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One | 2015

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

What actually goes on in institutions when they’re navigating a search for a new faculty member? This insightful article explains the typical thinking and decision-making processes and spells out the implications for the candidate. An interesting read for those involved in the hiring process but particularly instructive for junior researchers looking for their next position.

How do you foster collaborations between industry and university researchers? The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has published a detailed guide to these tricky but potentially very productive partnerships. The examples and links to support structures are UK-based and the report is written largely for industry collaborators. However, if you are looking for informative case studies on successful research-industry collaborations, or searching for convincing arguments and data to enhance a project proposal, the guide offers plenty of useful material.

Work-life balance is a topic raised frequently with us by researchers and research managers. Three recent articles have contributed to the discussion. First, an article describing strategies for managing research work and life with small children. Second, case studies of researchers travelling for work as a parent. And last, the UK’s Wellcome Trust has published the ‘Returner’s guide to research: Getting back into research after a career break’.

Where do postdocs go? The University of California has released the findings of a study of employment outcomes for its postdoctoral fellows. The data suggests that only a third of UoC postdocs achieve the Principle Investigator position, which is the traditional mission of the fellowship awarded. This adds to a growing body of data confirming that an academic career is no longer the usual outcome for postdocs.

The Royal Society has weighed in with a report on ‘Doctoral students’ career expectations: principles and responsibilities’. As summarised in this Nature article, the Society and other organisations are concerned about the prevailing focus on academic careers during PhD candidatures, while actual employment outcomes suggest the need for a much broader outlook.

How do you win an Ig-Nobel prize as a researcher, and do you really want to? The founder of the prize explains in this TED talk the serious thinking behind the award. The end of the video reveals a surprising new invention unlikely to be specified in your institution’s Occupational Health and Safety manual... .

PostdocTraining Update

Career Control for Researchers: Our next interactive online training program on career planning and career options for early career researchers starts on 23 February 2015, followed by the mid-year cycle starting 1 June 2015. For more information on how to enrol your PhD students and early-stage postdocs for this course or future cycles of the program, contact us at info@postdoctraining.com or visit www.careercontrolforresearchers.com.

We hope you find this brief news digest helpful.
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