Skip to main content

029: Tenure Tracker – Choose a Mentor, Not a Lab

Choosing a lab for your graduate or postdoc research is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Most people read papers and abstracts to find the coolest science.  Or they favor the big labs with lots of people and solid funding.

But those features can distract you from the real secret of scientific success.
Read More

028: Making Time for Kids When Everyone Else Stays Late

If you have kids, you’ve experienced “the time shift.”

Where you used to have hobbies, you now have a drive to soccer practice.  Where you used to have dinner out, you now have dinner, dishes, bath-time, stories, and bedtime, IN.

And where you used to stay late in the lab to finish an experiment, you now rush out at 5 to avoid the late fee at daycare.

Read More

026: Career Advice from A Successful Scientist

When you’re worried about today’s experiments and tomorrow’s time points, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important for your career and your life.  Why not start the New Year with a new perspective?

Father Time
“How about setting down the pointy scythe, son. You’re making grandpa nervous.”

Looking Back and Moving Forward

In this episode, we consider the advice of Robert J. Sternberg, PhD,  a self-described geezer and well-respected academic.  He’s Professor of Human Development at Cornell University, and has co-authored over 1,500 publications.  He wrote an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education laying out his career advice for other academics.

His tips range from simple (“Save as much money as you can”) to subtle (“Be true to yourself”), but all of them are worth a few moments of consideration as we enter 2016.  Here’s the list, with more detail included in the article:

Career Advice From an Oldish Not-Quite Geezer

  1. Put your family first.
  2. Make your health a close second.
  3. Save as much money as you can.
  4. If you’re in the wrong place, get out.
  5. Stay away from jerks.
  6. If you’re not having fun, something’s wrong.
  7. Be true to yourself.
  8. Don’t tie up too much of your self-esteem in someone else’s evaluation of your work.
  9. Take stock periodically.
  10. Have a hobby. See the world. Or both.
  11. Help others.
  12. Take some risks.

Pop a Cork

Also in this episode, Josh and Dan pop some bubbly to celebrate the New Year and some exciting milestones for the Hello PhD podcast.  Thanks to all of you joining us on this journey, and we can’t wait to make science a friendlier, happier place in 2016!

025: Experiments and Exercise: 10 Creative Ways Scientists Stay Fit

You’re busy.  Experiments, lab meeting, journal club, classes – you barely have time to sleep, let alone make it to the gym to exercise.  We’ll tell you about 10 creative ways other grad students and postdocs stay physically fit, and how it’s boosting their productivity and self-confidence.

exercise

You don’t have time NOT to exercise

The research is clear: exercising is good for your mood, your productivity, and your health.  So why do so many of us believe we “don’t have time for it?”  To reap the benefits of exercise for people on a busy lab schedule, we asked the LabRats group on Reddit and other grad students and postdocs for advice on staying in shape.

Here are some of their tips:

  1. Bike to lab!
  2. Take a class at the university gym
  3. Take the stairs
  4. Learn a martial art
  5. Schedule workout time with your lab-mates to make it social
  6. Sign up for intramural sports on campus
  7. Check out cross-fit at a local gym or online
  8. Try the New York Times 7-minute workout or other apps
  9. Read papers while riding a stationary bike or elliptical machine
  10. Do squats while waiting for the centrifuge

Bottom line – find something you enjoy, and make it a priority.  You’ll feel more confident, and tie your sense of accomplishment to something more than today’s experiment.

 

Salted Caramel Everything

After all that exercise, it’s time to indulge as we sample a New Belgium Brewing/Ben & Jerry’s colla-BEER-ation (see what I did there?)  It’s the Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, and it’s not as bad as you’d think.  The brewer’s sense of restraint is appreciated, as this still tastes like a beer and not a chocolate milk-shake.

We also celebrate the season this week with a reading of The Night Before CRISPRmas, and an etymological tale about the origin of Santa’s name.  Happy Holidays!

 

References

Exercise and workplace performance

Exercise and cognition