Flexibility in academia

It’s a Tuesday evening, you’re sitting at your desk, and you’re finishing up some analysis. You’re debating whether to go home or not yet. Have you done enough work today? You’re not sure. How could you know? Working in academia is often prized for its flexibility. Flexible working hours are convenient because you can fit a doctor’s appointment in whenever you like. You can also go to the...

Setting up your online academic profiles

Last month I wrote about the importance of setting up a personal academic website, and how to go about doing it. This month I want to go over the additional online tools and profiles you may want to consider setting up. The usefulness and importance of these may vary from field to field, and country to country, but if you haven’t already it may be worth checking them out...

How the peer review process works

The peer review process is such an integral part of the scientific endeavour, and yet strangely you only find out exactly how it all works when you submit your first paper – until now that is. So sit back, relax and enjoy as we take you through the wonderful world of the peer review process! The first thing that happens after submission is your manuscript is assigned to...

How to get a postdoc grant

I have my share of experience with PhD and postdoc scholarship/grant proposals. As a Canadian doing a postdoc in France, I’ve learned a lot about the evaluation process in both North-America and Europe. The standards are pretty much universal, with some grant proposals being more prestigious (and lengthy) than others. Be aware or beware: Your postdoc funding can come from either your future principal investigator (PI)’s grant or...

Work-life balance in academia

A few years ago, I was invited to go on a sailing trip. The idea was to sail along the Greek coast and hop from island to island. We would sleep on the yacht, sail for a few hours a day, swim in the sea, lie on the beach, dock in wild bays or in small harbors to explore the local towns. It sounded idyllic. But I had...

How to submit a journal article

So you’ve finished your paper, after countless back and forths with your supervisor and what feels like thousands of re-writes. Congratulations! The hard part is over, right? Oh no my friend, it has only just begun! It’s time to submit your paper to a journal! Surprisingly for being such a central and important part of the scientific process, no one really tells you how the submission process works....

Being a parent in academia

I am an optimist. It seems peculiar to me that many view academia as incompatible with parenthood. Some senior researchers feel that it was easier to have it all back in the days, pointing out the fact that the bar to a position in academia has been rising rapidly. We all feel it from day one: there is a ubiquitous pressure to excel (publish, collaborate, have a brand,...

How to make a personal academic website

It seems that many of us aren’t sure when we should start setting up our online academic presence, and what exactly that should include at an early stage. So I wanted to write this guide outlining my recommendations for getting yourself set up as quickly and painlessly as possible. In this first part, I will cover some suggestions for how to get your own website up and running,...