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 »

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One bugaboo of scientific transition, and gaining respect in the field in which one works, is the concept of scientific “independence”. In a prior post I tried to grapple with the question of why we care about independence. Now I want to get into how the postdoc/senior research associate / (very) junior faculty scientists can work to demonstrate independence.

The first essential concepts are that you want to establish evidence on your CV, of the type that people understand when looking for such evidence, that you have more intellectual and functional independence from the PI than the average bear. Second, that you want to convince people who are in a position to testify about you of your independence. These are distinct issues and you will need each type of support in different circumstances, even though much of this is interrelated. Read the rest of this entry »