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Scientific Peer-review: Providing Critical and Kind Feedback and Advocating for Open Science

Posted by Guest Blogger on Aug 8, 2019 9:19:49 AM

This post was contributed by Magdalena Julkowska, a postdoctoral researcher at KAUST, Saudi Arabia.

From the perspective of an author submitting a paper, the peer-review seems like another dragon to slay on the way to publish your work in a scientific journal. The peer-review is a service that we, as scientists, provide for journal editors to help decide whether work is suitable for publication in their journal. The early peer-review attempts took place at the beginning of the 18th century. Yet the peer-review was not widely adopted by the scientific community until the mid-20th century, and many iconic papers, including the ones on the structure of the DNA, were not peer-reviewed (Baldwin, 2015).

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Topics: Science Careers, Open Science

Early Career Researcher Toolbox: Free Tools for Making Scientific Graphics

Posted by Beth Kenkel on Jun 11, 2019 9:16:12 AM

When I started writing for the Addgene blog, I was focused on writing about new scientific techniques and cool plasmids. Creating graphics were usually the last thing I thought about when writing posts. Since then I’ve realized my figures are just as important, if not more important, than my writing. Initially I didn’t have access to professional-grade design software, like Adobe Illustrator, and I didn’t want to pay for these programs either. But with a little Googling and some trial and error, I found some free design software that let me create graphics that better communicated the science in my blog posts. This post highlights several of these free tools which will hopefully also help you communicate your science, whether it’s in presentations, manuscripts, or social media.

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Topics: Science Careers

Tips to Make the Most of a Scientific Conference

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on May 23, 2019 8:26:09 AM

So you’ve done the research, gathered up your data into an exciting story, and are ready to present your findings at a conference. But what you get out of a conference depends on what you put into it before, during, and after the meeting. Let’s break it down into the following: the elevator pitch, talks, the poster session, networking, and social media.

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Topics: Science Careers

Designing Your Chalk Talk for the Academic Job Interview

Posted by Guest Blogger on Mar 12, 2019 9:37:47 AM

This post was contributed by Erik Snappthe Director of Student and Postdoctoral Programs at the

Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Are you currently on or planning to go on the academic job market? In addition to all of the documents you submit, you will need to present a "chalk talk." However, few, if any, faculty job candidates have seen an actual chalk talk. Their first exposure to a chalk talk is usually their own. This is a problem. The chalk talk is effectively a million dollar sales pitch. Given this large sum, one might expect that applicants would work for months to hone a chalk talk. Yet, I often hear, "I have an interview next week and it includes a chalk talk. What should I include in my chalk talk?"

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Topics: Science Careers, Applying for Jobs

Addgene’s Science Career Guide, Plus 8 Career Tips from Addgenies

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on Feb 26, 2019 8:40:53 AM

Career and skills development can happen anywhere, whether you realize it or not. In the lab, you could be managing a team, planning meetings, and finding the best way to organize your time. At a conference, you could be honing your science communications skills and networking. And on social media, you could be sharing your research or finding opportunities to bring science to the community. 

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Topics: Science Careers, Professional Development

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