Leaving the Bench: The Webinar

Leaving the Bench: The WebinarThere comes a time in many researchers lives when they realize it’s time to move on. Like professional athletes struggling with the decision when to retire, researchers face a flood of emotions that can cloud decision-making and leave us unsure of what to do next. This feeling of paralysis leaves our career development in the hands of others who end up making the tough decisions for us — not a good place to be. Today in a webinar with our friends over at BioCareers, I’ll discuss how to take a page out of the entrepreneur’s playbook to take control of your career development and discover what it is you were meant to do — all from the comfort of your computer!

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Backing Out of a Postdoc Offer for a Better One

Dear Dora: Backing Out of a Postdoc Offer for a Better OneDear Dora,

Some time ago I was offered a postdoc position. The conditions were very poor (1-year contract with a salary commensurable with a PhD student stipend) but I accepted the offer since there was no other reasonable choice and I had to support my family. I signed a contract and applied for a visa and a work permit, which were granted on the basis of decision of competent authorities. The job should start in September.

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Tom Barton, PhD: ACS Presidential Candidate

Tom Barton, PhD: ACS Presidential CandidateToday we share our recent interview with Dr. Tom Barton, candidate for President of the American Chemical Society in which he discusses his most memorable moment in the lab and where he sees the future of science in America. This is a follow-up to yesterday’s interview with the other nominee, Luis Echegoyen, PhD.

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Luis Echegoyen, PhD: ACS Presidential Candidate

Luis Echegoyen, PhD: ACS Presidential CandidateWe recently interviewed American Chemical Society Presidential candidate Dr. Luis Echegoyen in order to understand his positions on the current and future states of science ahead of the election this fall. In fairness, tomorrow we will share our interview with his opponent, Tom Barton, PhD.

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FlyGirl: Life’s Stain Removers

FlyGirl: Life's Stain RemoversDear FlyGirl,

Do you have any advice on how to get out a stain from the one pair of dress pants that I own?  My girlfriend said club soda is supposed to work, but I’ve never liked dipping my napkin in a drink and wiping myself at dinner, especially if I am with people I’m trying to impress. It’s probably time that I learn some discretion.



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Beige is the New Brown (Fat)

Mind the Gap: Beige is the New Brown (Fat)Since defending my thesis I’ve been repeatedly putting off starting the diet and exercise regime needed to lose the excess pounds I gained while writing it. Sadly, the time has come for my procrastination to end and the torture to begin, and on September 1 I will put the Insanity DVD into my computer, actually work out, and stop eating delicious things like bread and pasta and French fries. Tear.

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Interview Etiquette: What’s With All the “Thank Yous”

Interview etiquetteOnce in a while we all have to face the interview gauntlet. Granted, grad-students and post-docs go through interviews as often as white Christmas in Hawaii… Ok, maybe not as rarely as in white Christmas in Hawaii but these particular groups interview on average every 4 to 5 years. Once you realize that there is an interview looming in the near future, you probably try to brush up on your interviewing and people skills. One intriguing aspect of the interview etiquette is that it can closely resemble an animal planet episode that describes courting rituals among birds. Yes, there are many unspoken rules, many things that can create a favorable impression of you and many things that can ruin your chances of ever getting that job. One mystifying aspect of job interviewing I wanted to cover today is the infamous “Thank You” note.

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My Postdoc Story: Junior Faculty Member

My Postdoc StoryWhile nearly all of us face challenges during our postdoctoral years, we often feel alone in our struggles. In this series, we hope to share encouraging and uplifting stories of how other scientists were able to turn their situation around and move forward, despite a non-ideal situation. Like snowflakes, fingerprints, and nightmares, every postdoctoral experience is unique, so today we share the Postdoc Story of another successful scientist.

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Is There Room for Non-Science Books in the Lab?

Dear Dora: Non-science books in the lab?Dear Dora,

I’m an avid reader of both science and non-science-related books. Does it look bad to have non-science books out on my desk? I know it’s my personal space, but I don’t want my PI to get the wrong impression.

-RM, grad student

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Forget Wireless Keyboards and Touch Your Plant Instead

Mind the Gap | BenchFlyThis is one of those stories that I just couldn’t ignore. In a nutshell, it’s about using plants to interface with your computer. I know, weird, right?

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