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041: Make a Difference in Your Lab with Peer Support

Spoiler Alert: Working in a lab is tough.

Yes, there’s the academic challenge, but it can also be an emotional roller-coaster when experiments fail, colleagues conflict, and you push yourself past the normal limits.

When someone in your lab has a bad day, does it sound like this?

Grad Student: (despondent sigh) “I can’t believe that PCR failed again.  I’m never going to graduate.”

Lab Mate: (in a rush) “Yeah, that sucks.  Check your primers again.”

Instead of finding support among peers and co-workers – the very people who understand how difficult lab can be – we often find indifference, dismissal, or half-hearted pity.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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scoring bad advisors

038: Why aren’t bad research advisors held accountable?

You’ve either heard the stories, or worse, you’ve lived them.

They’re stories of the research advisors who scream at their students in front of the whole department.

The PIs who put two or three postdocs on the same project, expecting only one to succeed.

The ‘mentor’ who makes you feel like you’re not even qualified to wash the glassware.

So why do academic institutions allow such bad behavior to continue year in, and year out?  Why aren’t bad PIs accountable?

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034: Sci-Hub and the Publication Pirates

Research budgets are tight, and many universities are canceling subscriptions to costly online science journals and publications.  But papers are the currency of science, and it’s impossible to stay at the top of your field when you can’t find out what your field is doing.

One solution sails between the rock and the hard-place, as scientists and trainees turn to ‘pirated’ articles posted online.

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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.
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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.

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