Ethics and Science, On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess, A Blog Around the Clock, Greg Laden’s Blog and Digital Biology.
The in situ images are after the jump.
July 22, 2010
We intertoobs types need to get with the times. Say it with me people.
July 9, 2010
Lo, an age ago in Internet time the ScienceBorg was running a poll to see if users (see what happened there? I mean readers of course) would be willing to pay a monthly subscription fee. For access to some sort of so-called Premium Content.
I bet they’ve tabled that for now.
You get to fence with the reviewers of your manuscript or grant application.
Do you ever get into conversations at your poster that sound hauntingly familiar? Someone is challenging you to explain something about your approach, or data, or interpretation that you’ve just dealt with. On a paper review or grant application revision?
I consider it a great chance to make your case. Far superior to a platform presentation.
June 15, 2010
It recently occurred to me that after all my years of study section service there is only one PI that appears to hold a grudge. Meaning to the extent s/he can’t even acknowledge my presence. And yes, this was a shift that developed after this person had a grant go through a section I was on.
Oh, I’m sure there are others who suspect, rightly or wrongly, that I am to blame for their disappointing grant score. But they seem to be able to act like grownups about the situation.
June 20, 2008
Young Female Scientist has an interesting post up today in which she manifests a very common post-doc delusion:
And there is this other aspect that most PIs don’t want to admit: a senior postdoc is basically the same as a junior PI. Admittedly, junior PIs don’t get to give talks as often as senior PIs, but they give talks more often than postdocs.
The point of this comparison is that in at least some (!) cases the senior postdoc proposed the project, did the project, and has lots of ideas for where her project will go next, since it is presumably the subject of her future grants and lab studies.
May 7, 2008
DrugMonkey posted yesterday about the “A2 bump” and other study section behaviors that are designed to create a “holding pattern” for grants that will ultimately almost-certainly be funded, but only as a subsequent resubmission. Although he alluded to the fact that this kind of behavior is greatly encouraged when funding is very tight, he didn’t really explicitly lay out why. So here we go!
March 7, 2008
A bare double-handful of weeks post-assimilation I’ve struck a bit of a quandary with respect to readership. As expected, our traffic has jumped up quite a bit. A veeeery slow day around here matches some of our better days on WP. Nice that. But what with the recent transition and the increased traffic and whatnot, its a bit hard to tell much about “our” reader demographics. And yet we have reason to identify at least a couple of “our” readers.
February 26, 2008
Jonah Lehrer has a piece up on The Frontal Cortex pointing to an entry from n+1 on the diversion of prescription Adderall® for non-treatment purposes in college students. There’s also an older piece on Slate which can only be described as a trip report. Adderall is prescribed, you may know, for amelioration of symptoms associated with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Adderall is a composite of several different amphetamines, which are digested by the brain at different rates.
while over at n+1 we read:
The drug comes in a gleaming capsule, blue or tangerine colored, and it can be swallowed or sprinkled over cafeteria applesauce. It is made of equal portions of four amphetamines, all of which the body metabolizes at different rates, and which are packaged in tiny rotund beads that dissolve at varied speeds, so the effect is consistent. A 10-milligram capsule lasts about six hours and a 20-milligram capsule doubles the duration.
These statements may give a slightly incorrect impression.
January 21, 2008
DrugMonkey’s post today is an excellent introduction to the topic of how a post-doc might choose to organize experimental/conceptual effort as a post-doc to maximize the appearance on the CV–and, hopefully, the reality–that she is an independent thinker capable of being PI of her own lab. I have a few illustrations and amplifications on his post below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »
January 18, 2008
So in shameless solicitation of our own little Sally Fields moment, DearReaders, would you be so kind as to supply some thoughts on the first year of DrugMonkey? [Update 1/16/08: Although WP doesn't do sticky, I'm re-time stamping this. I got my reasons...; Update2: and "sticky" again.] Read the rest of this entry »
January 16, 2008
The NIH Director, Elias Zerhouni has a newsletter out which advances several arguments for the importance of science education. YHN may be occasionally guilty of taking the Great Zerhouni to task for some of his choices and directions as director and some of you may have a critical cant on anything he has to say. Well, this had some gems. If nothing else, it is a good rehearsal for your own thoughts on the importance of science. Read the rest of this entry »
January 15, 2008
In the context of tenure-track faculty job searches we’ve previously discussed CVs, the job talk, and the chalk talk. Now let’s talk about a sometimes underappreciated aspect of the job interview: the one-on-one meetings between the candidate and departmental (and possibly extra-departmental) faculty. Read the rest of this entry »