A recent survey of PhDs found that many researchers feel that they lack formal training in a variety of transferable skills. At Addgene we've set out to fill this gap by both highlighting that researchers do learn MANY transferable skills while working in the lab and by offering advice on areas where you might need some help. Today: Teamwork.
My first experience on a successful scientific team came as an undergrad at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Though some WPI students chose to go the solo route for their Major Qualifying Project (or MQP, the school’s equivalent of a senior thesis), I knew early on that I wanted to work with a partner. WPI’s emphasis on teamwork was what drew me to the school in the first place. The famous discoveries and experiments I’d been learning about for years were usually the products of teams: Watson, Crick, & Franklin, Meselson-Stahl, Hershey-Chase...Who was I to dispute history? And boy did I make the right decision. If I’d spent my senior year isolating pheromones from various C. elegans mutants by myself, I would have slowly gone crazy. As it was, my partner Mike and I split the work, shared the credit, and we both won accolades that would launch our careers in science.