For the past year and a half, Lou Woodley and I have been running MySciCareer, a website with first person science career stories. It’s not just jobs in research and it’s not just jobs outside of research – it’s both.
If you just watch the images on the front page for a while (or look at the ones in this post), you’ll see a lot of very different jobs and people come by. Researchers, writers, teachers, politicians, startup founders. The only thing they have in common is that they have been trained as a scientist at some point in their lives.
We made the site because we often only get to share our own story when someone approaches us for career advice, but in reality there are as many career paths as there are people. A lot of those different stories are already online, in university newsletters, on blogs, in society magazines. One function of MySciCareer is to select some of those and feature an excerpt. To read the full article, you then need to visit the original site.
We also post original content, including all the stories excerpted in th eimages in this post. Some of these are commissioned, but a lot have been sent spontaneously, by people who wanted to share their own unique career story.
If you’d like to share your story, you can contact us here and we’ll give you some guidelines and a deadline. The next batch will probably go up in September, so this is a good time to start writing…
The site has been quite popular. We’ve been covered on BoingBoing and io9, and we’ve received praise from people who work within universities to provide their graduate students with realistic career advice. We’d like to be able to produce some print material that they can hand out to their students (postcards with some of these quotes, perhaps?) but don’t have any funds for that.
We have been paying for MySciCareer out of our own pockets this entire time. It doesn’t cost very much to grab a domain name, we got free hosting via a friend of Lou’s for one year, and the site is currently taking up space on the same hosting plan I have for easternblot.net. That’s fine for now, but if either MySciCareer or easternblot.net suddenly gets a surge of traffic, I will have to pay extra for bandwidth.
If you’d like to help us cover hosting costs, or want to support our planned outreach to graduate departments, there’s a donation button on the site, where you can enter your own amount. Nothing is too small for us, and we’d be over the moon if you could help us at least cover the small costs we’ve already incurred this year.
We don’t make any profit off this – all money raised goes directly into the maintenance and promotion of MySciCareer, and ultimately benefits science students (and potential students, and grad students, and postdocs…) who are unsure about their futures.
Small print: We don’t have registered non-profit status so unfortunately we can’t give you a tax break on your donation, but PayPal has restrictions in place for the donation button (which can only be used for charitable causes), so you can be assured that we will comply with their guidelines.
Thanks so much!! Now back to your regularly scheduled lolcats.