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Researching careers: careers in
research
UR-LING Workshop
Aurelio Ruiz. March 2014
What is this talk about?
Researching Careers
This presentation is about my personal feelings, based on
experience related to work with different research
groups
But just meant as food for thought
Researching Careers
NOT a 10 tips to succeed in research (because there are
NO such 10 tips!)
NOT a compilation of fellowships and grants (though, if
we have time, we will briefly discuss a couple of them)
NOT a discussion about the way things should be, but as I
find they are
45’ presentation
15’ discussion among senior researchers and master
students to comment / correct / enrich my experiences
Researching Careers
What I expect from you
There is not a magic solution, but different adequate
approaches
 “Personalise” the explanation to your own case
 You need to create the one that suits you best!
Who we are
Servei de Recerca
Som uns FACILITADORS
els requeriments dels programes de
finançament de la recerca
les normes de les
institucions
les necessitats de
l’investigador
Finançadors, programes
UPF,administració
pública
Estratègiapròpia,
situacióactual
Servei de Recerca
ESTRUCTURA CENTRALITZADA
Secció de suport a la política científica
Oficina de projectes
Secció de Gestió Econòmica
ESTRUCTURA DESCENTRALITZADA
Delegació Oficina de
Projectes SdR Campus
Comunicació-Poblenou
Servei de Recerca i Unitat d'Innovació i Parcs
Edifici Mercè Rodoreda
C/Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
08005 Barcelona
http://www.upf.edu/rdi/
Servei de Recerca
Edifici Tànger
C/Roc Boronat, 138
08018 Barcelona
Despatx 55.223
Aurelio Ruiz: Promotor Campus
Barbara Albareda: Oficina de Projectes (baixa)
Neus Balaguer: Oficina de Projectes
Goretti Mallorqui: Oficina de Projectes
Txema Farrona: Gestió Econòmica
Manel Ronda: Gestió Econòmica
Nom.cognom@upf.edu
TRAINING
Graduate, post-graduate and professional training
Joint programs, national and international exchanges
In-house training
Career development for students, including stays at companies (practicum, thesis, etc)
Innovation in teaching
RESEARCH
Research training (PhD programs)
Public and private R&D calls (projects, human resources, infrastructures, research awards, etc)
Collaborative projects, industrial PhDs
Tailor-made R&D projects for external entities
Prototyping and proof-of-concepts of new technologies and services
Trend and business analysis in changing ICT, Health, Humanities and Social Sciences
OTHER ACTIVITIES
Access to spaces and specialized infrastructures to external parties
Sponsorship, Social Responsibility
Specialized consulting
Technological platforms
Direct technology and knowledge transfer (patents, open source, publications, etc)
Cultural and artistic production
UPF activities
Overview on career options
Traditional career path
Traditional research careers
Graduate Studies
+
Master
+
PhD
+
Postdoc / Tenure track position at university
+
Research Group
+
Research recognition
But current reality is that the number of PhDs granted exceeds by large the amount of
postdoctoral positions Pyramid Scheme
Professional
Specialist,
state-of-the-art
Expert,
advance state-of-
the-art
Increasing
leadership
and mentoring
Different
purposes
What others say about research careers
http://www.economist.com/node/17723223 http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110302/full/471007a.html
Career options
Careers around research are not limited to university positions.
Each of them may require, however, a different approach
Academic Research
It is not enough that we do our best;
sometimes we have to do what is required.
Winston ChurchillI
Industrial / Policy Making / NGOs
Social / Business Enterpreneurship
Be the driver
Strategy
Available Resources /
Capabilities / Opportunities
Determines
Strategy
Available Resources
/ Capabilities /
Opportunities
Conditions
Achieved
Results
Determines
Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
John F. Kennedy
Characterising successful teams / individuals
Attitude: Creativity / Originality / Self-criticism
X
Direction: Ambition / Goals / Perseverance
X
Aptitude: Methods / Results
X
Environment
If any of the factors is zero, result is zero
All of them depend on / are influenced by personal decisions
Characterising successful teams / individuals
Academic
Research
Industrial
Policy Making
Enterpreneurship
Creativity
Originality
Ambition
Goals
Perseverance
Methods
Results
Environment
Different Gold Standards
for different expected
careers
Characterising successful teams / individuals
Each field of knowledge has different social norms
Learn to know what is relevant for yours
Within a given field, roles are multiple
Different possible roles in academia
Industrial: R&D direction, expert, ...
Enterpreneur: CTO, CEO, business developer, scientist
And also the research activities
Basic vs applied
Knowledge driven vs needs driven
Integrative vs narrow and specialised ….
Required personal and scientific skills, career paths, etc are also
different!
Characterising successful teams / individuals
No panic!!
This is an iterative process, which also needs to be
adapting (specially in areas of quick evolution)
“when kids are requested what they want to be when they grow up, the
do not say – I will go to school for 10 years, then I will choose in
secondary school the scientific branch, then to university.... They just
think they want to be doctors”
Career options – policy making
Department of Economics and Business - UPF
18 PhDs awarded. They found jobs in universities
(Bocconi, Zurich, Central European University, Oxford,
Vienna, the European Business School in Berlin, EDEC,
Carlos III, etc.), central banks (Italy, France,
England) and research departments of private
banks like the BBVA.
Career options - Entrepreneurship
http://liftlab.com/think/fabien/2011/05/31/a-trajectory-from-academia-to-entrepreneurship/
Lift Lab was already taking shape during our research as
part of our constant efforts to communicate our ideas and
results, using our blogs, pamphlets, talks and workshops as
echo chambers
It was particularly important for us to confront our findings
outside of a single research community as much as outside
of academia.
In our case, it helped us capture the interest of what-
would-then-become clients and create diverse channels of
communication with people that challenged our intuitions,
confront our points of view and ultimately made our
methods evolve. Prior to move out of academia, these
contacts were already grasping the value we could produce
in their contact.
few concepts spun out of our PhDs, but none of them were
ready to even remotely consider a product or service
Making decisions
• Know yourself
• Be informed
• Test your choices
• Start early
http://www.nature.com/scitable/ebooks/guide-to-life-science-careers-14053951/know-yourself-14356565
Factors
Creativity / Originality / Self-criticism
You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers.
You can tell whether a man is wise by his
questions.
Naguib Mahfouz
It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist
to discard a pet hypothesis every day before
breakfast. It keeps him young.
Konrad Lorenz
When things get too complicated, it sometimes
makes sense to stop and wonder: Have I asked
the right question?
Enrico Bombieri
Creativity / Originality
There are many people in this room much more
qualified than myself to comment on this
Ambition / Goals / Perseverance
The higher you set your target, the higher you
will grow
J. C. Friedrich von Schiller
If you don’t set goals for yourself, you
are doomed to work to achieve the
goals of someone else.
Brian Tracy
Ambition / Goals / Perseverance
Ambition / Goals / Perseverance
Swiftness, which is a virtue, generates a
vice, which is hurry
Gregorio Marañón
Ambition / Goals / Perseverance
Inputs
Human Resources
Competitive proj.
R+D Contracts
Other specific funding
sources
....
Execution
Management of
people, money
Infrastructure
Good practices
Research methodol
Collaborations
....
Outputs
PhD Thesis
Publications
IPR
Comercialization
Dissemination and
training
...
Motivation
Impact
Impact in Research
Social Impact
Economic Impact
....
Ambition / Goals / Perseverance
Más importante que la inteligencia, son sus factores
instrumentales: orden, constancia, voluntad,
motivación, y la alegría de ver que uno es capaz de
vencerse, y ponerse metas y cumplirlas. <...> Una
persona con voluntad llega en la vida más lejos que
una persona inteligente
Enrique Rojas
Methods / Results
The craft (learning to do research)
+
Capability to perform independent
research
Methods / Results
The craft (learning to do research)
Insanity is doing things the way they have always
been done and expecting the results to be
different!
Theodore Eischeid
Choose the right mentor / supervisor for your
targets!
Capability to perform independent research
.... Choose the right mentor for your targets!
.... And deal with him / her!
The care and maintenance of your adviser
http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/2011/110127/full/nj7331-
570a.html
Methods / Results
Making decisions
Know yourself
Be informed
Test your choices
Start early
We are judged by what we finish, not
by what we start.
We are judged by what we achieve,
not by what we do.
Own assessment
All profiles in research are very qualified
In terms of fundraising, absolute
assessment is not useful  Relative to
competitors
What is special in our CV with respect to
equivalent peers?
Methods / Results
http://www.idi.mineco.gob.es/portal/site/MICINN/menuitem.8ce192e94ba842bea3bc811001432ea0/?vgnextoid=1a24e5e
169b51210VgnVCM1000001034e20aRCRD
Methods / Results
On scientific publication
-Which is the best place I can publish my work?
- Journals, conferences, etc organised by impact factor / prestige / audience they
target -> Quality matters
- Adequacy of my results (type of content sought by the publisher / quality of my
results)
Methods / Results
AND REMEMBER, QUALITY MATTERS
Taken from a presentation by
Gonzalo Vicente
Prioritise:
Do I really have to
do it?
Is this the best
option for my
plans?
Is it an opportunity
to take me further?
Is this a work I can
reuse?
Achieve something
from any effort
Methods / Results
Assessment is continuous, not just when writing a grant / looking for a job
Having your CV continuously updated allows you to focus on proposal writing (and come on, it does not
change that often!)
Quality matters (not only quantiy): Have automatic ways to compile relevant information (such as total
citations, article most cited, etc)
Make it useful! Keep for instance a personal web updated, increasing your visibility
Some grants may not allow you to submit a full CV, but selected information
- Have a short bio ready. Keywords, highlights, selected publications.
Some information is no longer relevant with time! (for instance, awards at school,
studentships when you are more senior, etc)
- Have a link ready that you can include for further details
They may look anyway in the web, do not exaggerate your statements. Facilitate that they go
to the most favorable place for you!)
Keep it also regularly updated, and review it regularly
Methods / Results
Direction: Ambition / Goals
The contribution you envision to provide to society / research
The role you ambition to play
Your personal motivations, how you expect to grow
...
Aptitude: Methods / Results
Special knowledge you have
Special experiences you have accumulated
Acknowledgements
Have you influenced others? How?
Any relevant management or communication skill?
...
Attitude: Perseverance / Originality / Self-criticism
Demonstrated capacities to learn, team work, leadership...
Environment
Access to special infrastructures, expertise, resources
Network of collaborators....
Specially those
relevant to your
goals
DO NOT OFFER JUST
INFORMATION, BUT
CONCLUSIONS
(SUPPORTED BY DATA)
Methods / Results
Warning
El ser humano es el único animal que tropieza mil veces con la misma piedra
y encima le echa la culpa a la piedra.
Environment
Competitive environments
We are judged by what we finish, not by what
we start.
Also applicable to environments
Again QUALITY MATTERS
There is probably a high correlation between the
position in rankings of an environment, and
the employment outcomes for its PhDs
But remember the 3 other factors: no
environment guarantees success, it is up to
candidates to make profit out of it
Characterising Competitive environments
Which promotes the mobility of researchers and the interaction with
scientists and professionals from international institutions and mixed
backgrounds
 World collaboration fostered, not just about travelling
Which helps to develop researchers’ abilities and skills in a broad range
of competences (specially critical if you pursue opportunities outside
academia)
Which is risk-taking
Which promotes an attractive and progressive scientific career
Which recruits internationally (does not necessarily mean that the
result is highly internationalised!)
Own’s CV in research is often linked to the environment. External
evaluation is one indicator of the competitiveness of an
environment: competitive funding, ICREA, international visibility.
Question those environments which systematically ignore / reject
(qualified) external evaluation.
Competitive environments
Environment
We are judged by what we finish, not by what
we start.
Also applicable to environments
Again QUALITY MATTERS
There is probably a high correlation between the
position in rankings of an environment, and
the employment outcomes for its PhDs
But remember the 3 other factors: no
environment guarantees success, it is up to
candidates to make profit out of it
Competitive environments
It promotes the need during PhD to establish a
network, and to achieve results
It opens-up your mind and, hence, your possibilities
Handle with care in general the promise of future
exployment: the promise to stay in the center once
you finalise your PhD / postdoc... And anything you
need to do to pursue that target
A good practice common to many excellence-driven
centers is the prohibition to hire own PhD after the
award
Competitive environments
In general terms, the higher the visibility and reputation of your
environment, the better for your CV
Contribute to the environment
The importance of networks
Think how you can be useful to others / Others can be useful for you
What can you offer?
Who are the beneficiaries of your research? Why could they be interested in you /
your results?
Who do you need to conduct your research?
Other skills / Infrastructures / Strategic providers / Requirements /
feedback / Subjects for experiments / Visibility / Future employers!
“Greater why”: if you know properly the wider area (and who plays a role), you can
better know what you can propose
Competitive environments
The risks of networks
Choose carefully collaborations! they can become a “black hole”
Once you have identified who may be useful for a collaboration
 Current situation: Am I in a position to establish a “win-win” collaboration?
If not, intermediate steps? (a “bridge”?)
“Plan” the approach, using an effective “communication” strategy
Is there anybody in my area of influence who could help?
Can I indeed use a funding opportunity as an excuse / incentive?
Are there institutional mechanisms (seminars, opening lectures, invitation to
teaching, etc I can use to establish relation?
Perhaps I want to create some “meeting point”?
Competitive environments
The risks of networks
Collaborations take a lot of effort, have an idea of what you expect from it (and at what
expense)
There are many level of collaborations: strategic, opportunistic, one-off, provider. Each
requires different dedication
Use your regular activities to strengthen links with collaborators
We often “inherite” collaborators. Be careful! Personal relations are important
As with money, collaborations are “accumulative”
Once you collaborate with the best in a given area, the others come more easily
Environments were a performance factor!
Include your collaborations in your environment, this is a reason to choose you against
an equivalent not that good connected!
But have some way to rove it (joint project, publications, interchanges, etc): Also do
not exaggerate collaborations
Competitive environments
Fundraising / recruitment are basically communication processes
marketing
noun [U] (JOB) /ˈmɑː.kɪ.tɪŋ/ /ˈmɑːr.kɪ.t̬ɪŋ/
B2 a job that involves encouraging people to buy a product or
service:
Submitting a proposal / getting a job is expecting reviewers / program officers to
fund your proposal vs (similar) competitors
Some grants
Problemes típics
Problemes típics
Researching careers: careers in research. UR-LING UPF workshop
Researching careers: careers in research. UR-LING UPF workshop
Researching careers: careers in research. UR-LING UPF workshop
Researching careers: careers in research. UR-LING UPF workshop
Researching careers: careers in research. UR-LING UPF workshop
Researching careers: careers in research. UR-LING UPF workshop

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Researching careers: careers in research. UR-LING UPF workshop

  • 1. Researching careers: careers in research UR-LING Workshop Aurelio Ruiz. March 2014
  • 2. What is this talk about?
  • 3. Researching Careers This presentation is about my personal feelings, based on experience related to work with different research groups But just meant as food for thought
  • 4. Researching Careers NOT a 10 tips to succeed in research (because there are NO such 10 tips!) NOT a compilation of fellowships and grants (though, if we have time, we will briefly discuss a couple of them) NOT a discussion about the way things should be, but as I find they are 45’ presentation 15’ discussion among senior researchers and master students to comment / correct / enrich my experiences
  • 5. Researching Careers What I expect from you There is not a magic solution, but different adequate approaches  “Personalise” the explanation to your own case  You need to create the one that suits you best!
  • 7. Servei de Recerca Som uns FACILITADORS els requeriments dels programes de finançament de la recerca les normes de les institucions les necessitats de l’investigador Finançadors, programes UPF,administració pública Estratègiapròpia, situacióactual
  • 8. Servei de Recerca ESTRUCTURA CENTRALITZADA Secció de suport a la política científica Oficina de projectes Secció de Gestió Econòmica ESTRUCTURA DESCENTRALITZADA Delegació Oficina de Projectes SdR Campus Comunicació-Poblenou Servei de Recerca i Unitat d'Innovació i Parcs Edifici Mercè Rodoreda C/Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27 08005 Barcelona http://www.upf.edu/rdi/ Servei de Recerca Edifici Tànger C/Roc Boronat, 138 08018 Barcelona Despatx 55.223 Aurelio Ruiz: Promotor Campus Barbara Albareda: Oficina de Projectes (baixa) Neus Balaguer: Oficina de Projectes Goretti Mallorqui: Oficina de Projectes Txema Farrona: Gestió Econòmica Manel Ronda: Gestió Econòmica Nom.cognom@upf.edu
  • 9. TRAINING Graduate, post-graduate and professional training Joint programs, national and international exchanges In-house training Career development for students, including stays at companies (practicum, thesis, etc) Innovation in teaching RESEARCH Research training (PhD programs) Public and private R&D calls (projects, human resources, infrastructures, research awards, etc) Collaborative projects, industrial PhDs Tailor-made R&D projects for external entities Prototyping and proof-of-concepts of new technologies and services Trend and business analysis in changing ICT, Health, Humanities and Social Sciences OTHER ACTIVITIES Access to spaces and specialized infrastructures to external parties Sponsorship, Social Responsibility Specialized consulting Technological platforms Direct technology and knowledge transfer (patents, open source, publications, etc) Cultural and artistic production UPF activities
  • 11. Traditional career path Traditional research careers Graduate Studies + Master + PhD + Postdoc / Tenure track position at university + Research Group + Research recognition But current reality is that the number of PhDs granted exceeds by large the amount of postdoctoral positions Pyramid Scheme Professional Specialist, state-of-the-art Expert, advance state-of- the-art Increasing leadership and mentoring Different purposes
  • 12. What others say about research careers http://www.economist.com/node/17723223 http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110302/full/471007a.html
  • 13. Career options Careers around research are not limited to university positions. Each of them may require, however, a different approach Academic Research It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what is required. Winston ChurchillI Industrial / Policy Making / NGOs Social / Business Enterpreneurship
  • 14. Be the driver Strategy Available Resources / Capabilities / Opportunities Determines Strategy Available Resources / Capabilities / Opportunities Conditions Achieved Results Determines Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. John F. Kennedy
  • 15. Characterising successful teams / individuals Attitude: Creativity / Originality / Self-criticism X Direction: Ambition / Goals / Perseverance X Aptitude: Methods / Results X Environment If any of the factors is zero, result is zero All of them depend on / are influenced by personal decisions
  • 16. Characterising successful teams / individuals Academic Research Industrial Policy Making Enterpreneurship Creativity Originality Ambition Goals Perseverance Methods Results Environment Different Gold Standards for different expected careers
  • 17. Characterising successful teams / individuals Each field of knowledge has different social norms Learn to know what is relevant for yours Within a given field, roles are multiple Different possible roles in academia Industrial: R&D direction, expert, ... Enterpreneur: CTO, CEO, business developer, scientist And also the research activities Basic vs applied Knowledge driven vs needs driven Integrative vs narrow and specialised …. Required personal and scientific skills, career paths, etc are also different!
  • 18. Characterising successful teams / individuals No panic!! This is an iterative process, which also needs to be adapting (specially in areas of quick evolution) “when kids are requested what they want to be when they grow up, the do not say – I will go to school for 10 years, then I will choose in secondary school the scientific branch, then to university.... They just think they want to be doctors”
  • 19. Career options – policy making Department of Economics and Business - UPF 18 PhDs awarded. They found jobs in universities (Bocconi, Zurich, Central European University, Oxford, Vienna, the European Business School in Berlin, EDEC, Carlos III, etc.), central banks (Italy, France, England) and research departments of private banks like the BBVA.
  • 20. Career options - Entrepreneurship http://liftlab.com/think/fabien/2011/05/31/a-trajectory-from-academia-to-entrepreneurship/ Lift Lab was already taking shape during our research as part of our constant efforts to communicate our ideas and results, using our blogs, pamphlets, talks and workshops as echo chambers It was particularly important for us to confront our findings outside of a single research community as much as outside of academia. In our case, it helped us capture the interest of what- would-then-become clients and create diverse channels of communication with people that challenged our intuitions, confront our points of view and ultimately made our methods evolve. Prior to move out of academia, these contacts were already grasping the value we could produce in their contact. few concepts spun out of our PhDs, but none of them were ready to even remotely consider a product or service
  • 21. Making decisions • Know yourself • Be informed • Test your choices • Start early http://www.nature.com/scitable/ebooks/guide-to-life-science-careers-14053951/know-yourself-14356565
  • 23. Creativity / Originality / Self-criticism You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. Naguib Mahfouz It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast. It keeps him young. Konrad Lorenz When things get too complicated, it sometimes makes sense to stop and wonder: Have I asked the right question? Enrico Bombieri
  • 24. Creativity / Originality There are many people in this room much more qualified than myself to comment on this
  • 25. Ambition / Goals / Perseverance The higher you set your target, the higher you will grow J. C. Friedrich von Schiller
  • 26. If you don’t set goals for yourself, you are doomed to work to achieve the goals of someone else. Brian Tracy Ambition / Goals / Perseverance
  • 27. Ambition / Goals / Perseverance Swiftness, which is a virtue, generates a vice, which is hurry Gregorio Marañón
  • 28. Ambition / Goals / Perseverance Inputs Human Resources Competitive proj. R+D Contracts Other specific funding sources .... Execution Management of people, money Infrastructure Good practices Research methodol Collaborations .... Outputs PhD Thesis Publications IPR Comercialization Dissemination and training ... Motivation Impact Impact in Research Social Impact Economic Impact ....
  • 29. Ambition / Goals / Perseverance Más importante que la inteligencia, son sus factores instrumentales: orden, constancia, voluntad, motivación, y la alegría de ver que uno es capaz de vencerse, y ponerse metas y cumplirlas. <...> Una persona con voluntad llega en la vida más lejos que una persona inteligente Enrique Rojas
  • 30. Methods / Results The craft (learning to do research) + Capability to perform independent research
  • 31. Methods / Results The craft (learning to do research) Insanity is doing things the way they have always been done and expecting the results to be different! Theodore Eischeid Choose the right mentor / supervisor for your targets!
  • 32. Capability to perform independent research .... Choose the right mentor for your targets! .... And deal with him / her! The care and maintenance of your adviser http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/2011/110127/full/nj7331- 570a.html Methods / Results
  • 33. Making decisions Know yourself Be informed Test your choices Start early We are judged by what we finish, not by what we start. We are judged by what we achieve, not by what we do. Own assessment All profiles in research are very qualified In terms of fundraising, absolute assessment is not useful  Relative to competitors What is special in our CV with respect to equivalent peers?
  • 35. Methods / Results On scientific publication -Which is the best place I can publish my work? - Journals, conferences, etc organised by impact factor / prestige / audience they target -> Quality matters - Adequacy of my results (type of content sought by the publisher / quality of my results)
  • 36. Methods / Results AND REMEMBER, QUALITY MATTERS Taken from a presentation by Gonzalo Vicente Prioritise: Do I really have to do it? Is this the best option for my plans? Is it an opportunity to take me further? Is this a work I can reuse? Achieve something from any effort
  • 37. Methods / Results Assessment is continuous, not just when writing a grant / looking for a job Having your CV continuously updated allows you to focus on proposal writing (and come on, it does not change that often!) Quality matters (not only quantiy): Have automatic ways to compile relevant information (such as total citations, article most cited, etc) Make it useful! Keep for instance a personal web updated, increasing your visibility Some grants may not allow you to submit a full CV, but selected information - Have a short bio ready. Keywords, highlights, selected publications. Some information is no longer relevant with time! (for instance, awards at school, studentships when you are more senior, etc) - Have a link ready that you can include for further details They may look anyway in the web, do not exaggerate your statements. Facilitate that they go to the most favorable place for you!) Keep it also regularly updated, and review it regularly
  • 38. Methods / Results Direction: Ambition / Goals The contribution you envision to provide to society / research The role you ambition to play Your personal motivations, how you expect to grow ... Aptitude: Methods / Results Special knowledge you have Special experiences you have accumulated Acknowledgements Have you influenced others? How? Any relevant management or communication skill? ... Attitude: Perseverance / Originality / Self-criticism Demonstrated capacities to learn, team work, leadership... Environment Access to special infrastructures, expertise, resources Network of collaborators.... Specially those relevant to your goals DO NOT OFFER JUST INFORMATION, BUT CONCLUSIONS (SUPPORTED BY DATA)
  • 40. Warning El ser humano es el único animal que tropieza mil veces con la misma piedra y encima le echa la culpa a la piedra. Environment
  • 41. Competitive environments We are judged by what we finish, not by what we start. Also applicable to environments Again QUALITY MATTERS There is probably a high correlation between the position in rankings of an environment, and the employment outcomes for its PhDs But remember the 3 other factors: no environment guarantees success, it is up to candidates to make profit out of it
  • 42. Characterising Competitive environments Which promotes the mobility of researchers and the interaction with scientists and professionals from international institutions and mixed backgrounds  World collaboration fostered, not just about travelling Which helps to develop researchers’ abilities and skills in a broad range of competences (specially critical if you pursue opportunities outside academia) Which is risk-taking Which promotes an attractive and progressive scientific career Which recruits internationally (does not necessarily mean that the result is highly internationalised!) Own’s CV in research is often linked to the environment. External evaluation is one indicator of the competitiveness of an environment: competitive funding, ICREA, international visibility. Question those environments which systematically ignore / reject (qualified) external evaluation.
  • 43. Competitive environments Environment We are judged by what we finish, not by what we start. Also applicable to environments Again QUALITY MATTERS There is probably a high correlation between the position in rankings of an environment, and the employment outcomes for its PhDs But remember the 3 other factors: no environment guarantees success, it is up to candidates to make profit out of it
  • 44. Competitive environments It promotes the need during PhD to establish a network, and to achieve results It opens-up your mind and, hence, your possibilities Handle with care in general the promise of future exployment: the promise to stay in the center once you finalise your PhD / postdoc... And anything you need to do to pursue that target A good practice common to many excellence-driven centers is the prohibition to hire own PhD after the award
  • 45. Competitive environments In general terms, the higher the visibility and reputation of your environment, the better for your CV Contribute to the environment The importance of networks Think how you can be useful to others / Others can be useful for you What can you offer? Who are the beneficiaries of your research? Why could they be interested in you / your results? Who do you need to conduct your research? Other skills / Infrastructures / Strategic providers / Requirements / feedback / Subjects for experiments / Visibility / Future employers! “Greater why”: if you know properly the wider area (and who plays a role), you can better know what you can propose
  • 46. Competitive environments The risks of networks Choose carefully collaborations! they can become a “black hole” Once you have identified who may be useful for a collaboration  Current situation: Am I in a position to establish a “win-win” collaboration? If not, intermediate steps? (a “bridge”?) “Plan” the approach, using an effective “communication” strategy Is there anybody in my area of influence who could help? Can I indeed use a funding opportunity as an excuse / incentive? Are there institutional mechanisms (seminars, opening lectures, invitation to teaching, etc I can use to establish relation? Perhaps I want to create some “meeting point”?
  • 47. Competitive environments The risks of networks Collaborations take a lot of effort, have an idea of what you expect from it (and at what expense) There are many level of collaborations: strategic, opportunistic, one-off, provider. Each requires different dedication Use your regular activities to strengthen links with collaborators We often “inherite” collaborators. Be careful! Personal relations are important As with money, collaborations are “accumulative” Once you collaborate with the best in a given area, the others come more easily Environments were a performance factor! Include your collaborations in your environment, this is a reason to choose you against an equivalent not that good connected! But have some way to rove it (joint project, publications, interchanges, etc): Also do not exaggerate collaborations
  • 48. Competitive environments Fundraising / recruitment are basically communication processes marketing noun [U] (JOB) /ˈmɑː.kɪ.tɪŋ/ /ˈmɑːr.kɪ.t̬ɪŋ/ B2 a job that involves encouraging people to buy a product or service: Submitting a proposal / getting a job is expecting reviewers / program officers to fund your proposal vs (similar) competitors