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By BETH | December 04 2010

Student loans. They are sort of the dirty little secret among grad students. Not something people generally like to talk about, because having student loans means you weren’t good enough to have won the big scholarships that the other grad students were able to use to sustain themselves through undergraduate and grad school. And that […]

By DAVID KENT | November 20 2010

After some requests and a few months of “oh yes, I’ll get around to that”, we have created a Twitter account for you to follow if that is your method of choice for keeping your news, blogs, etc organized. We are located at: Just to enrich the post a little more, I think it’s […]

By DAVID KENT | November 15 2010

Quick Hit:  Earlier this week, I published a blog entry with the Stem Cell Network on scientists holding back the details of their data prior to publication entitled: The Royal Society and the philosophy of openness: Are we moving backwards? As it overlaps with many of the themes on this site, I figured it wouldn’t […]

By BETH | November 09 2010

A friend of mine who is close to finishing her PhD and is trying to figure out what she wants to do next (“To postdoc or not to postdoc….that is the question :)”) emailed me recently looking for advice on where to look for job postings. As I compiled a list of the places I’ve looked […]

By DAVID KENT | November 01 2010

It’s term time here in Cambridge and this means that rotation students start passing through the labs (6-10 week projects in multiple labs to determine where to complete PhD research).  This is a curious stage in the development of young scientists, because undergraduate degrees rarely equip students with a real vision of what graduate school […]

By BETH | October 28 2010

Recently a new website – – launched by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada came onto my radar in the form of this news story: Science undermined by politics: federal union. From the article: “The site aims to highlight science done for the public good — much of it taxpayer-funded and carried […]

By DAVID KENT | October 18 2010

Two of the most common complaints heard over coffee in medical science labs and the source of much mental anguish are 1) “Is there any hope in getting a Cell, Science or Nature paper” followed by 2) “Does my career hang in the balance”? Currently, it seems that the sole determinant of one’s first faculty […]

By BETH | October 12 2010

Another site has recently come to our attention and Dave and I though that fans of The Black Hole might be interested in checking it out – it’s called  The Versatile PhD and its mission is to help humanities and social science PhDs develop and demonstrate their versatility as professionals.  We want you to be informed about academic employment realities, educated about nonacademic career options, and supported in […]

By DAVID KENT | October 03 2010

Just a very short note to highlight the upcoming Canadian Science Policy Conference and point out that today (October 3, 2010) is the last day of early bird registration. This conference landed on the map last year and is a total “must attend” for those interested in “science for policy” and “policy for science” type […]

By DAVID KENT | September 30 2010

In light of the one year anniversary, we’ve decided to bring a little more organization to the quarterly summaries that will make a little more succinct, as their main purpose is to help the not-so-regular reader find the articles and links that might interest them.  Any feedback on these summaries is certainly welcome and we’ll do our best […]

By SONJA B. | September 28 2010

I almost entitled this post, When I grow up, I want to be “what all my friends are”.  Indeed, almost everyone around me, apart from a few sane friends whom I treasure dearly, currently holds the title of either MD or PhD or is in the process of acquiring one or both. To many life […]

By BETH | September 26 2010

This is the final entry in the So you want to be a “____” when you grow up series for the year. As Dave mentioned, this series has gotten a lot of positive feedback and we plan to bring it back again next summer, so if you have suggestions for career ideas you would like […]

By DAVID KENT | September 20 2010

This is the penultimate entry in our So you want to be a “____” when you grow up series and we have received some really good feedback on it – one final one to come from Beth later this week.  We’ll definitely consider a similar series for the slow web months of Summer 2011, but […]

By BETH | September 13 2010

I had two experiences this week that got me thinking about the potential benefits of scientists working with designers. First was when I received the proofs of an evaluation report that I’d written – since the report was to be given out to the community partners with whom the program works, it was sent to […]

By DAVID KENT | August 30 2010

I have written before about how scientific information gets (poorly) communicated to the Government in entries about the routes of information acquisition and about getting scientists to understand how policy works.  In my mind, one of the best ways of improving things is to have members of the public service who have a good baseline […]

By BETH | August 23 2010

I had to create a presentation for a meeting at work and decided to try out Prezi, a new online presentation software that helps you to think about giving presentations differently than you would with PowerPoint. Unlike PowerPoint, which is a deck of slides presented in a linear way, Prezi is a giant canvas on […]

By DAVID KENT | August 16 2010

QUICK HITS: 1.  If you were interested in previous posts of mine about how well science information is distributed and received in the UK, then you might also want to have a gander at a recent post that I made on the Stem Cell Network Blog entitled Science, Science, everywhere… 2.  The Council of Canadian […]

By BETH | August 08 2010

My first introduction to the world of project management as a field was in my previous job, when I took an intro to project management workshop offered.  After taking the workshop, I really wished I’d learn about this field during my PhD instead of after it, because the concepts and methods of project management are […]

By DAVID KENT | August 01 2010

If you’re in graduate school or beyond, you have a wealth of experience to draw upon when it comes to assessing quality of educators.  Some were engaging, inspiring, and really understood how to teach, others were boring, incomprehensible or simply not qualified, while still others were clearly unimpressed that they had not yet retired. Along the […]

By BETH | July 22 2010

Since Dave has started us off on the “So you want to be a blank when you grow up” series, I’m going to take the lowest of the low hanging fruit and tell you all about what I’ve learned since becoming a program evaluator!  But first I’d like to mention two things: If there is […]