The canonical story of faculty productivity goes like this: A researcher begins a tenure-track position, builds their research group, and publishes as much as possible to make their case for being awarded tenure. After getting tenure, increased service and administrative responsibilities kick in and research productivity slowly declines. But now, a new study shows that, in computer science at least, the majority of faculty members have different—and more idiosyncratic—productivity trajectories. “There are lots of ways people make careers in academia,” says Daniel Larremore, professor of computer science at the University of Colorado in Boulder and one of the study’s lead authors. “There’s some space to revisit our expectations.”
The academic dream is a powerful thing. To be surrounded by brilliant colleagues, working on discovering new insights for the betterment of society, is a heady prospect. To enjoy ironclad job security, to rest easy deep into middle age as your peers in the private sector grow anxious about being laid off, would be an almost unimaginable relief. And to enjoy both the company and the respect of smart, energetic youngsters, not to mention free gyms, lots of time off and good health care — well, it’s no surprise that for many, academia is an ideal job.
Over the last several years, I have had the privilege of participating in or leading teams in various capacities. But I don’t think I ever quite realized how grateful I should be for such opportunities. Someone took a chance on me and allowed me to learn and grow personally and professionally alongside them, as well as […]
When people think of mentorship, they probably imagine talking about career advancement over coffee, or meeting over lunch to chat about how a new job is going. But how central should physical meetups be to professional guidance when so much communication is digital?
Lab heads should let junior researchers take their projects with them when they start their own labs — it drives innovation and discovery, argues Ben A. Barres. Illustration by David Parkins Postdocs are the engines of scientific progress. Typically poorly paid despite their three to seven years of doctoral training, they might labour in […]