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How-to: 5 Steps to a Great Panel Discussion

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Oct 22, 2014 9:57:29 AM

This post was originally published on LinkedIn. Follow Addgene on LinkedIn for repository news and updates.

Panel discussions are becoming a ubiquitous format for events and sessions in scientific conferences. They can result in lively discussions with both panelists and audience fully engaged. They can also be dull and painful to sit through (imagine the entire audience playing Candy Crush or reading email). My advice is always "don't do it unless you can do it well" – even the smallest program. I don't mean have fancy food or a fantastic view (these are nice if you can afford them). I am talking about making sure the audience is interested, educated and talking as a result of the content. Here are some of my tips to organizing and running a memorable panel discussion.

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Topics: Career

Future of Research Conference - Remarkable Opening Session

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Oct 7, 2014 11:00:00 AM

 

It was with a sense of relief that I attended the amazing, postdoc-driven Future of Research Conference at Boston University last week.  This fantastic city-wide effort was led by two amazing postdocs, Kristin Krukenberg and Jessica Polka from Harvard Medical School and a long list of supporters from all of the research centers in Boston.  I was relieved because it finally feels to me like the postdocs are taking some steps to control their own future in science (see my previous blog on this).  Indeed, that was a primary message delivered by many of the speakers.  As Dr. Polka said as she started things off, “We are all capable of contributing to change.” 

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Topics: Career

A Conference By Postdocs For Postdocs: Future of Research

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Sep 2, 2014 11:05:00 AM

This post was originally published on LinkedIn. Follow Addgene on LinkedIn for repository news and updates.

Scientists must do science to be happy. What do we have to change to ensure that all scientists can have successful careers doing science in some form? There is a lot of talk about the state of scientist training in the US and around the world. There are rumors that we are training too many scientists and some propose radical changes to the way we view the graduate school and postdoc training years.

There is no doubt that there are too many scientists in the pipeline were they all to pursue jobs in academia. Certainly funding for academic research and training is getting tighter and competition is fierce. However, I believe there are plenty of great jobs out there for science PhDs. The problem is that too few of these trainees are sufficiently prepared during their 6-12+ (!) years of training to get jobs. They are not exposed to the vast non-academia career landscape and there is insufficient (or no) emphasis on developing transferable skills to enable pursuit of these diverse opportunities after training.

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Topics: Career

Advice for Moving Into Sales After Your Science Postdoc

Posted by Guest Blogger on Aug 21, 2014 11:15:00 AM

This guest blog post was contributed by Seán Mac Fhearraigh, PhD, of www.phdadvice.com.

I sold out, well in part that’s what leaving academia feels like for a lot of researchers. For many years I struggled with the questions of “Will I leave academia?” and "What type of science careers would would make a good fit for me?" Whatever would I do next and what options lie ahead of me? Like a considerable number of researchers, I had high hopes of securing tenure in a British or Irish University where I would continue on with my academic dream of studying cell division. However, after 6 years in the business of western blots and cloning, I decided to pack it in. I had just started month 8 of my 3 year Post-Doctoral contract at the University of Cambridge and knew it was time to leave. I really enjoyed my time in the lab, my colleagues and what I was researching, but I decided I needed a new challenge.

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Topics: Career, Career Readiness

How to Make Friends and Meet People at a Scientific Conference

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Aug 7, 2014 9:58:00 AM

There is essentially no better place for a scientist to make new relationships than at scientific conferences. Conferences provide the opportunity to meet people who are interested in the same things you are on a deep level. Right away you have something in common. Namely, the scientific question you are interested in and this is a great ice breaker. Of course, real relationships go further and grow over time, but being interested in the same phosphate of your favorite kinase is a good start.

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Topics: Career, Networking

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