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Three | 2015

A selection of current news items for managers of Early Career Researchers.


The European Science Foundation's 2015 career tracking study of doctorate holders offers interesting insights into career progression, geographical mobility and the effect on productivity of permanency in contract conditions. Recommendations include managing career expectations and the training of doctoral candidates in ways that better reflect their chances of securing careers in academia

The UK's Medical Research Council maintains a useful interactive career options map for biomedical researchers. The tool highlights avenues available at all stages of biomedical careers, defines roles and provides case study examples for each.

“Follow your passion” isn’t necessarily great career advice. Everyone wants to do work they enjoy, but this piece argues that following a passion isn’t any kind of predictor of a viable career - let alone a successful and fulfilling one. Pursuing what’s valuable is a more reliable strategy.

The enthusiasm of policy-makers and other advocates of the benefits of public engagement isn’t shared by many researchers actually involved in engagement work. The essence of comments from academics interviewed for a recent publication is that public engagement is "inhibitive and deleterious" to research careers and academic identity. Respondents saw it as a particular risk for early career researchers, who can get side-tracked by public engagement projects.

The debate continues about obstacles and enablers to university-business partnerships. A recent UK report has highlighted pre-requisites and potential strategies to create a better environment for more collaborative research involving universities and industry. While many of the recommendations are for policy-makers, there are implications for universities’ own research management structures and practices. Examples include supporting researchers interested in collaboration, offering relevant training, promoting business connections and dealing with IP issues.

Understanding trends in research funding is important to grant success. That’s a key message in commentary on the results of Scicast’s latest survey on bioscience funding. Analysis of responses from 33 countries, most from the US and Europe, discusses shifts towards applied research projects and explicit priority areas. International collaborations are identified as a popular and potentially useful way for researchers to increase their chances, as well as industry linkages

The Royal Society has published a report and audio summaries of its recent conference on the ‘Future of Scholarly Scientific Communication’. To mark the 350th anniversary of the oldest scientific journal in the world the conference covered current issue such as the future of peer review, measuring research quality and detecting scientific fraud.

Looking for a way to expand your researchers’ experience in communicating science to a broader audience? Elsevier has introduced STM Digest where early career researchers can become ambassadors, writing lay descriptions of topical articles in a range of fields.

Are you responsible for your institute’s or unit’s social media accounts? This blog post explains how to create viral posts and identify the top performers among university social media accounts.

Are you a working parent who feels bad about giving work priority? A recent study out of Harvard Business School offers a positive perspective. The results show that daughters especially benefit in career terms from having a working mum, ultimately being paid more and reaching managerial roles more often than peers who had stay-at-home mothers.

Is your email driving you mad? These helpful ideas and apps were collected by business owners trying to manage the email flood. Many of the suggestions will also work within research and higher education, so do take a look for some much-needed email relief.

PostdocTraining Update

Our next Career Control for Researchers career planning and development program starts on 22 February 2016. For more information about the program and how to enrol your early career researchers, contact us at info@postdoctraining.com or visit www.careercontrolforresearchers.com.

We hope you find this brief news digest helpful.
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