The dark side of running a lab

Image courtesy of Ludie Cochrane
Image courtesy of Ludie Cochrane

A lucky few scientists make it through graduate school and a post-doctoral fellowship AND manage to secure a position running their own lab. Once they begin the day-to-day grind of operating a research enterprise they often realize there’s way less time for science and more administrative tasks to do. This administrative burden can be a drain on creativity and scientific productivity. The National Science Foundation (NSF) issued a request for information (RFI) to learn what aspects of administration are affecting scientists at work, and hear their suggestions for change. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), a coalition of many scientific societies, administered a survey sent out to all 26 member societies to collect the data for NSF. The answers they received painted a picture of what it’s like to be a scientific investigator. Continue reading “The dark side of running a lab”

Do as we say, not as we did

In the recent Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Washington Update, there is a letter to NIH director Francis Collins that supports recommendations from the Biomedical work force working group’s recent report. The report recommends, among other things, shortening the average Ph.D. training time to five years, while increasing training in skills targeting scientific careers outside of academia. How practical would it be to implement these recommendations? Continue reading “Do as we say, not as we did”