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Alta Schutte, PhD Professor of Physiology Navigating from PhD to Survival in Academia: A 4x4 attitude is essential!

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Presentation on theme: "Alta Schutte, PhD Professor of Physiology Navigating from PhD to Survival in Academia: A 4x4 attitude is essential!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Alta Schutte, PhD Professor of Physiology Navigating from PhD to Survival in Academia: A 4x4 attitude is essential!

2 Notes to remember when planning your trip: 1. There is no "one size fits all" perfect route in getting from A to B A B

3 Notes to remember when planning your trip: 2. There are, however, THINGS you SHOULD KNOW 3. General PRACTICAL TIPS …take it or leave it

4 THINGS you SHOULD KNOW

5 O If you are not ready to work exceptionally HARD, this may not be for you (read "every evening") No one is going to do it for you. O You need to be hungry for research outcomes – inquisitive, enthusiastic, it should excite you! O Taking risks could sometimes be a good thing. Keep a good balance. O It may sound weird – but this is probably the best and brightest time of your career (without many other duties), and most scientific breakthroughs came from young post-PhD scientists.

6 QUALITY is everything Thus Avoid the easiest routes/methods Stay positive when getting negative feedback – get UP again, and do it BETTER and the BEST way you can. Avoid being "good enough".

7 QUALITY is everything What counts? First author publications NB NB NB In the BEST possible journals (with high Impact Factor)

8 QUALITY is everything What is overrated? Many publications in low impact journals (in many instances also local journals –but not always) Co-authorship as a "middle" author Conference attendance and presentations (in Health Sciences quite easy to get an abstract accepted for poster)

9 General PRACTICAL TIPS

10 1) Develop a 5-year plan for yourself (i.e. your 4x4 route map) Know what you want, and plan on how you want to get there. Have realistic goals.

11 General PRACTICAL TIPS 1) Develop a 5-year plan for yourself (i.e. your 4x4 route map) Young scientists have more time available for research – plan carefully to use your time and energy wisely.

12 General PRACTICAL TIPS 2)Read, read, read You can do so much more if you read and study the literature very well. Also make time to think about it.

13 General PRACTICAL TIPS 3)Get MENTOR(S) Extremely important. This is not your supervisor, but other person(s) that will guide you. They will change throughout your career, and will have significant impact. A loyal, trusted friend/critic/advisor/teacher.

14 General PRACTICAL TIPS 3)Get MENTOR(S) Remember, a mentor is NOT: A resource provider A supervisor for your paper/thesis Just a role model It requires trust, professional courtesy, open lines of communication.

15 General PRACTICAL TIPS 4)Learn as many new techniques/ideas/methods as you can By exposing yourself to learn many things, you broaden your horizons, and figure out what inspires you most.

16 General PRACTICAL TIPS 5)Make use of GOOD opportunities E.g. possible funding opportunities, networking opportunities, postdoc … BUT remember also not to get detracted from your 5- year plan in the process of running after each opportunity. Be wise when choosing which opportunities to make use of.

17 General PRACTICAL TIPS 5)Some personal skills/personality traits will help you to advance quickly in your career. If you don't have these, you CAN work on them … Leadership skills (e.g. being a principle investigator)

18 General PRACTICAL TIPS 5)Some personal skills/personality traits will help you to advance quickly in your career. If you don't have these, you CAN work on them … Good academic writing style in English (courses)

19 General PRACTICAL TIPS 5)Some personal skills/personality traits will help you to advance quickly in your career. If you don't have these, you CAN work on them … Ability to NETWORK. Go and talk to the expert at a conference (prepare beforehand if it is your first time). Or him/her.

20 General PRACTICAL TIPS 5)Some personal skills/personality traits will help you to advance quickly in your career. If you don't have these, you CAN work on them … Get involved with local and international professional societies. Start local, get known, be active & involved.

21 General PRACTICAL TIPS 5)Some personal skills/personality traits will help you to advance quickly in your career. If you don't have these, you CAN work on them … The ability to take own initiative with new ideas – AND to follow-through and make a success of it (read publish it).

22 General PRACTICAL TIPS 6)Build synergistic research partnerships Numerous benefits in working with others (learn from them, new techniques, more data, discuss ideas, multi- and interdisciplinary research is becoming very important)

23 General PRACTICAL TIPS 7)Know where to get funding (and don't expect others to get it for you) Remains very difficult – via mentor(s), workshops, websites and other resources it is possible to be ahead.

24 General PRACTICAL TIPS 8)Do a POSTDOC (all the postdocs in the audience – please ignore since you've already been wise enough to do it!) It is essential – will open your eyes to the world of science, experience leadership and methods from others than your PhD supervisor. Lots of sacrifice – WORTH it.

25 Last THING you SHOULD KNOW 1)LOVE what you do Then research won't be "work" 2 S

26 Last THING you SHOULD KNOW 2) YOUR 4x4 attitude determines most of the outcome (stand up, try again, remain positive, don't blame others or external factors for everything that goes wrong. The BALL is in your court, RUN with it.) 2 S

27 Last THING you SHOULD KNOW 2) YOUR attitude determines most of the outcome BUT you need to protect youself… 2 S

28

29 Thank you!


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