Candid Engineer in Academia - RSS Feed

Insight into Science and Academia from the perspective of a tell-it-like-it-is postdoctoral engineer

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I Work Well With Others

I grew up in a Ph.D. lab that didn't really do the whole collaboration thing. I had friends who would talk about their collaborations, and I just didn't get it. Who does what? What does who? When does anything actually get done? I experienced confusion and a sense of comfort, knowing that everything was always under my control. This lab, my current...

Fair Warning

I am all for calling a spade a spade. I also like to offer fair warning to labmates. Figure 1: Candid Engineer, circa today.

Pick Your Superpower: Fuhgeddaboudit

I often like to ask people (typically at parties, after I've had a few to drink) what kind of superpower they would choose to have if they could have just one. Swirling their swizzle sticks, my conversational partners will tilt their heads to the side, gazing at the ice cubes motoring around in their cocktails. Superpower?, they'll ask. Yeah, I know,...

Ring-a-ling! It's your Mother-in-Law

Starting in mid-October, my husband & I enter that blessed time of year when we are mercilessly hounded by his mother regarding all things Christmas. What you want for Christmas why haven't you two given me your Christmas lists yet I don't like those suggestions, what else do you want your aunt is being crazy again yesterday, I made eight Christmas...

Blot blot, Western baby

Amusing. I give the idea an A and the execution a B-.  If you get bored, go to 3:20- the bridge is awesome. Blot blot, Western baby, got no bands, this shit is crazy. Bad Project- Lady Gaga Parody

Oh Postdoc, Why so critical?

During the preparation of a proposal, I somehow managed to draft my specific aims page quickly enough to be able to solicit feedback. Smartly or not-so-smartly, I gave the thing to about ten people- five professors, four postdocs, and a grad student. Unexpectedly, a very clear trend emerged regarding the nature of the feedback: Sample comments from...

The PostDoc Experience: Reinvention

I love being a postdoc, although I often get the sense that, at least on the internets, I am in the minority. This series of posts is dedicated to some of the more wonderful aspects of this middling, temporary, and underpaid position. - This is not the real world. This world of the postdoc, where the words "you can't" are rarely spoken. Armed with a...

A Frogge in the Guest Blogge

Here at the Scientopias, we've got ourselves a shiny new Guest Blogge. This is a space for some of our non-Scientopian friends to come over and share some of their fine writing for 2 week increments. This week, we have Paolo V. from Zygoma, who specializes in museum science and natural history. Also on tap is FrauTech, a sassy fellow engineer holding...

Applying for "nearly sure" funding

Overheard: "Ugh, I would never apply for an XX award because the payline is so low*. I only ever apply for nearly sure sources of funding." Ahahahaha!!! Let me know how that works out for you, superstar. * The payline of the institute/award in question hovers around 30%.

I want to have my pie & eat it too

I have long loved mathematics. Happy Pi Day, dear readers. 1. Being a postdoc sucks when you are given the autonomy to produce scads of gorgeous data, but you cannot get your PI to publish the goddamn manuscript. 2. Being a PI sucks when you would be willing to spend scads of your gorgeous time publishing a manuscript, but you cannot get your trainees...

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