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January (1)

A new start in 2011.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
2010 (32)
December (6)

Happy Festivus!!
Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wimminz in Academia Answers!!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The chalk talk
Saturday, December 11, 2010

cute? or THE CUTEST?
Friday, December 10, 2010

10 mo in the life of Gerty-Z (The one-year meme)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Today I had to fire someone
Thursday, December 2, 2010
November (6)

The joy of the interview
Monday, November 29, 2010

Are you writing an tenure-track job application?
Monday, November 22, 2010

Women in Academia Q&A
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

muddling in mentoring
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lost in translation?
Saturday, November 6, 2010

If you were an incoming graduate student, how would you choose where to rotate?
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
October (6)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How NOT to work in my lab
Monday, October 25, 2010

Out on the job market
Friday, October 15, 2010

Make it rain!
Sunday, October 10, 2010

If I wasn't doing this...
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I *heart* conferences!
Monday, October 4, 2010
September (6)

Should you pay undergrads that work in your lab?
Sunday, September 26, 2010

The scientist-in-training
Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's not a pissing contest
Monday, September 13, 2010

What I wish I knew...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Beery Bladder-not necessarily from a Beery Friday
Friday, September 3, 2010

Ambition, in the world of grant-writing
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
August (8)

A quick note.
Thursday, August 26, 2010

Moving on up...
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sunday afternoon panic attack
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Advice for the new grad student
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The purpose of the K99/R00
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Am I ruining your marriage?
Friday, August 13, 2010

All about ME!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
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I am starting my lab as an Assistant Professor at a Big Research University (summer 2010). I have a super partner and an adorable kiddo, Mini-G. I tend to rush into things and then figure them out as I muddle along. I'm sure that will be true here, too. I hope to use this space to maintain my sanity and share my perspectives on science and academia. These perspectives may sometimes qualify as rants. There will undoubtedly be some crazy times on the tenure track. Gmail me [at] primaryinvestigator

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

I have been a little busy the last couple of weeks, but I have decided to take a break and share some strange observations I have made recently. Also, the f@&#ing website that I have to use for ordering is not functional right now so I can't even get that shit done. *sigh*. Anywho, I am a little too tired to put together well-thought-out paragraphs, so I'm going bullet list on this one.

-So, I have finally managed to meet some other new Asst. Prof. from other dept. w00t! Having colleagues in the same/similar position as a n00b on the TT is great. We shared the few tips that we had managd to figure out and commiserated. One of my new-found holmies, however, has puzzled me. He is constantly acting like we are in some strange contest. I figured that since we are both new faculty, in different departments and different fields, that things would be pretty laid back. Instead, I sometimes feel that he wants to "compare" how we are set up and doing. It is very odd. Right now, my strategy is to pretend I don't notice. Because really, other than this one little tic he seems to be a good guy. We shall see, I guess.

-I have started getting invitations to give seminars in other departments! This is great because it will increase my visibility and also get me introduced to new grad students. Also, it will be fun! Now I just have to figure out how to get invited to give seminars at OTHER institutions and all will be golden.

-I feel like I am getting better at writing grants. Of course, until I get some cash I don't really know how much I trust that feeling.

-My lab peeps are making posters for the Dept. retreat. How freaking awesome is THAT?

-Last week I got to use the fancy new equipment to do a super cool experiment. And it was SA-WEET!!! Today I spent a little time at the bench helping my n00b learn how to do the follow up, which was fun. These data are great: there is the potential that I will launch a whole new super-sexy project. Which, conveniently, is now set up for my first rotation student who starts in 2 weeks! As a rotation project it is the shite! Fun (and straightforward) experiments that can generate data rapidly!

-It is sort of amazing how much more crap has landed on my plate now that the school year has started. I really didn’t expect this. I haven’t been at a University for a while, since I was a postdoc at a Fancy Research Institute. So I’m unfamiliar with the whole academic scene, I guess. Since I’m not teaching this year I figured that it wouldn’t really affect me. WRONG! On the other hand, the energy in the air as the whole thing cranks up again is pretty cool.

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Sounds like things are picking up. Cool!

And keep an eye on the competitive holmie. It could be nothing. Or maybe something.

Dr. O
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I agree with Odyssey...the seemingly nice but hyperactive competitive peeps are the ones u want to be wary of.

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You know, I considered that. Except I can't figure how he might be able to screw with me. We are not just in different departments, but different colleges all together! Still, I'm skeptical and so will be a little guarded. Mostly I don't want to get sucked in and start acting like an asshole. I'm a pretty competitive person, so this is a real danger!

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Sounds like the danger is that it might become a pissing match. And that's a waste of precious time.

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Now I just have to figure out how to get invited to give seminars at OTHER institutions and all will be golden.

Don't worry about this too much at this point. Invitations will start coming once you start getting exciting work published in your new lab.
In the second half of the tenure track you should work heavily on exposure -- travel, call in favors to get invites to give seminars, shamelessly introduce yourself to people at conferences and follow up with emails, etc. There are ways to get out there, but right now just focus on getting money and getting some kickass science out. How long's your tenure clock?

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@GMP: you are probably correct. My tenure clock is 6 yr-I go up after 5, must have it by 6 or I'm out. So I have some time :-)

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Sounds like your competitive colleague is a bit insecure and maybe wants to make sure he's on track.

Prodigal Academic
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I agree with Namnezia about your competitive colleague. Just don't get sucked in to anything time wasting. On getting invited to other instituions--this year I am doing the conference circuit with results from my new lab. I am hoping that naturally leads to some invites, and then next year I will start asking friends to host me when I should have even more stuff to talk about. I hope that strategy will work, and it gives me something to push for.


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Your colleague came in at the same time as you. This means you will both be up for tenure at the same time. IT IS A RACE. He just made it a competition by treating you like a competitor. YOU SMOKE HIS SORRY ASS. Don't you dare back down. You are in it whether you like it or not, he will wish he didn't!

I suggest you play dirty and coy, he will. He's been in competition with his dudebros all his life, he will go for his favorite way to win, so learn his signature moves. It's like a sport. Everyone has their favorite play, their go-to man, their sweet spot... SHOOT ME NOW with the damn sports analogy ARGH. Observe and keep your game plan to yourself, and stay sharp. Don't take your eye off him. If it has to be you two up for tenure at the same time, and there's only one position that doesn't get axed in this budget nonsense six years from now, YOU want to be the one getting tenure. Hold him up to YOUR standard. Smoke his ass. Go get em tiger.

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He is constantly acting like we are in some strange contest.

Ach, he's not a short dude is he? Sounds like my last mentor. Short man complex, he was the poster boy
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