Experience is the best teacher (but only when the experience isn't fatal.
It should be obvious that the problem with waiting for experience to dictate appropriate behaviors is that one is very likely to fail as a result of the bad experiences that are supposed to produce the appropriate feelings.
The result the author had hoped for in writing this book is that you will become more reflective about your career and will act in a way that is appropriate to being successful and productive
No matter how well you do what the book had told you, you will certainly still experience difficult times, have regrets about some of your choices, and possibly fail anyway. Nevertheless, your chances for having a scientific career will be greatly improved.
From my perspective, It is far better to learn from the bad eperiences of others than from your own.
This book is all about the bad experience you can learn from to avoid the " fatal experience"
I wish you every success：）
说实话，这书和我关系不大。因为自己从来没想过自己能读到Phd，更何况作者认为，phd还不够了。这里的不够有两层意思：1. 读到Phd并不能给了一个完美的学术生涯 2. 对于搞科研和以后在学术界混，PHD是必须的，但是还不够。
之后就是作者的一些指导和建议，他认为科研，学术和生活，社交，和financial well-being是可以实现平衡的，你并不一定要忙得要命，或者很穷，或者像个呆子那样整天做实验。The focus is on strategic thinking。
最后作者说，经验是最好的老师。但是有些错误是致命的。It is far better to learn from the bad eqeriences of others than from your own
Many professional scientists believe that "good" students find their way on their own, while the remainder cannot be helped. This justifies neglect, and perhaps not incidentally, reduces work load
Once you leave graduate school, the clock isTicking
The best preparation you can make toward the goal of having a entific career is to find yourself a "research aunt or uncle,"someone with little or no authority over you, who hasenough experience to act as a sounding board and giver of accurate advice. Do not be shy about getting to know people outside your advisor's realm. The scientists at your lab will very likely cherish the human contact. They spend lots of time behind the closed doors of lab and office, and everybody likes to give advice.
You have little time to waste, because it will not be long after you begin your postdoctoral work that you will be
back on the job market.
The clock starts ticking when you get to your new location.
Whatever you do before you leave the nest of graduate school doesn't count, for all practical purposes
Once you do take a postdoctoral position, the keys to success are 1) Finish something, and 2) make yourself known and useful.Finishingprojects and having a story to tell are essential
As a postdoc, under time pressure, you may have to sacrifice your desire for perfection, you may have to live with the fear that you haven't got everyhmg just right, in order to develop a story that you can use to sell yourself. This is not cynicism but realism, and is worth remembering you’re your entire career.
Above all, during your postdoc years, work hard! You
have only a short time to prove yourself. Do not slough off
now. There is no time to waste. Your postdoctoral years
represent the most intensely important period in determining
whether you will have a career.
On a job interview trip, your task is to persuade a significant fraction of the professionals who see you that they would be excited to have you as a colleague. The seminar that you present is your best opportunity to convey the message that you are the person to hire. The same applies when you report on your progress after a year or two in a new position. The colleagues who know you best may already think very highly of you. But they have only a few "votes." By giving a good seminar you can add to the base of support that you will need to be kept on or promoted. Finally, remember that few professional scientists have much time for reading. The way that they learn of new and interesting work, nowadays, is by going to meetings and listening to seminars. If you present your work well in
these venues you will be much better able to attract a following. Having a following is an excellent form of job security.
A fundamental principle, in preparing a talk, is never overestimate your audience They want you to say
what is important in the area of interest, particularly if
what is important happens to be their own work! They
don't mind hearing things they already understand-it
makes folks feel good to understand something.
1. Your seminar is a performance. It needs to be carefully
planned and thoroughly rehearsed.
2. Present yourself confidently. Act as though you have
enjoyed doing your research and that your results are exciting
3. Respect your audience. They are spending an hour to
hear you. They want to understand what you have to say,
even if your specialty is not theirs. They do not want to be
"snowed," nor do they want to be treated as "experts" in a
field where they really are not.
4. Do not waste your time with filler. Make sure each
slide pushes your story forward. If your talk is a bit too
short, no one will object.
5. Make your visual aids pleasing to the eye without too
much of a Madison Avenue look.
Thanks for your attention!
As a beginning scientist, not only are your hours long and your pay low, but your job security is anything but assured. To succeed, you
must make your talents well known and widely appreciated.
it is all too easy to write an accurate description of your work that attracts no attention and that adds little to your scientific
reputation, even when your results are significant. Learning
to write articles that people will read and remember will make you a more effective scientist. It will also enhance your chances for survival as a researcher.
This is important, not only to provide your readers with a way of understanding your area of research, but also because your scientific colleagues are very eager to get credit for their
achievements. (This is not just vanity. Scientists' careers are built on the perceived importance or usefulness of their search results.) You have much to gain and little to lose by scrupulously citing your competitors' work
Journals seemed to require writing papers in the passive mood, as in "the data were obtained using the following novel method" rather than "I developed the following novel method to obtain the data." More recently, it has become possible to drop the phoniness of this style and to reveal in your papers that you actually did the work that
you are reporting. I greatly prefer the more straightforward style and recommend that you use it.
As a scientist, your goals are to make exciting discoveries,
to change the way your colleagues and maybe even the
public-at-large view the world, and generally to improve
people's lives. However, need I remind you, you will remain
a human being, with human needs, even while you
are pushing back the frontiers of ignorance. No matter
how romantically you view your role in research, you will
not be happy without a secure, well-paid job. You will
want help in accomplishing your research goals and recognition
for your achievements. You will probably want to see your family on a regular basis, and more generally, to have enough free time to engage in activities outside your
Economic conditions may limit your choices, but if you
are fortunate enough to have more than one job possibility,
this exercise will save you considerable stress. It may
have a significant effect on your financial well-being. It
may save your marriage. I harbor a secret hope: If enough
of you start to act rationally, the system may eventually be
There are pleasures to working as an assistant professor.
Teaching and interacting with students can be exciting.
The university environment is in itself very stimulating.
There are certainly more hn& of people with more &-
verse interests than in any industrial lab. You do get respect
from the community. On the other hand, the price of
being an assistant professor is much too high. The hours
are long, the pay is terrible, and the job security is bad. After
your years of study for a Ph.D. and further years as a
postdoctoral apprentice, you will probably be about thirty
years old. You'll probably be starting a family. Your former
colleagues who went to engineering or business school
will be making their way in the world, earning good salaries,
and having time to participate in activities outside
Obviously, if you work in a managed lab, you need to have some feeling that you will not be subject to a tooheavy hand. A bigger lab, for example, will provide you more freedom to correct a bad situation than a smaller one. At a large lab, if you just can't get along with your supervisor, there may be several other groups who would be happy to benefit from your wisdom and whose supervisors
would be easier to deal with. As your reputation grows, of course, your management will look to you for new ideas and will be less likely to suggest that you change directions. In a sense, this is another aspect of the reward system in a managed environment. The more credibly you play the role of a scientific leader, the more freedom you will have to follow your own research ideas. This
is a real incentive, I can assure you.
Circumstances, economic, family, or other, may prevent
you from following the optimal career trajectory. But at
least I hope you will now go into the job market with a
clear idea of how you would like to arrange your career
The best preparation for a job interview, just as in the
case of exams in school, is to work out in advance what
questions are likely to be asked and to have answers for
Few days after your personal interviews are done and
you have gone home, staffers that you visited will be trying
to remember what you said in order to write up impressions
of your performance. If you were able to ask intelligent and pointed questions about various staff members' work, and to explain how your research will complement their own, their memories will be excellent, and it will be easy for them to write glowing reviews. If you
hadn't a clue what is going on in their labs, and expressed no understanding of how your work might help them achieve their goals, their memories will need refreshing, or perhaps they will be wondering whether you have the desire and/or the ability to make a serious contribution.
Whatever thinking you have done in advance and written preparation you have made will lighten your burdens and may keep you out of the panic mode.
It is not infrequent that an institution offering you a position
will want an acceptance or rejection within some
time limit, for example so that it can make a timely offer,
or send a rejection letter to a runner-up for the job. This
may put you under considerable pressure, if other places
where you have interviewed are moving too slowly. If you
are not prepared to answer yes or no as a deadline approaches,
you should ask for more time. If the extra time is
not accorded, in deciding how to respond you should
keep in mind that it is your life and your happiness that
are paramount. If you are unwilling to let go of offer number
one while waiting to hear from institution number two,
it might be reasonable to accept the first offer. If the later
offer is better, you can take it and apologize to the first offerers
for changing your decision to accept. You will not
make friends by withdrawing your acceptance, and breaking
a promise is certainly not something you should do
lightly or often. Nevertheless, your life comes first. If an institution
"plays rough" by pressuring you for a decision, it
should be prepared to accept the fruits of its tactics. It has
probably experienced such consequences before.
Without being unnecessarily modest, understatement is likely to win you more respect than overstatement of your possibilities
There are several strategies for establishing a record of accomplishment that will help make you more salable or will enhance your chances of winning promotion to a "continuing" scientific job. The most obvious is to aim at an important long-term goal by planning your work as a sequence of short-term projects
If you have pub- lished twice as many articles, this "objective measure" of their impact will be roughly twice as great. You may find this idea crass. I do. But it is safe to assume that there will be bean-counters among those who determine your fu- ture, and it certainly does you no harm to please them.
Before moving into a fashionable field, you must ask yourself whether you have a realistic chance of emerging from the mob as someone who has made an important advance. If the problem is solved and this hot area is the only one you know well, how long will it take you to establish yourself in another one? Are your ideas sufficiently different from others' that you can hope to beat the competition to the answer?
A less risky course is to try to lead rather than to follow fashion. This mode is not for everyone-but my style is to select a problem of obvious importance, one that is recog- nized as difficult because its solution will involve a great deal of work. By investing my labor in such a problem, I stake it out as mine. My peers have no trouble distinguish- ing my contributions from those of others working in the same area. I have few if any competitors. No one wants to work so hard