"You have to get the inside scoop - it’s not just about saying, I saw this advertised online, and I thought it was cool. Find contacts and people you know there, and use that to connect with the employer."
– Geneviève Almouzni, Director of Institut Curie, Paris, France on job application strategies for independent positions
“Early in your career you’re focused on giving very specialized talks, but as your career progresses, you will have to give more general talks to more diverse audiences, and those skills become crucial.”
– Roland Kanaar, Group Leader, Erasmus MC, Netherlands on communicating your science
"The most important factors when applying for grants early in your career are your papers and a good original project, written well. Even if you’re brilliant and have great ideas, if the application is written terribly, you kill your chances."
– Anna Akhmanova, Group Leader, Utrecht University, Netherlands on writing your first grant
“You have to come to terms with the fact that you won’t see every waking moment of your child’s life, and that that’s OK. It’s very beneficial for kids to be in group situations and learn how to partake in group activities. I never knew a kid who didn’t like daycare. I think what people forget is how short that period of really early childhood is. Your kids will always need you, but not all the time - that emergency aspect tapers off.”
– Karla Neugebauer, Group Leader, MPI-CBG, Dresden, Germany on raising a family while pursuing a career in research
“A postdoc interview is about figuring out your relationship with each other, and if the question you ask puts me off then it may very well mean we’re not a great fit for each other. One unexpected question I got was, ‘How do you manage your lab?’ I was very glad to be asked that, because I had to think about it.”
– Carolyn Moores, Reader, Birkbeck University of London, UK on planning your career: obtaining an appropriate postdoc position
"How you should approach publishing is highly context-dependent: you have to balance how much time you have with the impact of the story to decide where to invest your energy. It’s important to take on personal responsibility to know what’s happening in your field so you know the importance of your research, to make those decisions."
– Iain Hagan, Group Leader, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Manchester, UK on how to approach scientific publications
Collected by Raeka Aiyar