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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Postdoc: Network or Perish

Excerpts from an article by Julia Boughner (Article appeared in Nature May 28, 2009)

As a fledgling scientist, I feel I must apply all the tools of the trade at my disposal to find that right tenure-track opportunity. But mindful of a modest travel allowance that I must spend this year, I packed a bag, left my son with his capable dad and flew off for some excellent networking adventures.

And, for better or for worse, I would give prospective search committee members a face and a personality to match my CV, should it cross their desks.

I swapped business cards, clinked pints and mentally sketched hypotheses (not always best done alongside beer, as the hypotheses seldom look as pretty the next morning). An excess of late nights and early mornings led quite literally to ‘conference-itis’, as I came down with a cold when I arrived home. Yet my trip was worthwhile. I achieved most of my networking goals, which I can only hope will translate into job opportunities in the near future.

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