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careers issue of science

Lori Kohlstaedt kohlstaedt at sbmm1.ucsb.edu
Sun Oct 16 19:58:08 EST 1994

>... This whole thing took on
>a personal resonation with me, since I'm in the same situation.  After 6
>years of graduate school, 2 good postdocs, I find I'm unmarketable (at least
>in the Balto/Wash area).  Can't teach--have no teaching experience; can't
>work for industry--no industrial experience; can't do academic research--
>no grant writing experience (except for postdoc fellowships).  My current
>plan is to go back to school and get teaching credentials and teach high
>school. Any advice?
>This situation in regards to women leaking out of the pipeline is also
>discussed in a more scholarly way in the latest issue of Science (the one
>where the identification of a potential breast cancer gene is discussed).
>Thanks for letting me flame.
>Anne Rosenwald
>arosen at helix.nih.gov

Most of us can't teach and have never written anything except a fellowship
grant application when we are looking for a first tenure track job.  We're
all in the same boat -- selling ourselves on our potential as scientists.  I
think the best thing to do is to be ready to describe an original and (truly
unique) research agenda that will make you stand out from the crowd.  Your
track record gets your foot in the door; your ideas land you a job.  (At
least this strategy and attitude worked for me.)  Even if you are in a
relatively uncrowded field (as I am) you really have the odds against you if
you are too limited geographically.  That's a priority-setting decision for
the individual, obviously.  Moral:  If it isn't too late, don't look for a
"good provider" look for a portable and supportive mate.  Just my $.02 worth
from the other side of this problem.
Lori Kohlstaedt
Dept. of Chemistry, UCSB
(805) 893-8687
<Reciprocal Space, the Final Frontier>

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