Archive by category | Careers

Mentoring matters, says Nature Cell Biology

Mentoring matters, says Nature Cell Biology

Sound mentorship can contribute significantly to the intellectual and professional development of mentees, but mentors also stand to gain strong leadership skills in this process, and the ability to draw the best from a team can only aid in the overall success of one’s research agenda, according to February’s Editorial in Nature Cell Biology (12, 101; 2010). While picking the appropriate problem and the right approaches is fundamental to a running a successful research programme, capable mentoring of laboratory members and new faculty members is also crucial.  Read more

Nature Immunology looks at gender issues in science careers

Nature Immunology looks at gender issues in science careers

Gender stereotypes are still preventing women from attaining full recognition of their research careers, even in the United States. The February Editorial of Nature Immunology (11, 99; 2010) reports that females who hold high-ranking positions in academia and enjoy full recognition of their scientific achievements are still a very rare breed. “According to reports by the European Commission and National Science Foundation in 2006, less than 15% of the full professorship positions in Europe and around 19% in the USA are held by women. Survivors of a very stringent selection process, through sheer excellence or combinations of happy circumstances, they still unfortunately represent more of an exception than the rule.”  … Read more

From postdoc to independent scientist

From postdoc to independent scientist

The doctoral thesis is the first tangible proof of a scientist’s ability to execute and interpret a coherent set of experiments, writes Howy Jacobs in the January issue of EMBO reports (11, 1; 2010). Nevertheless, he says, “everyone recognizes that doctoral projects in molecular biology are primarily devised and guided by the supervisor. The ability to fly solo as a researcher remains largely untested at the time of graduation: a smooth and successful PhD most often involves the student obediently following the supervisor’s instructions and suggestions, starting from a tailor-made project plan.”…..  Read more

Nature announces winners of 2009 mentoring awards

Nature announces winners of 2009 mentoring awards

On 1 December, the winners of the 2009 Nature Awards for Creative Mentoring – the 5th since the competition’s inception in 2005 – were announced at the British Embassy in Tokyo. For the 2009 awards, nominations were invited from Japan – the first time that researchers from an Asian country have been honoured. Two awards were made, one for lifetime achievement and the other for mid-career achievement.  Read more

Nature Neuroscience speaks up for young researchers

The Editorial in the November issue of Nature Neuroscience (12, 1351; 2009) emphasizes the importance of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy of funding an increasing number of grants to young investigators with merit scores below the ‘payline’. Early-stage investigators are “especially vulnerable to funding crisis and are often at a disproportionate disadvantage when competing with more established laboratories for R01 grants. Such actions that protect some of these young investigators are critical if we are to retain young scientists and encourage our future research base”, states the journal. This problem may have been exacerbated by recent efforts to streamline the grant peer-review process, which may mean that evaluators are putting even more store on previous track-record, hence putting young researchers at a greater disadvantage.  Read more

Two views of the Lindau Nobel chemistry laureates’ meeting

Each year since 1951, young researchers and Nobel laureates have gathered on the shores of Lake Constance for a unique scientific conference. In 2009 the meeting was dedicated to chemistry, and laureates and students all came away enriched by their experiences. Martin Chalfie, one of the three recipients of the 2008 Nobel prize in Chemistry, reports what they learned from each other in the November issue of Nature Chemistry (1, 586-587; 2009) He writes:  … Read more

Editorial opportunity at Molecular Systems Biology

Molecular Systems Biology has a vacancy for a full-time research Editor. This exciting position involves working together with the existing editorial team on all aspects of the editorial process including critically reading submitted research, organizing peer-review, commissioning and editing reviews, and developing the content and editorial policies of the journal.  Read more

The Source Event careers fair is on 25 September

A final reminder that The Source Event careers fair takes place in London later this week – Friday 25 September. The Source Event, now in its 3rd successful year, is a dedicated science career fair that combines a dynamic exhibition with conference and workshop sessions. The event will showcase opportunities in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe for careers in science, be it in industrial research, research organizations or academia.  Read more

No time to waste in assisting minorities, says Nature Immunology

The research community needs to increase the number of minority students who choose scientific research careers, according to the September Editorial in Nature Immunology (10, 927; 2009). Black and Hispanic Americans compose roughly one third of the US population, yet the percentage of graduate degrees earned by members of these minorities is much less than 30%. Only 168 people of a minority background were listed as faculty members in biological science departments of the top 50 research institutions in the United States as of 2007. How can the research community encourage more minority students to pursue a research career?  Read more