Searchable abstracts of presentations at key conferences in endocrinology
Endocrine Abstracts (2011) 25 YE1.2

A successful research career

Managing your research career

A McNeilly


MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, Edinburgh, UK.

In these times of restricted funding, it becomes crucially important that you position yourself to be the only possible candidate for future employment in a postdoctoral position or any other career path that you chose. The time to do this is during your PhD and MD studies and during your first postdoc. There are no hard and fast rules about how you do this, but some pointers may help. First, you must have a passion for research if this is what you want to do. If this is a job from 0900 to 1700 h monday to friday, then I suggest that you immediately start looking for alternative employment. Research is not like that and many breakthroughs have come from lateral thinking and for this you need to keep an open mind and be aware of opportunities. Thus you should go to all the seminars etc. that you can since you will either find it most boring or the most amazing talk that you have ever heard. However, often some gem of an idea will emerge, a link to the research you are doing, or a technique that you had not considered. In addition, in the face of the enormous deluge of publications in every field of research it is often difficult to keep up with advances merely by reading, and certainly by only reading abstracts. Thus by expanding your horizons you will become aware of other areas of research or techniques by osmosis. Then when faced with an interview for your next position you can say that you either have first hand knowledge of the methods, have worked beside someone who has used them, or that you are fully aware of the possibilities of such methods or techniques. Finally, a good mentor is very important.

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