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The week that it was : 12th -18th June, 2017

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Hola summer-lovers. This week as the sun shines down graciously on Queensland, very many scientific discoveries and traditional approaches faced the heat of scrutiny and re-investigation at various levels.

The therapeutic tug-of-war gets CrispR

CrispR companies respond and raise concerns over flaws in the data in a recent publication over the pitfalls of this popular genome-editing technique. Bench scientists might consider weighing the pros and cons of this technique as Nature discusses these concerns with the authors.

The HIV detection assay ‘Quantitative viral outgrowth assay’ is outcompeted by a gene-expression based novel HIV test –‘TZA’ that enables early detection of the dormant virus. The test is quicker than the traditional assay and might potentially be a step in the right direction for HIV diagnosis shows studies at Pitt Public Health’s Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. On the other hand, the failure of anti-estrogen therapies in endometriosis is attributed to estrogen not being the causative hormone for the condition in the first place!! Scientists at National Institute of Research in Reproductive Health, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) showed that presence of estrogen does not promote the growth of these tissues outside the uterus.

The power (house) production

Mitochondria, also know as the powerhouse of a cell has always been known as the energy (ATP) production house. However, recent studies show that this organelle might be doing much more than that, as it produces metabolites and control hematopoietic stem cell fate. Now that’s what we call multi-tasking.

Tinder for science 😉

Yes that’s right! We now have a tinder-look-a-like app called Papr for the scientific community to show appreciation towards our fellow researchers’ work. It allows life scientists to rate fellow researchers work by swiping right on pre-prints as also make connection via twitter account that could be linked to the app. So people get ‘swiping right for science’.

Recently initiative by he NIH called the Grant Support Index (GSI) was a promising venture to cap funding at the top level and facilitate funding for new labs. However, this initiative has now been withdrawn. If you wish to support and wish to implement it for betterment of future scientist please sign the petition here.

Story of the week: Parenthood special

As we celebrate Father’s day this week, a new father talks about the challenges of balancing work and parenthood for working dads.
The science heroes for this week are also parents Sharon Terry and her husband Pat who turned citizen scientist to study a rare genetic condition PXE their children faced. In this TED talk, Sharon narrated the story of their journey of becoming a bench-scientists and making considerable contribution to understanding the condition. She urges the scientific community to focus coming together to make a difference than being a part of the rat race.

 

Also, read here various contributions of cancer cells from Henrietta Lacks to various key scientific breakthroughs from eradicating polio to mapping the human genome. The controversial HeLa cells have now made it to the silver screen- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in addition to being a household name among life-scientists.

BioSpace invite female life-scientists to share their unique experience in science while CSGian Viswa Nadham urges fellow CSGians to share your thoughts and experiences about biotech dreams and how the education system and opportunities a can be improved. Follow and contribute to the discussion here. Share your stories to inspire and educate the future researchers.

Immigration info-desk

For US post-docs, Kasthuri Kannan advises on green card policies in a CSG post in addition to the brief summary of the Immigration Info session held at Columbia University Postdoctoral Society.

CSG: the new Hogwarts

SciWri invites new interns to contribute to translating the statistical article to biologist-lingo while the current writers can improve their blogs using these tips and tools. Follow the discussion here. As the second round of applications open for the CSG Consulting Club, here are few tips for a strategic approach to solving case studies.
For the data science enthusiasts, CSG Data Science club hosts its first in-person classes by Kasthuri Kannan on July 22nd, from 2pm to 3.30pm at the Translational Research Building of NYU. The classes will be accessible on FB live as well. Also, for the self-learners heres an interactive tool to learn coding for free!!
A MSL discussion will be hosted by CSG for PhDs aspiring to follow this career path. Please join the discussion by signing up here while future policy makers can gather a few tips from Debra Cooper from the California State Senate Office of Research as she narrates her story of transition to Science policy while enlisting the various roles in that area.
For all the creative thinkers out there, CSG is looking for a ‘name’ for the first ever Asian-scientists networking event hosted by CSG: The Annual meet-up. So let your ideas flow in!!
CSGians in NJ area are invited to signup for a CSG-Meet up on June 24th 2017. And finally here’s some advice for our mentors at CSG as they gear up for the June-Dec 2017 cycle of the Mentor-Mentee program. Good luck and kudos to your effort!

Resume roadmap

This week in this section Ananda explains the importance of planning an effective post-doc application and how CSG can help you get your dream job.
A successful CSGian Richa Jaiswal writes about her transition as a Senior Scientist in the Protein Sciences division of a CR). Smita Salian Mehta points out a few differences in academia and industry while sharing a list of world’s most reputable pharma companies in 2017. If you are prepping to make the move, read how to gracefully walk out of your current position, but remember to plan your transition in advance and seek advise from our experienced fellow CSGians.
For those happily settled in your new job , do consider Individual Development Plans(IDPs) exercise with you PI or boss to identify career objectives and achieve professional development.

Funding calls

For data science fanatics, apply for the INSIGHT FELLOWS PROGRAM
We have some new funding opportunities for European scientists and Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology (LSP) Fellowship in Scientific Project Management at Harvard to learn project management while supporting a federal grant. Those with the entrepreneurial ambitions here’s an opportunity for ‘technopreunership’ from USA and India.

Opportunities from our Pandora box

Some of the opportunities featured this week were:

Jobs at Biogen
Proposal Development Manager New York
Scientist Biochemical Assay & Screening at Stratacuity, Houston
Leader of Biologics at Stratacuity, Boston
Sr. Scientist in Antibody research at Stratacuity, Boston
Director, New Products at Intellia Therapeutics
Project manager at Northern Biologics ,Canada
Technology Lead in US (Boston area) and Germany (Frankfurt) at Sanofi Biologics Research
Postdoctoral fellow at University of Cambridge

And signing off with a tickle to your funny bone with a song, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), sang to graduating SMU students during his Commencement address at a graduating ceremony.

Have a productive week!!

About the cover image 

This week’s cover image titled ‘CrispR : Good or Bad ’ is an illustration by Vinita Bharat at Fuzzy Synapse.

About the author

Nisha Peter is a Post-doctoral fellow at Sussex Drug Discovery Centre,UK and has done her PhD  from Genome Damage and Stability Centre,UK . Her research interest involves cell biology (I’ve spend a lifetime admiring mitotic cells during my PhD!!) and oncology. She works for Club SciWri as a freelance writer to pursue her love for “words”. Apart from being bench scientist she actively participates in science communication events, enjoys teaching, globetrotting and experimenting with music.

The week that it was – 5th to 11th June

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    Celebrating World Environment Day, by IpsaWonders
ISRO launches its Fat Boy, image by Fuzzy Synapse

Over last week India has had quite a few reasons to celebrate. ISRO launched the country’s heaviest rocket GSLV Mk3, and won its independence from European space agencies for launching its satellites weighing more than 2 tonnes.  At the same time, CSG India’s efforts by IISc-ians got formal recognition by Indian Express, a nationwide newspaper in India. From career transition talks on campus to now communicating science to layman, the IISc team is bound to go places!

While India’s largest scientific and research body, CSIR, which runs 37 laboratories nationwide declared financial emergency, CCMB, a CSIR centre in Hyderabad, India has developed a novel drug delivery system to treat fungal keratitis in eye. The emphasis is on every CSIR lab to have marketable technology, while CSIR-Tech whose focus was on commercializing technology from CSIR labs shut down officially earlier this year hugely due to lack of funding and legal support from CSIR. That would put the onus on the individual lab to market its technology to earn revenue. If this model fails, we risk seeing 37 defunct labs all over the country. On a parallel note, Prof. Sujoy Guha’s team at IIT-Kharagpur, India has developed novel male birth control measures  but is having a hard time to find companies to launch the technology. Is it only a fear of accepting a new methodology or breaking the age old popular mindset around male’s passive role in contraception or the money of big pharma companies in existing contraceptive market! Prof. Guha’s technique are shown to be as effective as the current measures available, cheaper and more eco-friendly. The developing countries will certainly benefit a lot where a huge part of its contraceptive needs stay unmet. How do pharma companies and policy makers see such issues?

Pharma companies, however, do see hope in big investments on artificial intelligence. Preliminary studies show immense scope for AI in healthcare driving big collaborations in the cancer care. One name that has been appearing often is IBM Watson. While it has just joined hands with Novartis to gain better insights into development of breast cancer therapies, its 4 year collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center could not be sustained after a toll of at least $62 mn. In India, Bharat Biotech started with phase I human trials for its chikungunya vaccine.

National Science Foundation, federal science agency in the USA, declared stopping PhD grants in environmental science and organismal biology. Adding to the controversies, USA’s top patent and trademark official, Michelle Lee, known for her efforts to invalidate low quality patents, suddenly announced her resignation – adding one more vacancy to be filled under Trump’s administration. The reasons behind the resignation aren’t yet confirmed by her, but speculations hint towards rift with the Commerce Department.

Moving on from national interests to international implications of political views of the home countries of researchers. While it is not possible and/or worth building huge research facilities with overlapping functions all over the world, especially if the number of researchers using them is rather small. But in having common facilities worldwide, do we risk access for researchers whose home countries have not invested in building the facility? Over years, the field of astronomy has built numerous such common facilities of telescopes, and have been one of the better but yet not perfect examples to show to prioritize science over political agendas. This is probably a difference one sees when science is done for curiosity versus having political and economic gains.

With that let’s see what opportunities opened up in academia over the last week –

If you are preparing to apply for jobs outside academia, understand your potential and interests without falling for the long-held notions around careers. Here are stories from 5 postdoctoral researchers who found their calling beyond academia during their postdoc stint – if you identify with any of them, you have a role model to follow! Find here a networking event for life science professionals in MA, USA and an online free seminar that you might consider attending on gaining the necessary skills for a successful transition for some of the positions we saw over the last week.

And what if you wanted to work in academia and market your work? As a researcher should you head the startup with your technical skills or sell your technology to external licensees? Check what numbers have to speak. While it might seem discouraging for an academician to head a startup according to statistics at the moment, it might be simply mitigated by appropriate training and exposure to the academicians. A praiseworthy initiative is euVENTION that aims to support researchers in establishing startups focusing on chronic diseases in middle aged populations. Basel Life is setting up a platform to bring cutting edge science and technology in labs in front of potential investors and customers. Backed by reputed universities, this is a potent way to guide and support commercialization of technologies developed in universities. And those who think their research can impact policies, see if  and how the World Health Summit at Berlin, Germany might help you.

For those who want to prime themselves with the startup culture and the ideas that are making rounds in the market already, there are some great resources for Indian and global scenes. Those into it might want to know the effective and more importantly many of the free tools to get your startup working. We know what it means to bootstrap! And when it comes to forming your team, choose your members wisely – reports show that peer reviews and testimonies say a greater deal more than GRE/ GPA scores, alma maters, publication lists of an applicant’s abilities. See how you would like to maximize your sales – numbers say that you will benefit the most by having direct interaction with your buyers. But most importantly, remember it is about doing a good research in business too, which is your forte!

With that I come to my summer promise where I give you ideas to reignite your hobbies if they haven’t found a vent since some time. For all the crochet enthusiasts among us, look at these amazing pieces of Anne Mondro’s works. While we are talking of looking at anatomy with abstraction, Judith Brodsky’s work adds a different dimension to the art of science communication. Let your imagination flow, it is not about the prettiness of the art, as she says, but rather a deeper message that it sends across. And story tellers, get inspired by grad student Sara ElShafie as she makes her science stories more engaging with Pixar! CSG is currently brimming with ideas of all kinds, and is waiting to hear more of yours soon!

Featured images are by IpsaWonders (on Facebook and Instagram) and Fuzzy Synapse (on Facebook).

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project coordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in Neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.

The week that it was : 29th May- 4th June 2017

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Howdy folks!! With the British summer round the corner, CSG saw discussion on a varied world and ‘Our world-The Lab’ concerns. So let’s have a looks at what turned the heat on for our fellow scientists.

‘Trump-et’ controversies in the globally warmed-up village

As Donald Trump walk out of Paris climate accord, the energy system of our global village is at stake. CEOs of mammoth companies creating markets for cleaner technologies and climate policy makers, comment on Washington’s bad manners. Discussions are ongoing to analyse the aftermath of this atrocious behaviour by the Trump administration.

It’s all about the ‘Zika’

As Zika virus reaches the shores of India, the government decided to keep information under wraps instead of educating the masses about ways to avoid the infection. The pre-history of Zika is being probed as individuals with no travel history to countries with ongoing transmission indicating the virus’ existence in India locally.

Science to rescue medical maladies

This week’s lab news is encouraging for patient suffering with bones and blood ailments. 3-D bio-printed cartilages at Department of Textile Technology at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi  show potential as a cure for osteoarthritis and in-vitro assessment of drug delivery studies as they are molecularly similar to ones seen in human knees. In line with this artificial innovation scientists Chennai’s Apollo Specialty Cancer Hospital resort to natural ‘stem-cell’ transplant in young thalassemia major patients with not one rejection. Although the success rate of this approach has to be investigated in older population, young patients see hope with the rising rejection rate of tissue transplants and regular blood transfusions.

Bench-science improvers

Nature publishes bumps in the CrispR-Cas9 technology in a study that shows that it introduces hundreds of unintended mutations in clinical trials, emphasizing the importance of genome-wide sequencing. While the favourite gene-editing strategy is being scrutinized, Madhavi Ganapathiraju invites molecular biologists to preview and participate in a user-study of a website featuring novel predicted protein-protein interactions. As these tools promote new innovations by the bench, LabMate helps the ‘bench to business-side’ mantra as it ties top-tier universities to collaborate and get in touch with bio-pharmaceutical companies and investor firms for consulting projects and job prospects.

Real to Reel : Story of the week

The geeky neurobiologist, Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler of the Big Bang Theory fame has a ‘Real PhD’ in neuroscience. Keep reading to know her thoughts on STEM women scientists and why she chose to do a PhD whilst acting. CSG makes a debut in local news as New Indian Express applauds Ipsa Jain and Vignesh Narayan as they organise a sci-com picnic introducing their audience to the world of proteins. These talks are conducted by Science High and organised by Gathr.

CSG : The new Hogwarts

CSG instigates a Data Science initiative for Informatics enthusiasts led by. If you are keen on improving your CV with some data-science skills to give you an edge in your next job applications, sign up here to our Informatics group. The Mentor Mentee Program GURUKOOL 2017 (June-Dec 2017) is open to applicants prepping for an industrial transition. Send your letter of intent and resume to SCIWRI2016@GMAIL.COM. Shout out to all CSGians in Europe for our annual meet-up. Kindly participate in this poll to suggest your convenient dates.

Resume Roadmap

For PhD graduates aspiring to get a foot in door in R&D industry jobs here’s a list of life-science and genomic industries world over and specific pathways to get there with a snapshot of how life is different in the industrial background for a research scientist. While you work on your CV, here’s’ some advice from GFP discoverer Martin Chalfie on applying to post-doc jobs, list of independent post-doctoral fellowships and some pointers to bear in mind before you send it off to the recruiter. On the networking front this is how you could improve your story-telling skills and network effectively. Do not forget to maintain a work-life balance though, once you land in your ‘dream-job’

Opportunities

Here’s an opening for our artsy-scientists or just an opportunity to dance your science to the beat (quite literally!!)

ArtSci Workshop in Singapore

Dance Your Ph.D.’ contest, 2017

Other opportunities advertised this week were :

Writer/Editor, Development

Scientist – Cardio-Renal and Metabolic Diseases at Merck

In Vivo Pharmacologist, Novartis

Department Head Assay Development, Roche

Proposal Development Officer – University of Dundee

 

About the cover image 

This week’s cover image titled ‘Global Warming’ is by Vinita Bharat at Fuzzy Synapse.

About the author

Nisha Peter is a recent PhD graduate from Genome Damage and Stability Centre,UK and is now working as Research Fellow at Sussex Drug Discovery Centre,UK. Her research interest involves cell biology (I’ve spend a lifetime admiring mitotic cells during my PhD!!) and oncology. She works for Club SciWri as a freelance writer to pursue her love for “words”. Apart from being bench scientist she actively participates in science communication events, enjoys teaching, globetrotting and experimenting with music.

 

The Genesis of PhD Career Support Group for STEM PhDs

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This is the story of when and why it all began for CSG before we opened the group for members beyond campus of IISc……

January, 2016: It is great to write about the PhD Career Support group which was born out of a necessity to help large numbers PhDs who were coming out from the Indian Institute of Science to develop their career in a foreign land. Embarking on a journey in a foreign land brings with itself, different problems which either we are unaware of or don’t have the skills or knowledge to work our way through. Ever since its inception on July 22nd (2015), this group  has grown in its membership from 40 to 1500 and continues to grow.

Why did we have a forum like this to begin with? Some of us realized that the best thing, which happened in those 400 acres of lush green campus, was the bright and brilliant group of friends we had. In Bangalore if we ever had a problem and at whatever time of day it was, we could use our vast network of friends and solve almost all the problems. One of the things, which we missed dearly, in fact very dearly, was this “access” to our group of friends. I mean they were there, but as one graduated from the Institute, they not only got scattered, but the bonding that happened because of the campus wall was no longer there. What remained was the nostalgia which Gulzar penned quite brilliantly in Urdu “Chod aayein hum woh Galiya” (Those streets got left behind)

The other thing that we realized was how ill equipped PhDs from IISc were if they had to think about a career outside science. Although most IISc PhDs would love to spend their entire life in Science, the present funding scenario with too many graduates in Biotechnology or other natural sciences have created a very unstable future for the PhDs. We saw top US universities like Yale, Cornell, NYU, Columbia have a very aggressive career counseling offices working day and night for PhDs to help them from getting disillusioned with failure to secure tenure-track positions. Unfortunately, IISc is still way behind these programs resulting in hundreds of PhDs with no apparent direction to take if their academic career didn’t take off. So one objective of the forum was to crowd source ideas and knowledge about how the real world works and what needs to be changed if one has to seek a job outside academia.

We also realized that the alumni network is not well connected. There is for sure gap between senior well-established IIScians with the current students or fresh PhDs and postdocs. The alumni network is no match with IITs or even some top undergraduate colleges of India, for example, St. Stephens Delhi or St. Xavier’s Bombay. For an IIScian to compete with US PhDs, one needs to have an excellent network within the organization in which they are applying. From our experience and from others we heard that it was a pain to network resume in the company. However, if you search LinkedIn for IIScians, you would invariably see IIScians in those companies. The question was WHY THEN THE CONCEPT OF ALUMNI NETWORK not working? HOW TO REACH OUT TO SENIOR IIScians and establish a credibility of the candidacy?

The answer was to bring in the alumni in an interactive forum where they could see and talk to each other in spite of the fact that they had never been on the same time frame in IISc. The idea was to bring the alumni and the current students into constructive discussions and to share and support career opportunities. So creating an interactive forum was like staying in the same hostel complex that allows you to knock the door of your friends at your leisure when you are in trouble.

The last six months have been a tremendous success. We launched several initiatives and just like scientific research; some got started some failed. However, the passion to be in touch with IIScians remains unchallenged. Recently we have started a Blog called Club SciWri (www.sciwri.club) which will be the window to the world for the Career Support Group. We will not only post scientific achievements of IIScians/ other Indian Scientists but will also post discussions in the forum by IIScians and other PhDs outside IISc. Never before we had thought that we will live in a virtual world of IISc after we had left Bangalore and Career Support Group just gave us back that feeling in this foreign land. We now interact with at least 1500 IIScians almost on a daily basis. Isn’t it amazing? Also, the forum immediately removed the age barrier.

With this introduction, we end here.

Ananda Ghosh & Abhinav Dey

Ananda Ghosh and Abhinav Dey are the co-founders of PhD Career Support Group.

This story was previously published in the IISc AANA Newsletter.

Featured image: Pixabay

The week that it was : 21st – 27th May, 2017

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  • 14590246_10153682491093239_7728528484954519747_n.jpg?fit=960%2C720

This week as we practice giving and inspiring future generations on ‘Red Nose Day’, CSG saw various initiative stirred by members’ enthusiasm to help and educate young PhDs in their career choices. Let’s have a look at what kept CSGians busy this week.

Lessons from nature

Nature has always inspired science since ages. This week while scientists from ICRM-NITM demonstrated ‘bergenin’ from plant sources to curb tuberculosis bacteria, IISC scientists have taken nanostructure lessons from insect wings and sharkskin to make titanium orthopaedic implants bactericidal. A global warming threat was also reported, as the ‘failsafe’ protection of Global Seed Vault was flooded after the deep permafrost entrance tunnel showed signs of melting.

From generation to generation

Encouraging the young minds towards research-based careers, the India HRD ministry plans to launch a project to confer the status of ‘Institutions of Eminence’ on government and private research institutions for India to gain global recognition. Further, the ‘Mentor India’ initiative by NITI Aayog works at grass-root levels calling professionals to mentor school students by sharing their career stories, skills and insights. This week we also had Parthiban Srinivasan share his experiences about his career trajectories in varied fields with Abhinav Dey on Facebook live.
An apt example of ignited young minds was seen as International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition 2017 saw a promising project iFLOAT from undergraduate IISCians. The innovative idea aims to bring down cost to producing recombinant proteins by helping optimise yeast bioreactors. The project is been funded from various sources, crowd-funding being one of them.

Story of the week

This week the PhD scholar Precilla Veigas from Canada inspires us to dream higher and narrates her story of how irrelevant life problems are as you chase your dream while fighting Cancer. The Canadian university held a special convocation for the terminally ill graduate applauding her vigour and strength as she dedicated her doctorate to her daughter. Another mother-scientist narrates her story of how she managed to pursue two passions in life: Science and motherhood

Resources to help your research
Here’s a user-friendly resource to analyse Cancer transcriptomics data and one to help you with scientific writing, while Sci-Hub is an upcoming venture to provide public access to millions of research papers.

CSG: the new Hogwarts

CSG this week has come up with two new initiatives. The CSG Data science platform by Pawan and Anshu is a venture to empower PhDs to help them get a flavour of the ‘quantitative real world’. Interested CSGians please sign up by participating in a poll and are requested to submit a ‘Statement of Purpose’ to csgdatascience@gmail.com by June 5th 2017.

Another CSG initiative is to compile a list of lawyers initiated by Naz and Richa Tyagi with pros and cons of hiring them. This should help PhDs/Post-docs applying for green card and find the right sources of help.

CSG plans to have an Annual CSG Meet-up in Boston on 19th August 2017 are underway and suggestions are welcome to make the event useful for career development.

Resume roadmap

Top interviewers share their insider tips to get hired by elite pharma companies while LinkedIn finds a better way to explain parenting breaks. Google to launch a ‘Google for Jobs’ portal for job searches and here’s a guide to consulting for fresh PhD graduates. For fresh PhD graduates willing to experiment with consulting, please consider joining the CSG Consulting Club.

Opportunities

While Novartis plans to generate around 350 jobs in high-end biologics, let’s have a look at some opportunities posted by fellow CSGians.

Good luck to aspiring job applicants. Lookout for more opportunities on our Facebook page.

So here’s wrapping up this week and wishing you a yet another productive week ahead.

About the cover image

‘Paving the way for generations to come’ is a snapshot of the Enchanted Forest , Scotland 2017.

About the author

Nisha Peter is a recent PhD graduate from Genome Damage and Stability Centre,UK and is now working as Research Fellow at Sussex Drug Discovery Centre,UK. Her research interest involves cell biology (I’ve spend a lifetime admiring mitotic cells during my PhD!!) and oncology. She works for Club SciWri as a freelance writer to pursue her love for “words”. Apart from being bench scientist she actively participates in science communication events, enjoys teaching, globetrotting and experimenting with music.

Informational Interviews and How to go about them?

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An informational or exploratory interview is an opportunity for the job seeker to explore about interested job roles, career fields or industries by seeking information from an expert individual who is experienced or currently working in the respective job role, career field or industry. The information obtained during this process enables the jobseeker to align their expertise and interests with the goals and responsibilities of a job, career field and company or organization. Therefore, an informational interview is considered as a career-planning tool. An effective interview also facilitates in building valuable relationships with the interviewee.

The information in this blog has been compiled from multiple websites to provide a precise picture about the etiquette and procedure for conducting an effective informational interview. This is created with the intent to provide an instant resource for the members of Career Support Group (CSG) that will aid them in conducting effective informational interviews.

Steps to follow for an effective informational interview:

  1. Analyze your skills, experience, your interests, job market and identify your employment opportunities.
  2. Identify and select a person for the interview based on his/her job title/role, industry/company in which they work or unusual career path taken etc. which interests you (LinkedIn is a good source/through friends/neighbors/networking events etc.)
  3. Contact the person for interview (use a polite script) – It can be either telephonic/ e-mail/in person (*chose a public place for the interview). Set the time & date for the interview.
  4. Prepare for the interview – Read about the person, his/her job & the company he/she works for. Decide what information you require. Prepare a list of questions that you need answer for (refer to example questions given below).
  5. Conduct the interview – Introduce yourself. Try to keep the interview short 15 – 20 minutes. If the interview is in person make sure to dress professionally. Be honest, polite & professional. Do not directly ask for jobs instead ask for advice. Refer to the questions & try to stay on track (*be ready for spontaneous discussions as well). Before ending the interview, request him/her to let you know of future job opportunities in the company he/she works. Exchange your business cards.
  6. Record the information obtained after the interview.
  7. Follow up with a ‘thank you’ note with in 1-2 days. Keep them informed about your progress.

 

Informational interview question examples:

  1. What is your academic background or work experience, and how did it help to lead to the present job? What is your experience in this career field?
  2. What is your job title or role? What are the duties or functions or responsibilities of your job? To what extent do you interact with customers or clients? What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying and most challenging?
  3. What are the educational requirements for this job? Are there specific credentials or licenses required for this role? Is graduate school or an MBA recommended? Does companies offer training to persons entering this field?
  4. What are the most important skills that are essential for succeeding in this position or field? How did you obtain these skills: through work experience or a formal training program?
  5. What personal attributes do you think would contribute most to being successful in this job or career field?
  6. How would you describe a typical day in your job role? Does this vary? Are there busy and slow times or is the workflow fairly constant? If you had to break it up into percentages, how do you spend your day? Are the time demands of your job specific to this company?
  7. Can you tell me about the various kinds of decisions you perform in your present/past role?
  8. Whom do you report to in this job: department head or supervisor or both? Where do you identify yourself and your supervisor in the organizational structure? What is your regular level of interaction with other departments, functional units, or levels of hierarchy?
  9. Do you have any flexibility in determining how you perform your job? Do you work at individual level or in? How do you organize your work teams or groups?
  10. What made you decide to work for this company? What is the most likeable aspect of this company for you? How different is your company from its competitors?
  11. How long have you worked with X company? How did you get started? Why did you change or not change jobs since the first role? How have you handled the changes – layoffs, reorganization etc.?
  12. How would you describe the working atmosphere and the co-workers? Is there flexibility in work hours, or working offsite?
  13. How is work-life balance?
  14. Does the company or organization have a basic philosophy? Is it a people-, service- or product-oriented business?
  15. Can you describe the corporate culture in your company?
  16. How is the occupational landscape reshaping in the current scenario? What is your take on the best way to enter this occupation? What are the career development opportunities? What are the major qualifications to succeed in this occupation?
  17. Does the company encourage and/pay for employees to pursue graduate degrees?
  18. What do you like most about the company?
  19. On what criteria does the company evaluate your job performance? How are performances assessed for promotions? Does the company recognize and reward outstanding accomplishments of its employees?
  20. How much flexibility does your role have in establishing innovation/creativity? How does the company encourage or promote this?
  21. Is the company expanding? If so which areas are they expanding and what opportunities do you foresee for job seekers?
  22. In your opinion what are the factors that affect the company’s growth? How is the current economy affecting this industry?
  23. In your opinion, how can employees prepare for any planned changes at the company?
  24. What would be the next step in your career if your job progresses as you expect?
  25. What are the different job opportunities in your career field? How do you describe the demand for this career field? How fast is the field growing? What are the possibilities for future job openings?
  26. In this job role, are you obligated to work outside the ordinary working hours: travel or evening meetings?
  27. What are the social obligations with your job?
  28. Apart from things like money, fringe benefits, or travel, what would you describe as the major reward of this position?
  29. What are the positions in your field or organization? How do they differ?
  30. What are the common entry-level job titles and their functions? Which entry-level jobs are the most suited for learning the skills required for this career?
  31. Which other job roles require similar kinds of work or skills? Which other organizations have similar job roles and functions as yours? Can you please suggest a contact who performs similar job role and whom I might talk to?
  32. What would be your best advice to someone who is interested in this field? Is there any literature that you can suggest me to read? Which trade or professional journals and organizations should I follow to learn more about this field?
  33. What are the most effective strategies to seek a position in this field?
  34. What is your advice for a jobseeker to qualify for this position? What are the different kinds of paid/unpaid experiences that you would suggest for anybody pursuing a career in this field?
  35. Do you have any special words of warning or encouragement as a result of your experience?
  36. What is the typical job-interview process at the company? How many rounds of interview do the candidates generally go through before being offered a position?
  37. What skills/experience do you look for in the resume of candidates applying for this job role?
  38. What suggestions/advise would you provide to a student to prepare you for this job? What is the best education/course to prepare for this job? Are grades and or college’s reputation considered important for hiring?
  39. What journals, magazines or professional associations would you recommend for professional development?
  40. A, B and C are my strongest assets (A, B & C are skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits, and values). In which job roles would these expertise/skills be applicable in this company? What are the other fields that these skills will be of use/help?
  41. How would you rank my experience in terms of entering this field? What are your suggestions to prepare myself better qualified for this field?

 

Infographically Speaking….

Job Interviewing 101: How to Succeed in Any Situation

From Visually.

Featured image source: Mimi and Eunice

References:

  1. https://www.livecareer.com/quintessential/informational-interview-questions
  2. https://career.berkeley.edu/Info/InfoQuestions
  3. https://www.livecareer.com/quintessential/information-interview
  4. https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-steps-to-a-perfect-informational-interview
  5. http://hrweb.mit.edu/system/files/Sample+Informational+Interview+Questions.pdf
  6. http://fortune.com/2013/04/04/what-to-ask-in-an-informational-interview/
  7. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/12/11/how-to-land-and-ace-an-informational-interview/3/#3d0590f7211e

 

About the author:

Riya (Raghupathy) Binil is an aspiring Scientist. She completed MSc in Applied Chemistry from Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT, Kochi) followed by a PhD (National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India) and Postdoctoral Research (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada) in Cell Biology. Riya currently works as a Biotech Analyst with SGS Canada. Apart from being a science enthusiast, Riya enjoys travelling, dancing and cooking.

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PhD Career Support Group or ClubSciWri.

Blog design: Abhinav Dey

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This work by ClubSciWri is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The week that it was – 15th to 21st May, 2017

in ClubSciWri by
  • 1548034_10152124600876703_839288437_o.jpg?fit=2048%2C1127
    Frost in Northern Iceland (photograph by Somdatta Karak)
Inter-connectedness of scientific research, policy makers, government and public, by IpsaWonders (on Facebook and Instagram)

I can’t help but start this week’s updates with discussing global warming as the Global Seed Vault buried in the Arctic to ensure food supply at the face of a humongous calamity by storing seeds of important crops is under risk as its protective permafrost is melting away. This brings me again to reiterate and emphasize on the importance of science outreach and diplomacy to hit a chord with the statesmen and policy makers. If this is something that makes you want to make a difference, here is your opportunity to get trained by ASBMB, as it invites you to participate in workshop on communication, outreach and professional development at Kentucky, USA on 29th – 30th September, 2017.

Not only just for policies, but you also have the power to tell people the stories of scientific development. Here are a few from plenty that interested the CSG members – Team of scientists from Massachusetts build Institute for Protein Innovation – aim towards developing antibodies against every extracellular proteins in humans, aim to work with non-affiliated industry and academic investigators. In the age of omics, Harvard Medical School researchers are mapping interaction partners in the entire human proteome. A big NIH funding has been granted to study neurobiological gender differences at Worchester Polytechnic Institute. While all these interesting work is happening in the field – should we have more permanent staff scientist positions or hire more PhD students and postdocs, a constantly moving mass of people?

Celebrating the big women scientists, by IpsaWonders (on Facebook and Instagram)

In the conquest of reducing gender gap in science, UNESCO offers PhD fellowships to women scientists from developing countries, generously funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Going beyond academia, NITI Aayog celebrates women’s contribution to India’s growth in formal and informal economy – make the powerful women around you known. Mothers can now add their maternal experience on LinkedIn as well – thanks to a tool that Mother NY has developed. But at the heart of the problem , it is of prime importance to recognize our biases, and also to know how to circumvent them – an example to follow from GDI with support from Google to design machine learning to detect how much time females occupy in movies.

And everything somehow these days boil down to data science and machine learning! Who are the people working in machine learning, what skills and expertise do they need to have? Not just in for profit industries, it has the potential to solve complex societal problems like changing the face of education where teachers take up the more roles of mentors, enabling and concentrating on each individual’s growth.Unfortunately, in this era of intense competition, mentoring has taken a back seat in many places, including research. Most of us as early career researchers need a good mentor, the late career researchers should strive to become a good mentor – and for anyone who wants to know what should a good mentor do, here is some advice. Being a good team leader also means being able to nurture good ideas. But unconsciously we tend to kill a lot of these, know how. Here is a piece of dark humor of where a PhD student in India also evaluates himself in absence of university’s efforts to look for mentors for the students it registers.

Fortunate are the ones who master the art of staying open to diverse possibilities – see what three different PhD holders have to say on this, a personal account of how time spent in academia also prepares you for other careers. And for the ones who are the path of learning here are some tips to boost your career. Stay visible to recruiters via LinkedIn – here are some numbers to coax you into networking. It’s equally important to know what and how not to speak while presenting yourself.

If you are confused about what skills are required for the jobs in market, I am here with some help for you. Find all that you need to know about consulting and entry into data science as a PhD holder. What is medical writing? What does it mean to be a website and social media manager at CIRM? Hear Leslie Stolz, Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation speak at JLABS, LA, about her experience as a business development professional – what, how and why do they know to take the ‘right’ decisions for their companies. There is an upcoming workshop on combating antimicrobial resistance at Washington, DC, USA from June 20-21, 2017. If you are moving into the USA, it will help you to have immigration info relevant for APD holders.

Know the companies trending currently – here is CNBC’s top 50 disruptor companies of 2017. Let’s a take a sneak peek into the other big names. What does Abbvie aim towards? Amazon is beginning its entry in pharma and life science industries. Novartis is reshuffling jobs in different continents as it heads for more centralization. Sanofi invites proposals for cancer treatment via precision medicine. It might help you to stay updated with the latest developments in the field of precision medicine by the essays published by JAMA on the field.

I have a good reason to have you prepared you with all this bits of information so far – this week has a bonanza of job openings in the USA and Europe. Check which one fits and suits you.

Also know the pros and cons of contract based positions in life science industries – it is certainly a trend on a rise! For people who consider freelance working or starting up a new enterprise you are then one of the multipotentialites – those who know how to do everything – here is a story of one of them to pep you up.

And here is my summer challenge to get you all out chasing your hobbies. If you have a camera collecting dust somewhere here is your opportunity to make good use of it as Royal Society announces photography competition. And those who used to fond of writing but now haven’t pursued it for a while, learn how to be creative on purpose?!s A lot of us on Club SciWri might vouch for its success. Here is some advice that works for Susan Cain in helping herself put her thoughts out in and for public in writing. We can all do it, if Precilla D’Souza could finish her PhD in the face of terminal cancer.

And let me end for the day with some Sunday humor – have you ever wondered what would it look like if corporate incorporated grad school mannerisms? If you are one those who think that would be a wonderful world, read this. If you don’t think so, read it anyway for a big grin 🙂

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project coordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in Neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.

 

The week that it was – 8th to 14th May, 2017

in ClubSciWri by

This Mother’s day, going beyond the commercial reasons behind existence of such a day, CSG and Club SciWri celebrate the mothers of many a scientific discoveries. Let’s use this as another opportunity to remind ourselves of gender inequalities that exist around us in academia and beyond, and appreciate efforts by groups like Million Women Mentors in STEM, and Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

Earlier this week, Europe reassured that they still are away from far-right ideologies. And not only this comes as a reassurance in the wake of US, UK and Turkish elections and growing Nazi-like inclinations in India, the newly elected French president, Emmanuel Macron has also assured support to climate change researchers. Europe, is probably, going through its best time to regain its older glory in scientific research and development by collaboration. Why collaboration? To translate grand ideas into reality – like the bipolar disorder researchers have analyzed roughly 9000 human brains worldwide.

For us to remember in our race for power, by Ipsa Jain (her work at IpsaWonders, on Facebook and Instagram)

That also calls us, the scientists into action for making sure that we are able to convey our messages correctly to public – it is an art to not over-simplify science and yet be able to reach masses, through the power of words. You might even want to consider applying for a summer school in learning the art of science communication by ASBMB. And if you need inspiration, get some from the geniuses like Carl Zimmer.

Patience is a virtue for innovators, one that hasn’t changed since the last 30 years, when the first 3D printer was made, or when Daniel Martinez first noted that hydra do not die to the present day often heard biotech startup failures or the success of newer drugs in increasing the life spans of HIV positive individuals to near normal.  Not every idea is necessarily successful, rather growing while learning from the failures is the skill that we need. In this current age, nothing values more than data. The amount of data that an organization can gather and analyze marks its success. It will be interesting to see how governments work around the big private enterprises that virtually monitor most of us. And there is someone else too, who is getting unsettled with data sharing – science publishing houses. Nature news reports that publishing houses are building strategies to cope up with the increasing trend of sharing paywalled papers. But until that happens, as sad it might be, you can technically get into legal troubles by sharing scientific research articles. Do your bit by speaking up for open access research – OpenCon is one such platform to get yourself educated and heard on open access.

Choose a mentor first, lab next – it helps to ensure both personal and professional growth. But unfortunately, since this isn’t followed by many yet, a lot of us stay confused how will our research advisors react to our possible decisions of transitioning into industry. Read Catherine Sorbara’s opinion on how industries do not care to get academic recommendation letters. Beyond graduate schools, future employers will want to have references, not recommendation letters. And they aren’t the same thing – see what’s different! Know what and how to discuss matters with employers and colleagues. A loose word can cost a lot. And know how to keep your focus on your existing job while you plan your transitions. Accessing these resources to learn is much easier these days. Be spoiled for choice rather to know what you would like to pursue among the list of online courses. Those working in bio/pharma discovery should consider Global BioPharma Summits to stay abreast the rapidly changing trends in the field.

Skim through the works of 41 international biomedical researchers who just got awarded by well-known philanthropies – it might help you as well to know what are the topics trending in the field. 26 biotech startups  in Karnataka, India are awarded funding by the state government. I hope that has gotten your brains active and you are ready to fish out where you see yourself in the coming years.

And then there are freelancers who can mix and match quite a few of these together, quite successfully, eventually with practice! Wonder if you have the right credentials to do it all? Count your relevant experience rather.

Those aspiring for MSL positions, might also consider attending the 2017 MSL Society Candidate Career Conference in North Carolina, USA from June 10-11 – Use the opportunity well for networking with hiring managers. Those who are lost on how to prepare for the HR interviews, here is a great resource. See what are the skills that the big pharma companies look for in their new recruits. Those who are not yet sure if a formal MBA course is what they are interested in, but still might want to gain some education into it, might want to consider the micro-MBA course at UCSD this summer. For the enterprising entrepreneurs, here is a dose of inspiration from Regeneron, on their path from basic research to commercialization.

Now we understand knowing which job suits you the best isn’t an easy job. But one has to start somewhere, sometime! At the same time, know the tricks to look and apply for jobs outside academia, if that is where your heart is.

And since I promised the last time that I will keep you all updated on the out-of-lab activities that you can indulge in this summer – check the live radio streaming worldwide, you might like some light music running while you are busy with your experiments. And because many of us at CSG are also keen on building a library of Goodreads in Science, there is one out by Prof. Jennifer Doudna and her former postdoc, Samuel Sternberg on gene editing by CRISPR, called ‘A crack in the creation‘.

And let me leave you with a food for thought – While India in her pre- and early post-independence days created the stalwarts in science from the likes of Raman to Ramachandran, how does the country still struggle coping up with scientific development when compared to many of her peers like China? Does the answer lie in simply better management of resources and adding accountability? If so, how might that be achieved? Read Prof. Gautam Desiraju’s latest opinion surrounding this.

Featured images are by Ipsa Jain, a Ph.D. student at IISc. She wants to gather and spread interestingness. She prefers painting and drawing over writing. She posts on Facebook and Instagram as Ipsawonders.

About her featured cover image: (From left to right) Shown are Sally Ride, Ada Lovelace, Maria Sibylla Merian, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Hilde Mangold, Barbara McClintock in celebration of Mothers of Science by Club SciWri.

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project coordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in Neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.

The week that it was : 1st – 6th May 2017

in ClubSciWri by

Kudos to all fellow CSGians as different parts of the world celebrates International Workers’ Day or Labour Day this month. This week we applaud all the hard work we scientists put in, day in day out to make the world a better place.

World leaders and their stories

As we prepare to face yet another week at work, Apple CEO Steve Jobs emphasises how figuring out what he wanted early in life helped him climb the ladder of success, while Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi describes the 5 C’s that made her such an effective leader.

Funding fever in the US

Earlier this week the Congress buffed Trump’s call for cuts in science funding and NIH is promised $2 billion funding. While this was a good enough news, the funding scenario seems hopeful with NIH limiting grants each scientist can receive, opening up more opportunities for early to mid career researchers.

Designer babies legalised in the UK

Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be prevented as UK approves ‘three-parent’ babies where the maternal mitochondria carrying the diseased gene can be replaced. This is a huge leap forward in combating with genetic disorders opening doors for the concept of “designer babies”. As we move towards the future here’s a flashback of the evolutionary tango of animal gentilia explaining the whys’ and hows’ of reproductive evolution.

Cancer in natural white light

Scientists at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru synthesise ‘Disarib’, a small molecule that selectively kills cancer cell better that its FDA-approved competitor, while IIT Madras goes natural and   generates while light from pomegranate and turmeric dyes post UV excitation at 380nm.

Resume Roadmap

Post-docs narrate their experiences on making a park in alternative careers and myths on leaving academia. For those in love with the bench Vignesh Narayan  explains how to dealing with research stress while pursuing your creative instinct. Here’s a list of recruiters to help you land in you dream industry job, with tips on preparing an effective cover letter, an interview for a job on stretch, entry level MSL jobs, application scientists, science communication and science policy. For the ones who are in the job application phase here’s some advice on surviving rejections, to keep up your spirit in the process.

CSG: the new Hogwarts

This week at CSG we congratulate our Gurukool-mentor mentee program on its success in the January cycle. The next cycle starts in June-July, for aspiring job seekers who wish to be mentored for a career transition. For people with US visa queries, please sign up on the CSG visa signup sheet for advice from our volunteers.

Opportunities

Post-doctoral positions available at

Rutgers University

National Institute of Plant Genome Research, India

Medimmune AstraZeneca and more coming up in the new R&D centre at HQ Cambridge next year.

UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX

Fellowships available

Doctoral scholarships at New Zealand

Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers, Germany

NASA MoBE Postdoctoral Fellowship

Internship in Roche

BioBusiness School for life scientists at Amsterdam, Netherlands

Editorial jobs available at

Earth institute

Elsevier : NA-USA-MA-Cambridge

 

About the cover image 

This week’s cover image is by Vinita Bharat at Fuzzy Synapse.

About the author

Nisha Peter is a recent PhD graduate from Genome Damage and Stability Centre,UK and is now working as Research Fellow at Sussex Drug Discovery Centre,UK. Her research interest involves cell biology (I’ve spend a lifetime admiring mitotic cells during my PhD!!) and oncology. She works for Club SciWri as a freelance writer to pursue her love for “words”. Apart from being bench scientist she actively participates in science communication events, enjoys teaching, globetrotting and experimenting with music.

 

 

The week that it was – 23rd to 30th April, 2017

in ClubSciWri by
  • 1933371_10153999379946703_2733512253653291524_o-e1494742610140.jpg?fit=1024%2C680

The week in the scientific community has been hugely highlighted with plans and meetings around ensuring that the March for Science momentum doesn’t fizzle out. And communication of unaltered facts has clearly gathered a lot of attention and has been rightly prioritized. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales launches Wikitribune to provide ‘correct facts’. University of Split, Croatia and Rita Allen Foundation with WGBH could not have been better in timing the announcement of their Summer School in Science Communication and fellowship in science communication, respectively. Plos Pathogens has started a new series – Research Matters – for researchers to write how their fundamental research matters. NASA goes public with its 104,000 pictures, videos and audio files. The European Research Council is actively gathering data from researchers in Europe as well as outside to know how to get the community more engaged in publishing in open access journals. Mozilla has offered paid fellowships for 10 months to train those with ideas in open access science and help them materialize their ideas. Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has joined hands with BioArxiv (the open access repository for life science research from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory). On a local scale, initiatives like Pint of Science and Pune drunk on Science (details available on Facebook, at the moment) are gaining popularity. After all, open access to science is going to be beneficial to all – lay public to entrepreneurs and industrialists.

Another benefit of having science in open repositories will also help in better peer review. The current way of evaluating research is killing the risk appetite among researchers, limiting scientific progress. It becomes imperative to discuss this now as Springer decided to retract 107 of its papers from Tumor Biology for being published with ‘fake reviews’. On the other hand, the field of oncology is also going through one of its most exciting times – Nanoparticle vaccine for immunotherapy, to target multiple types of cancers, developed by researchers at UT Southwestern, is the talk of the town now. And for novices in this area, you can’t miss the overview of the exciting and inspiring development of this field, from Allison and Sharma‘s eyes, the successful couple of the field.

Potentially entrepreneurial ideas are regularly being churned out of IITs, with IIT Madras this time, developing a hand glove to study the hand kinematics – a promise to help detecting the severity of Parkinson’s disease, and also translate the hand movements into speech. An MIT graduate student- an MIT – Tata fellow – is working in Mumbai towards developing ready to use therapeutic food to fight malnutrition in India. WHO is ready to start clinical trials for its malaria vaccine in three African countries. It might now be possible to think of growing premature human fetuses, of 23 weeks and above, outside wombs. If you are buzzing with an idea that can be translated, it might interest you to know that Millipore Sigma has joined hands with LabCentral, a nonprofit startup incubator in Massachusetts.

Despite these, hardships of traditional academicians haven’t changed much yet, with the indecisiveness of a postdoctoral tenure and the heavily unfavorable ratio of academic positions available with the number of applicants for tenure track. The first draft of Trump’s budget for this fiscal year is out, with sizable cuts in biomedical funding. The proposal claims that better planning will ensure achievements aren’t compromised. It has been a year since Germany announced plans to introduce 1000 tenure track positions in academia. University of Göttingen is trying to set an example by inviting suggestions from the current postdoctoral fellows in penning the proposal.

And finally let’s talk of the jobs available around –

  • Immunologists, take note of scientist positions at Biogen, Antibody Discovery, MA, NIBR Biologics Centre, MA, and multiple positions open at CSIR-IMTECH, Chandigarh in areas of therapeutic R&D and drug discovery
  • Electrophysiology experts might want to check the scientist position, at Synapses and Circuits, Roche, Basel, Switzerland
  • Check the exciting scope of ‘designing your own role’ at Chan Zuckerberg Biohub
  • In this age of CROs, know what are the skills that are sought for in a Clinical investigator, and see if the position of Clinical Trial Manager at Celgene suits you.
  • For those interested in advancing and revamping science education, check this interesting postdoctoral fellowship at Yale-NUS College, Singapore
  • Those interested in exploring industrial collaborations while being in academia, take a look at calls from Boehringer Ingelheim for research proposals around GPR68, and an industrial postdoctoral position at Biogen, MA to study neurodegeneration
  • Interested in working on RNA mediated gene regulation? Check the Research Associate position at Cambridge, UK
  • For the non-biologists wanting to transition into biomedicine, Francis Crick Institute is looking for group leader positions in physical sciences
  • For the psychologists among us, there is a lecturer position open at University of Reading, UK
  • For those imaging lovers with commendable interpersonal skills, see if the Microscopy Specialist position at PicoQuant, Berlin, Germany interests you
  • Those without a PhD and wanting to explore industry might want to consider the Scientific Assistant position at the Biorefinery department, Luxembourg Institute of Health

And if you are confused among what to choose from, do consider the possibilities of having multiple careers at once – there are many now who can vouch for its merits.

Nevertheless know the essentials of effective networking from the uber successful in the industry – Chris Fralic talks of his networking stories in the pre-LinkedIn era. And today with technology helping you in your pursuit, you really don’t have to wait for an opportunity to open up to express your will to work with someone – just cold email, the right way though. But at the same time, it has also become more common to have not-in-person interviews. Know how to ensure you make the best impressions on the telecommunication based interviews.

And when this gets too daunting and overwhelming, make sure you are getting enough of that sun. With the regular CSG meets happening all around, here is an interesting outdoorsy and nerdy enough an idea that you might want to consider. Happy May coming soon – we will ensure that you use the summer cheer to the fullest to grow personally and professionally!

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project co ordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.

 

 

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