Nature careers feature: How to (better) lead a lab

Nature careers feature: How to (better) lead a lab

Being promoted to PI very often means that young scientists have to face challenges like lab and staff/student management, budgeting, and other administrative tasks for the very first time, or at least, for the very first time entirely on their own. On top of that, not only are they responsible for advancing their own career, but that of their respective teams as well. More often than not, they are rather unprepared for this. And still … Read more “Nature careers feature: How to (better) lead a lab”

Interview with Sašo Kočevar at Naturejobs (podcast)

Interview with Sašo Kočevar at Naturejobs (podcast)

The December issue of the monthly Naturejobs podcast was dedicated to the impact of high quality mentoring in research. Sašo Kočevar, director of hfp consulting, was requested to give a brief survey of the basics of leadership in science in the first of the feature’s interviews.

Mentoring has long since been a major issue to Nature. In 2005, Nature launched its annual awards for outstanding scientific mentorship in order to highlight the essential, but … Read more “Interview with Sašo Kočevar at Naturejobs (podcast)”

The value of stupidity in scientific research. Science implies the confrontation of our “absolute” stupidity.

The value of stupidity in scientific research. Science implies the confrontation of our “absolute” stupidity.

The idea has been around for a while, which doesn’t make it any less gripping, quite the opposite, it is worthwhile to occasionally revisit it, if only for the sake of positive stimulus.

The first one to formulate the concept within the scientific field, though, was Martin Schwarz, a professor of microbiology and biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia, who published an article [1] about the role of stupidity in scientific research, in the … Read more “The value of stupidity in scientific research. Science implies the confrontation of our “absolute” stupidity.”

Advanced courses in leadership and management skills are available!

Advanced courses in leadership and management skills are available!

We often get very good feedback from our courses. And sometimes, course participants contact us after some time and ask for a follow-up course to refresh relevant skills and broaden the set of essential tools and techniques to lead and manage.

Well, we heard you! Exclusively to our hfp consulting course alumni and for a limited number of participants, we are offering an advanced course on leadership and management skills. Please use the contact formRead more “Advanced courses in leadership and management skills are available!”

Skill or luck? Can an academic career be planned?

Skill or luck? Can an academic career be planned?

Over the past few years, quite a few blogs with a focus on careers of academics in the life science sector have sprung up. They are mostly written by junior faculty and postdocs and often share very personal stories on the author’s career trajectories, or they provide general advice, for example on grant writing and job interviews both inside and outside of academia.

Examples include Tenure, She Wrote, the now less active Blue Lab Read more “Skill or luck? Can an academic career be planned?”

How we help the scientific community with leadership and management skills courses

How we help the scientific community with leadership and management skills courses

In a series of recent career advice articles (12) in Science, Lucas Laursen gave an overview of opportunities for scientist to acquire leadership and management skills, which we believe are essential for today’s challenges in an academic environment. The articles give a good overview and mention a number of important leadership and management tasks scientists face and which we address in our courses. Improving time management, setting priorities, delegating, dealing with … Read more “How we help the scientific community with leadership and management skills courses”

The gender bias among influential biomedical researchers

The gender bias among influential biomedical researchers

The European Journal of Clinical Investigation recently published a study listing over 400 highly influential biomedical researchers. The list was generated using metrics such as the h-index and the total number of published papers from the years 1996 to 2011.

It is of course debatable how much these article level metrics are true readouts for impact or influence. However, one striking finding remains despite all potential analytical shortcomings: manually going through the list of 408 … Read more “The gender bias among influential biomedical researchers”

Factors for Successful Science – the SystemsX.ch retreat 2013

Factors for Successful Science – the SystemsX.ch retreat 2013

SystemsX.ch is a highly successful, collaborative research initiative for Systems Biology in Switzerland with an impressive scientific output: Over 250 scientific papers were published under SystemsX.ch grants in the last five years. The initiative comprises more than 250 researchers from 12 partner universities and institutes, currently working on some 100 projects.

To foster the scientific exchange and networking between partners, but also assist young scientists in career development, SystemsX.ch organises an annual retreat. For the … Read more “Factors for Successful Science – the SystemsX.ch retreat 2013”

How to actively fill out the role as a (female) leader

How to actively fill out the role as a (female) leader

In out last article, we presented some scientific evidence that women are disadvantaged in academic science environments. Other than implementing often controversially discussed quota policies, surprisingly little is done to counteract this gender imbalance, particularly found among leaders.

In our Female Leaders in Science (FLIS) course, which was initiated and organised by EMBO earlier this year, we chose a bottom up approach and directly helped the female course participants to actively improve their leadership skills. … Read more “How to actively fill out the role as a (female) leader”

Female leaders in science

Female leaders in science

It is an often cited fact that despite equal proportions of male and female undergraduate students in science, female scientists are underrepresented at higher career stages. For example, in Europe only about 20% of all full professors are female. In addition, women in science earn less money for the same work, they are less likely to get research grants, are less likely to be promoted and hence, are more likely to leave science than equally … Read more “Female leaders in science”