Surviving science Surviving in Science Building an academic career
Content <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></ul><ul><li...
Introduction ... <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></u...
Goal <ul><li>Your only goal: </li></ul><ul><li>to become a world-class scientist </li></ul><ul><li>Your goal is not: </li>...
Career choice <ul><li>totally planned    (from when you are 18) </li></ul><ul><li>totally determined by    environment </l...
In between
What is a scientific career? <ul><li>career for life </li></ul><ul><li>group leader in an   academic institute </li></ul>
Resist temptation <ul><li>Resist temptation to become </li></ul><ul><li>dean </li></ul><ul><li>institute director </li></u...
Scientific education a large fraction (80% ?) of people  with a scientific education  will not stay in science  and that i...
Daily life of scientist: examples (1) writing proposals evaluation interviews application interviews annual reports busine...
Daily life of scientist: examples (2) application/patents recommendation letters obligatory collaborations loads of review...
Life is always hectic <ul><li>In a good lab there is (are) always </li></ul><ul><li>chaos </li></ul><ul><li>lack of office...
Difficult <ul><li>difficult to get there </li></ul><ul><ul><li>competition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>politics </li></ul><...
View from outside Politicians, civil servants,  deans, administrators,  supporting staff, etc,  all think:  Scientists are...
It is nice job Science is great Society requests a lot of justification
Small things ... <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></u...
Role “small” things grossly underestimated The big things are about your talents: much of that is given by Nature The smal...
Realize importance of colleagues <ul><li>Colleagues  </li></ul><ul><li>are readers of your papers </li></ul><ul><li>form t...
Foresee bad habits of colleagues <ul><li>A few bad habits: </li></ul><ul><li>lazy </li></ul><ul><li>sloppy </li></ul><ul><...
Hide your ego Make life extremely easy  for your  colleagues  (including group members, coauthors) Spend a lot of time on ...
Quick and dirty
Discipline before anything <ul><li>Quick and dirty is always a waste of time </li></ul><ul><li>Large steps are always a wa...
Become a bookkeeper: file it (1) Every note, communication, progress report should be available as a file. For always. As ...
File it (2) Figures should always have labels, axes. Any group member should understand them Computer programs: Discipline...
Get the information Crucial information for your career is out there. Free. Get it.  They won’t bring it to you. Magazines...
My experience ... <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></...
CV chemistry study (UvA) PhD Physical chemistry bad job situation    Belgium (army) UvA physics (mobile FOM) Twente physi...
I never doubted my career When I was about 30, I applied for the  position “Health Inspector” in  the Ministry of Health ....
Big things ... <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></ul>...
Your talents <ul><li>Your talents for the big things : </li></ul><ul><li>communicating </li></ul><ul><li>originality </li>...
Always on your mind Be obsessed by finding a new field. Niches are for the loosers Be prepared for an immediate answer to ...
Challenge them <ul><li>Impress and challenge </li></ul><ul><li>privately in your group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>your group le...
Some rules ... <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></ul>...
Small things are no peanuts Small things  60% Big things  40%
My advice <ul><li>Do not work hard. But be always   busy with your work. </li></ul><ul><li>bike, elevator, shower, train, ...
The End <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></ul><ul><li...
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Example Presentation Survivng Science

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Transcript of "Example Presentation Survivng Science"

  1. 1. Surviving science Surviving in Science Building an academic career
  2. 2. Content <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></ul><ul><li>the big things </li></ul><ul><li>some rules </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction ... <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></ul><ul><li>the big things </li></ul><ul><li>some rules </li></ul>
  4. 4. Goal <ul><li>Your only goal: </li></ul><ul><li>to become a world-class scientist </li></ul><ul><li>Your goal is not: </li></ul><ul><li>to have a large numbers of papers </li></ul><ul><li>to have a large number of citations </li></ul><ul><li>to lead a larger and larger group </li></ul><ul><li>to have a large office </li></ul><ul><li>... </li></ul>
  5. 5. Career choice <ul><li>totally planned (from when you are 18) </li></ul><ul><li>totally determined by environment </li></ul>
  6. 6. In between
  7. 7. What is a scientific career? <ul><li>career for life </li></ul><ul><li>group leader in an academic institute </li></ul>
  8. 8. Resist temptation <ul><li>Resist temptation to become </li></ul><ul><li>dean </li></ul><ul><li>institute director </li></ul><ul><li>minister of education </li></ul><ul><li>media celebrity </li></ul>All these jobs are very important, but let somebody else do it. Help them to get those jobs.
  9. 9. Scientific education a large fraction (80% ?) of people with a scientific education will not stay in science and that is very good
  10. 10. Daily life of scientist: examples (1) writing proposals evaluation interviews application interviews annual reports business meetings financial management getting hardware support getting software support
  11. 11. Daily life of scientist: examples (2) application/patents recommendation letters obligatory collaborations loads of reviewing jobs receiving somebody else’s visitors warm bodies needed attend talks by important applicants
  12. 12. Life is always hectic <ul><li>In a good lab there is (are) always </li></ul><ul><li>chaos </li></ul><ul><li>lack of office space </li></ul><ul><li>lack of lab space </li></ul><ul><li>many last-minute important tasks </li></ul>
  13. 13. Difficult <ul><li>difficult to get there </li></ul><ul><ul><li>competition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>family situation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>difficult to stay there </li></ul><ul><ul><li>community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>family situation </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. View from outside Politicians, civil servants, deans, administrators, supporting staff, etc, all think: Scientists are Sunday’s children Do not fight them. They always win. They make the rules. Fight another game.
  15. 15. It is nice job Science is great Society requests a lot of justification
  16. 16. Small things ... <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></ul><ul><li>the big things </li></ul><ul><li>some rules </li></ul>
  17. 17. Role “small” things grossly underestimated The big things are about your talents: much of that is given by Nature The small things are about your willpower. Discipline, patience, perseverence
  18. 18. Realize importance of colleagues <ul><li>Colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>are readers of your papers </li></ul><ul><li>form the audience of your talks </li></ul><ul><li>are referees of your papers and proposals </li></ul><ul><li>evaluate your progress in committees </li></ul><ul><li>determine your tenureship </li></ul><ul><li>invite you for conferences </li></ul><ul><li>... </li></ul>
  19. 19. Foresee bad habits of colleagues <ul><li>A few bad habits: </li></ul><ul><li>lazy </li></ul><ul><li>sloppy </li></ul><ul><li>vain </li></ul><ul><li>feel like unrecognized geniuses </li></ul><ul><li>jealous </li></ul>
  20. 20. Hide your ego Make life extremely easy for your colleagues (including group members, coauthors) Spend a lot of time on the small things: papers, (internal) presentations bite size pieces
  21. 21. Quick and dirty
  22. 22. Discipline before anything <ul><li>Quick and dirty is always a waste of time </li></ul><ul><li>Large steps are always a waste of time </li></ul><ul><li>If it will ever come to something it must </li></ul><ul><li>be supported by detailed evidence and </li></ul><ul><li>characterization and you have to do it </li></ul><ul><li>all over again </li></ul>
  23. 23. Become a bookkeeper: file it (1) Every note, communication, progress report should be available as a file. For always. As if it is a scientific report. In Latex. In English. Always. Colleagues should be able to read it. Do the same with every back-of-the-envelope calculation or lab-journal scribble
  24. 24. File it (2) Figures should always have labels, axes. Any group member should understand them Computer programs: Discipline, discipline, discipline Why do you guys never do this?
  25. 25. Get the information Crucial information for your career is out there. Free. Get it. They won’t bring it to you. Magazines, Societies Where the field goes. Where your colleagues go. Where your next boss goes.
  26. 26. My experience ... <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></ul><ul><li>the big things </li></ul><ul><li>some rules </li></ul>
  27. 27. CV chemistry study (UvA) PhD Physical chemistry bad job situation  Belgium (army) UvA physics (mobile FOM) Twente physics Amolf (USA)
  28. 28. I never doubted my career When I was about 30, I applied for the position “Health Inspector” in the Ministry of Health ... (driving license required) Turned down due to a “ too scientific attitude”
  29. 29. Big things ... <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></ul><ul><li>the big things </li></ul><ul><li>some rules </li></ul>
  30. 30. Your talents <ul><li>Your talents for the big things : </li></ul><ul><li>communicating </li></ul><ul><li>originality </li></ul><ul><li>experimental skills </li></ul><ul><li>analytical skills </li></ul>
  31. 31. Always on your mind Be obsessed by finding a new field. Niches are for the loosers Be prepared for an immediate answer to the following question: What would you do if you get 5 million euro’s to start research on your own?
  32. 32. Challenge them <ul><li>Impress and challenge </li></ul><ul><li>privately in your group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>your group leader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>postdocs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a famous visitor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>publicly a famous speaker </li></ul><ul><li>(prepare for his talk) </li></ul>
  33. 33. Some rules ... <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></ul><ul><li>the big things </li></ul><ul><li>some rules </li></ul>
  34. 34. Small things are no peanuts Small things 60% Big things 40%
  35. 35. My advice <ul><li>Do not work hard. But be always busy with your work. </li></ul><ul><li>bike, elevator, shower, train, plane, cooking ... </li></ul><ul><li>Optimize the small things </li></ul><ul><li>be tough on your self, accept their bad habits </li></ul><ul><li>Find your own field </li></ul>
  36. 36. The End <ul><li>introduction </li></ul><ul><li>the small things </li></ul><ul><li>some of my experiences </li></ul><ul><li>the big things </li></ul><ul><li>some rules </li></ul>

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