A Quick Makeover: From ‘Lab Drab’ to ‘Ab Fab’ in 10 Minutes

FlyGirl: A Quick Makeover: From 'Lab Drab' to 'Ab Fab' in 10 MinutesBy the end of the day I feel like I’m covered in “lab”. So when my friends want to go out after work I really feel like I need to go home to regroup, but home is too far away- not practical.  Is there anything I can do in the dingy bathroom at lab to refresh?

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Walking the Thin Line Between a Great Result and a Lie

Dear Dora: Walking the line between a result and a lieDear Dora,

My PI often overstates my results when he presents my work in talks. How do I know if it’s just a little bit of hype versus being a lie, or even worse unethical?

– TJ, grad student

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How to Contact Potential Postdoctoral Advisors: Email vs. Snail Mail

To say email changed the way we communicate is like saying Saturday morning group meeting is a bad idea – it’s obvious. For most of us, email (including messaging through Facebook and related sites) is the reason we write with the penmanship of a second-grader. (For those born after 1990, “writing” means holding a pen in your hand and physically creating the letters and words on a piece of paper that would then be mailed to the recipient. “Mail” means…) Since it’s inception, people have debated the appropriateness of sending an email versus a physical letter for a range of life’s occasions. In our professional lives we fear choosing the wrong vehicle will put an end to our candidacy before our merits are even considered. Accordingly, one of the most common questions we receive from the lab is whether we should contact potential postdoctoral advisors by email or a traditional letter.

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Facebook Updates: The Good, The Bad, and the Vague

One of my biggest pet peeves is “vague-booking”. You know, when people change their Facebook status to read “sigh” or “really?” or “I can’t believe that just happened :(“. Vague with a capital “V”. I know that the author of these atrocities just wants someone to ask them what happened, or express concern that they had a tough day, but my response is the exact opposite. To put it gently, I start to dislike the vague-booker.

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How Long Should it Take to Get a Lab Off the Ground?

Many events in life come with defined timetables. It takes 21 years to buy alcohol, four years to avenge an Olympic loss, and 11 seconds to lose your lunch if watching a Real Housewives episode. Yet in our scientific lives the time required to complete our most important milestones are undefined and arbitrary. Is five years just right for grad school, too much for postdocs and not enough for tenure decisions? Catalyzed by numerous conversations with fellow scientists, we’ve decided to examine each phase of our career development pathway to determine whether the phases are truly optimized for our success, or whether it’s time to overhaul the system.

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Dear Boss: I Want to Graduate. Let’s Talk.

Dear Dora: I want to graduateDear Dora,

What’s the best way to get the conversation going about graduation dates with your PI?

– Henry, grad student

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Keep Your Sanity With a Smile

Sometimes it feels like the Science Gods are looking down at us and laughing… not with us, at us.  It’s time’s like these when it seems like the easiest thing to do is just join ’em. Here are a few articles that will hopefully lessen the pain…

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BenchLife: Managing Your Life in the Lab

Getting Started in Lab

Be a Better Labmate

Stay Focused and Motivated in Lab

Take Charge of Your BenchLife

Mastering Mindless Tasks

  • Training Your Autopilot – even if your mind wanders during a repetitive assay, your body will always know what to do
  • Assay Pipetting – prevent the horrible ‘Oh no! Did I already add substrate to that tube?!’ feeling with this simple system
  • When in Doubt, Throw it Out – how can just a few words save days, weeks and even months of time? Take a few minutes to learn them
  • Send Email Without the Worry – clicking ‘send’ prematurely can be one of the scariest moments in email. Never send an accidental email again with these tips and resources

.Lab Resources

Model Organism Primers

Recipes: Chemistry You Can Eat

As scientists, we often have little time (and money) to prepare meals after a long day at the bench.  However, many of us love cooking, which should be little surprise given that research is basically cooking with ingredients you can’t eat.  Here are some of our favorite recipes that require little time, money or expertise to pull off!

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Science Career Development Resources

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Graduate School

 

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Postdoc

  • A Degree of Stress – an interesting trend emerges when a group of seasoned postdocs graph their stress levels through graduate school and their postdocs
  • Why is the Postdoc So Stressful? – you’ve already got your PhD- isn’t it all downhill from here? With the degree come a new set of challenges to be prepared for
  • Non-US Postdoc, Pt 1 – considering leaving the US for a postdoc? Here are some common issues to be prepared for when settling in the new country and lab
  • Non-US Postdoc, Pt 2 – a roadmap for the first six months of your postdoc- what’s expected of you and how to get through it
  • Lessons from a Recovering Postdoc – not every postdoc goes as planned but when things go wrong, there’s still hope. Take it from this postdoc who dealt with the problem and is happier than ever

 

 

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Non-Academic Careers

 

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Professional Issues

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The Future of Scientific Impact

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See the Big Picture

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Manage Your Image: Put Your Best Foot Forward

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