Friday, June 25, 2010

In the tunnel

I was recently informed by one of my thesis committee members that I am IN THE TUNNEL meaning that completion of the PhD is near. YES!!!!

With that said, I am writing a manuscript and considering where to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship. I am SO excited to be doing these things.... but I feel a little anxious about the next stages of my career, namely finding that postdoctoral research position.

Finding the right lab to conduct postdoctoral research is extremely crucial to the advancement of my career. Everything must be considered, including (in no particular order of importance because it's all important):

  • Research focus (because whatever I choose to study at this stage will define my career, right?)
  • Geographical location (where do I want to spend the next 5+ years of my life?)
  • Mentoring capabilities...What type of mentoring style (hands-on or hands-off) does the principal investigator have?
  • What are the social dynamics of the lab?
  • What type of grants/funding does the PI have?
  • How successful were past trainees of the potential PI? (where and how often did they publish, what kind of position did they obtain after leaving?)
  • Big lab or small lab?
  • Well-known or up-and-coming mentor?
  • What type of collaborations does the mentor have with other labs or industry?
There are always other things to consider, so did I leave anything out??

For now, I am narrowing down the labs that I am interested at a few different universities and based on the criteria specified above.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cross-Talk Fellowship!

Here is a great opportunity to attend the CROSS-TALK meeting hosted by the University of Debrecen in Debrecen, Hungary to be held August 31 through September 4, 2010!

CROSS-TALK is an Initial Training Program, funded under the FP7 (European Commission). CROSS-TALK gathers 14 young researchers and 4 associated fellows in Europe in the field of the human microbiome metagenomics to study the health-promoting cross-talk between intestinal microbiota and Humans.

CROSS-TALK is offering fellowships to young researchers to attend this meeting and more information about the conference is available at the Cross-Talk website. Applications are welcomed until July 20, 2010. Check out the agenda for this meeting.  

More about CROSS-TALK (information gathered from the Cross-Talk website):

  • The objective is to train a new generation of young scientists, to meet the growing demand for researchers with training in host-microbe interactions and metagenomics, a new supra-disciplinary calling for competencies in microbiology, cell biology, immunology, human physiology, high throughput technologies and bioinformatics, through a personal and adapted training program.
  • CROSS-TALK has the overall scientific objective to answer key questions on the role of the host-gut microbiota cross-talk in the development and maintenance of a healthy gut and to achieve major breakthroughs in the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the dialogue between the intestinal microbiota and hosts.
  • CROSS-TALK will provide individual training through research projects and organise 3 types of group training events: 1) network meetings allowing scientific exchanges within the network and meeting between all ESRs and supervisors; 2) spring schools focused on the development of transferable skills with a strong involvement of the economic sector and meeting between the economic players and the ESRs; and 3) workshops, time to broaden scientific knowledge and talk with recognized scientists not only in the field of CROSS-TALK but also in cognate fields which represent other career perspectives for the ESRs. Their combination will lead to young researchers who can meet the need of the metagenomics discipline for new curricula and the requirements for European trans-sectorial careers.

Welcome to Minority Scientist

I'm Minority Scientist and I started this blog to
1) share useful information to assist minorities, including women and underrepresented peoples, navigate a career in scientific research and
2) explore the world of science through the eyes of someone who
pursued a PhD in the biomedical sciences as a single parent.

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