Project Developer: Victoria McGovern.” Who can resist such good advice from such wise people? . (3) the manual or excerpts are not modified in any way. and we thank them all for their time and for helping us make this manual a resource worth sharing. president emeritus now of BWF.-focused Making the Right Moves in 2005 told us “You need to make one of these for the rest of the world. who on seeing the U. copied. copy. Stephanie James. support.bwfund. Some parts of Excellence Everywhere are taken directly from Making the Right Moves. Editor: Russ Campbell Designer: Liaison Design Group Copyeditor: Ernie Hood Burroughs Wellcome Fund 21 T. who has been a great supporter of this work.provided informal input and critical reading of drafts. McDonald and Christopher Thomas Scott. and (4) no figures or graphic images are used. and Michael Gottlieb. and help over the course of this project. Permission to use. They have provided personal insights and frank comments without which this book would be much diminished. Thanks to HHMI and to the Wellcome Trust for access to their international awardee networks.S. Finally.O. NC 27709-3901 www.excellenceeverywhere. Many. We are grateful to the team which built the earlier manual and to HHMI for making it easy for us to move ahead with Excellence Everywhere.org ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The course on which this manual is based was conceived and driven by Maryrose Franko (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) and the late and muchmissed Martin Ionescu-Pioggia (BWF). This manual is also available online at www. Alexander Drive P. Requests beyond that scope should be directed to news@bwfund.org. and distribute this manual or excerpts from this manual is granted provided that (1) the copyright notice above appears in all reproductions. The views expressed in this publication are those of its contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. who provided some additional writing.S. or distributed separate from accompanying text. deep gratitude to Dan Colley. and this book owes much to—and draws from—the manual produced from that course.org. Ph. and to HHMI editor Pat Davenport for helpful comments throughout the process.D. Thanks to science writers Heather B.W. Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty. Thanks especially to patient colleagues Jill Conley and Maryrose Franko at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Barbara Sina at the Fogarty International Center of the U. (2) use is for noncommercial educational purposes only. Box 13901 Research Triangle Park. Thank you to the scientists who are quoted throughout this book.© 2009 by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund All rights reserved. many other researchers from around the world—too many to list. and to Jimmy Whitworth and Pat Goodwin at the Wellcome Trust for helpful discussions. National Institutes of Health for their long term encouragement. Appreciation to Queta Bond.

TABLE OF CONTENTS VII 1 PREFACE CHAPTER 1 GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB 2 The Job Search 6 The Job Application 8 The Job Interview 14 Negotiating Your Position 18 Resources 33 CHAPTER 3 GETTING STARTED: EQUIPPING YOUR LAB AND HIRING PEOPLE 33 Designing and Equipping Your New Lab 33 Putting the People You Need In Place 38 Interviewing Applicants 40 Evaluating Applicants 41 Making the Offer 42 Asking Staff to Leave 19 CHAPTER 2 ENTRY AND RE-ENTRY: ESTABLISHING YOURSELF AS A SCIENTIST IN A NEW JOB 20 People You Should Get to Know 21 Support Facilities and Services 24 Working with Human Subjects 26 Responsibilities Beyond the Laboratory 27 Scientists and the Outside World 28 Understanding Your Institution and How to Progress Within It 32 Resources 44 Resources 45 CHAPTER 4 MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 46 Your Role as a Laboratory Leader 47 Developing Leadership Skills 48 How to Improve Your Leadership Skills 50 Creating Your Vision as a Leader 51 Developing Your Leadership Style TABLE OF CONTENTS III .

53 Building and Sustaining an Effective Team 54 Good Practice for Laboratory Notebooks 61 Making Decisions 62 Setting and Communicating Rules of Behavior for Members of Your Laboratory 65 Keeping Lab Members Motivated 67 Managing Conflict in the Lab 70 Resources 97 CHAPTER 7 GETTING FUNDED 97 Understanding the Review Process 100 Preparing a Strong Grant Application 106 Resources 107 CHAPTER 8 TEACHING AND COURSE DESIGN 107 Why Teach Well? 109 Becoming an Effective Teacher 110 The Principles of Active Learning 114 Developing Examination Questions 115 Course Design 117 Teaching Others to Teach 118 Time Management When Balancing Teaching and Research 119 The Teaching Portfolio 120 Resources 71 CHAPTER 5 MANAGING YOUR TIME 72 Strategies for Planning Your Activities 74 Making Choices 74 Managing Your Time Day-to-Day 76 Making the Most of the Time You Have 77 Managing Non-Research Tasks 79 Family Matters 80 Resources 121 CHAPTER 9 INCREASING YOUR IMPACT: GETTING PUBLISHED 121 Understanding Publishing 127 Writing Your Paper 129 Submitting Your Paper 132 Publishing Honestly 133 Promoting Your Work 134 Resources 81 CHAPTER 6 PROJECT MANAGEMENT 82 Deciding on a Project 84 Getting Started 87 Tools for Developing Schedules 90 Controlling the Project 91 Resources IV EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE .

or Supervisory Relationships are not working out 157 CHAPTER 12 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 157 Understanding Intellectual Property Rights 160 Intellectual Property in a Global Environment 163 Case Studies 166 Resources 167 CHAPTER 13 MOVING MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT 168 Regulations and Relevant Organizations 169 Appropriate Packaging 145 CHAPTER 11 COLLABORATION 145 The Collaborative Effort 148 Setting up a Collaboration 151 The Ingredients of a Successful Collaboration 152 Dealing with Authorship and Intellectual Property Issues 154 Special Challenges for the Beginning Investigator 155 When a Collaboration is Not Working 156 Resources 170 Important Issues and Practical Advice 172 Service and Maintenance 174 Responsibility for Materials 174 Animals and Plants 174 Physical Challenges to Shipping Materials Long Distances 176 Resources 177 APPENDIX TABLE OF CONTENTS V .135 CHAPTER 10 EXPANDING YOUR INFLUENCE: TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS 135 Training Others 139 Strategies for Effective Training 140 Different Needs at Different Stages 143 How to Get the Career Help and Advice That You Need 144 Resources 144 When Mentoring. Advisory.


for taking risks. So we set about making this material relevant to scientists starting careers PREFACE VII . and to see good things come of it. and more—that are critical for scientific success and are not taught at the bench. The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is proud to support many excellent life scientists during the early part of their careers. Their replies stirred us to action. they said that this information was needed far beyond North America. and often by helping to make the world a healthier or easier place. by earning one the respect of other scientists. is interested in what it takes to make a good career great and a great career magnificent. and perhaps governments. When BWF’s awardees and advisors who work in other parts of the world saw it. another researchsupporting organization that. A successful career in science pays off by advancing knowledge. Although we are a research funder. Foundations are fairly small in the overall scheme of scientific funding. What we heard back from them surprised us—they did not ask for more money or more scientific resources. we look for the best young scientists and then invest our resources to help them reach new levels of excellence. and for moving their interests between fields to look at existing problems in new ways is a strategy that produces a catalytic effect. The response to the course was so strongly positive that we put together a book to make the material covered in the course available to a broader audience. from bringing out the best in the people with whom you work to being an accurate and respected authority whose fairness and good ideas are known to other researchers. everywhere. The Burroughs Wellcome Fund teamed up with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. from being a good team player to being an independent thinker and driver of your own work. they asked us for help in understanding how to succeed at many activities—managing people. Success as a scientist will depend on many things—from intelligence and creativity to luck. so like an enzyme we hope to pick a good spot from which to bring things into line so that the barriers to activation can be reduced. Several years ago. getting grants. to do their best work. At the top in research. we asked our awardees who were just starting faculty careers in the United States and Canada to think about how we could help them better. Integrity is at the core of a good career. Together we put together a short course for our early-career awardees. people almost universally want the same things: to be excellent scientists. like us. our focus is actually not just on the research but also on the scientists who carry it out.PREFACE Launching a scientific career is difficult. and by providing new opportunities to do good work and share in a better life. We believe that giving scientists room for creativity. Instead. spreading one’s reputation. the region in which we make almost all of our grants. Put simply. research organizations.

President Burroughs Wellcome Fund Victoria McGovern.and middle-resource regions of the tropics and sub-tropics.. regions. Senior Program Officer Burroughs Wellcome Fund VIII EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . healthier. for stories from their own early experiences in starting research careers. Their comments and thoughts are found throughout the book. It would be impossible to create a book that fits the experiences of researchers in every place where science is expanding and new opportunities are arising for young researchers. and Africa and asked for both their critiques and corrections and. and longer.D.” If you are in an institution. Burris. but working in the U.outside our region. or government that is interested in custom-tailoring our laboratory management resources to use in your own country or region. and can improve the economies of nations. The work on re-interpreting this material for scientists in many other countries has taken place in several phases. reach farther. we are glad to hear it. Wherever it is done.” Next. Our work as a scientific community can make human lives better. This volume focuses on starting careers in the emerging scientific communities in the South—the low. Ph. The material here features insights from researchers in Africa and South and Central America. it connects us to the scientists. more importantly. Ph. Then BWF staff sent the revised material to researchers who have established their careers in South America. scholars. and perform even better than you may have thought would be your best. We hope that these will help you feel that you are in kinship and in conversation with these scientists.D. organization. were asked for their ideas. But the material in this book is “open source. Science is an international endeavor. and philosophers of the past and the future. and we hope it may be useful to those in other regions as well. Central America. and the world. We hope the insights in this book will help you build a career where you consistently aim higher. a number of researchers from the South. John E. even though they may be far from you.S. It began with asking North American researchers who work closely with investigators and field sites in the South to provide commentary on parts of the original book that were especially “North Americo-centric. To be a scientist is both a privilege and a passion.

you may not need to carry out a job search. but still under another scientist or official’s authority.CHAPTER 1 GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB “ LA CIENCIA NO TIENE PATRIA PERO EL HOMBRE DE CIENCIA SÍ LA TIENE. in many places people who hold the MPhil or MSc degree and have relevant experience will become program coordinators or managers of complex partnerships. research institute. Still. For example. scientists do. For others. That insight will help even if you find yourself in a totally different country. It is a good idea to be familiar with what kinds of jobs and responsibilities generally go with the degree you have in the place where you will work. The process of obtaining a research appointment varies greatly from country to country and from situation to situation. this may mean a position as the head of a laboratory at a university or as a researcher in an industry or government laboratory. and in many countries there are jobs at each of these levels that can lead to positions of power and responsibility. GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB 1 . perhaps with little idea of how to begin. or you may be returning to your home country after having trained elsewhere. but there are several levels of training for professional scientists. reflects that while science itself has no country. If you will be moving to a new position in the same institution or department or into a job that has been held for you. or government—have the same expectations as you begin a new phase of your career. This book focuses on scientists with doctoral degrees. For some of you. The quote above: Houssay. you are probably starting to think about the next step in your research career. referring to a famous quote by Pasteur. but where you may have secured a job or hope to find a job. this chapter may provide some insight into how to make sure you and your institution—whether it is a university. while experienced people with PhDs will more commonly lead one or a group of research programs. neither your own nor the one where you trained. it may mean working more independently than during your training. You may have completed your training in the same country where you hope to find permanent employment. clinic. This chapter will provide some general advice and strategies to help you find the type of job that suits your ambitions and goals. ” BERNARDO HOUSSAY As you complete your scientific training and prepare to move forward into a position of greater scientific and often managerial responsibility. You may have lined up a job even before starting your training or you may have to embark on a job search.

still try to enter the search mindful that you have choices and opportunities. but this chapter will raise some things to consider as you look for your own answers. make your search a concentrated effort. you may find that many different possible futures are available to you. how will I choose? How can I ensure that the resources I need to launch my career and succeed as a researcher are made available to me? How can my skills and knowledge be used to address the needs and opportunities in the institution and position in which I will work? There are no universally correct answers to these questions. Most people also confront a very basic question: How do I go about finding a job? WHILE YOU ARE STILL IN TRAINING If you know that you will train abroad for a few years and then return to your home country. and one that makes sense for me? How has time away affected my standing at an institution to which I might return? What will my career progression be like if I return to this institute? If I find I have more than one opportunity in front of me. doing so may bring multiple offers your way at about the same time. and any friends and relatives who may have useful knowledge of the scientific job market which you plan to enter. These modest grants are meant to help you successfully establish your research project when you return to your own country.” including personalities not quite fitting. There are many reasons an excellent candidate may not be selected for what seems like “the perfect job. Ideally. if you are training in a wealthy country. Even if resources and opportunities in the region where you will work are scarce. how will I chose between them? How can I ensure that my achievements and capabilities. Making the job hunt a focused and dedicated effort also makes the labor-intensive process of gathering your credentials and references much more productive. and that you are bringing something excellent—yourself!—to your potential employer. 2 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . is it still the next job I want.As you start your job search or prepare to move into new responsibilities. funding being cut. THE JOB SEARCH If you need to find a job. which are available from a number of agencies. As you think more broadly. when it is time to begin moving toward a long-term position. Keep these advisors informed of your scientific and career progress while you are gone so that in a few years. you have some allies in your own country keeping you in mind and watching out for job opportunities that may fit you. You may still love the job that was your original favorite. If you have your heart set on getting one specific job. it may still be useful to think through other possibilities. be on the lookout for re-entry grant funds. will be recognized? If I have more than one job offer. Meanwhile. and governments changing directions. you will confront a series of challenging questions: What do I want and need from my scientific work? What do I want and need from a job? If a job is being held for me. which may have been developed far from where I want to work. young scientists who are slightly senior to you and who will enter jobs while you are finishing your training. you can help pave the way for your future job search by forming an informal advisory group of past teachers and advisors. but also find some other ways forward that will allow you to develop contingency plans in case the preferred job does not work out.

how will you make the time to keep your clinical credentials (licenses. it can still be worthwhile to set aside some time to put together your curriculum vitae (CV) as you are finishing up your training.) up to date? Is the timing right? Have you finished what you hoped to accomplish in your training? Are you ready to succeed at the job you are considering? Even if a position is being held for you or you are moving on to a new role in your current institution without a formal job search. consulting. Mali ” 3 GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB . Argentina In your job search. you should consider the following questions: Do you need to be working at the “top” institution to achieve your goals as a scientist. You should also make contact with those involved in your training and others who will be preparing letters of recommendation for you. or would you prefer some combination of research and teaching. given your personality. The CV is the professional passport for scientists. Abdoulaye Djimdé. rural. and the choices you make will be very dependent on the nature of scientific careers in the place you plan to work. talents. ” In some cases. you will have a greater chance of finding a job that fits you well if you have your own needs and wants firmly in mind. Alberto Kornblihtt. research may be concentrated in government facilities or in research institutes. and the institution you chose. ambitions. and the analysis of previous teaching activity. most scientists start their careers as investigators of the CONICET and/or as teacher/professors at public universities. and it is a document you should always be ready to produce on request. and only then one applies. to let them know that you are about to move on to a new stage in your career. or suburban location? Will personal responsibilities or the professional needs of other family members set limits on what you might do or where you might live? If you are a physician-scientist. In the case of universities. As long as you are passionate about science and have your goals clear. Sending a copy of your newly-updated CV to these individuals will help them remember your experiences and goals and will show them the progress you have made. In some places. universities will be the principal and perhaps only settings for research. government service. will you want to see patients? How much time will you want to devote to research versus clinical practice? If you are rarely in the clinic. and commitments? Do you want to devote yourself exclusively to research. or would an excellent but less competition-driven institution be acceptable or even preferable. a contest includes a public lecture. etc. all assessed by a jury. Career options in specific countries and regions will vary greatly. one has to start with whatever is available so as to be able to feed your family or to look after your parents. your work plan. you will eventually find your way back to science. Apart from the very few companies that may offer jobs for scientists (really negligible).KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT The concept of job-hunting does not apply exactly in the scientific activity in my country. Whatever opportunities are available. or clinical practice? Do you prefer an urban. The position is obtained through open contests where there is not a personalized job offer but a peer review analysis of your CV. Elsewhere. rather than just statements about their own relationships with you and your good character. This will help them write their strongest letters of recommendation with scientific specifics. In both cases the most critical issue is to find the lab/institute or university department where to work.

and other wide-reaching international organizations. Employment bulletins published by professional associations. the supervisor of your current training. But many readers will be able A FEW CAREER-RELATED WEB SITES FOR SCIENTISTS Nature magazine’s Nature Jobs (http://naturejobs. and of research institutes. NARROWING YOUR SEARCH Job offers in your country may be scarce. it is critically important to keep in contact with a broad array of people back home. with some European content. not just family and your closest friends. so that you can find out about job opportunities or changes to a position you have been promised in advance. you should consider every opportunity that is at the appropriate level and involves the kind of work you would like to do. Advertisements in local scientific and medical journals. Science magazine’s ScienceCareers. Colombia Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). Science. we ‘create’ our job by what we bring to the opportunity. other scientists with whom you have a relationship (especially those with whom you have collaborated). This site is primarily focused on American scientists. Quasi-Autonomous Non-Government Organizations (QANGOs). Advertisements in national and regional newspapers and international magazines.org/) contains a career development resource for postdocs and beginning faculty. List serves for researchers. Nancy Gore Saravia. While jobs advertised on these sites and in these magazines are mostly in countries with larger research economies. If you are doing part of your training in a different country from where you will seek permanent employment. particularly university Web sites. If so.LEARNING WHAT JOBS ARE AVAILABLE Reliable formal and informal sources of information to find out about available jobs include: Informal discussions with current and former colleagues—for example. Where some see problems.nature. as well the ministry of education or equivalent government body in your country. The Economist frequently carries advertisements for jobs (mostly not research-oriented but requiring scientific knowledge) at Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). and Nature and in publications devoted to your subspecialty. teachers from your undergraduate education.com) Web site advertises jobs around the world and has a useful feature for focusing on jobs in your region of interest. Often. Job announcement letters sent to your department or your professional society.sciencemag. 4 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Announcements (print and online) in major scientific journals such as Cell. Major radio stations and selected newspapers (announcing jobs this way is a legal requirement in some countries). and your peers. ” Web sites of academic institutions. including technical ones focused on your scientific interests and those of multinational organizations such as the World Health Organization.org Web site (http://sciencecareers. both magazines take an international view and are adding new content and new job opportunities from additional countries as time goes by. including our perspective of the position and setting. government officials and civil servants you may know. but some of the advice will apply to scientists in other countries. others perceive opportunity.

The department’s reputation. However. Letters of nomination or recommendation from your institution should highlight this long-term commitment to your research. curriculum. and political and social climate. In some places. values.” In some countries. Once you have a list of possible job opportunities. The institution’s quality. and then will move them into a permanent and very secure position. a model much like that of the French system INSERM prevails—investigators who become part of the government-sponsored research system are very secure. gaining tenure is not an easy way to convert one’s job into a sinecure. The important thing about a tenure-track position is not that someone has offered you a job for life. mission. chronically unproductive faculty will lose their research space and much of their salary support until not much more than the professorial title remains. research activities. but rather that your position and your institution’s commitment to you are stable enough for you to be a researcher not only today but also far into the future.Argentina There is no easy way to determine how many positions you should apply for. to find several job offerings that fit well and should be considered. Some government institutions will hire researchers for a short probationary period during which they must show they will do well in the job. if your position has a similar level of stability. and collegial atmosphere. Find out about: The parameters and expectations of the position. except for certain limited causes such as gross misconduct or neglect of duty. intellectual independence (meaning that you are the driver of your own research program). Science. Some career opportunities and funding programs require that an investigator have a “tenure-track” or equivalent position. In most institutions that use this system. That is because such a position is expected to include dedicated research space. the investigator is typically asked to leave so that someone else can fill the tenuretrack spot. In Argentina it is mostly the other way around. but former students that want to come back and knock at the door of every institution looking for some lab space. in addition to commenting on your science and the personal qualities that make you an excellent scientist. and—perhaps most importantly—your institution’s clear statement that it is committed to your long-term career success and that you are part of the institution’s plans for its own future. Belen Elgoyhen. At many tenure-granting institutions. a tenured professor cannot be fired. mission. If you work in a place where there are many jobs open at the ” 5 GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB .QUESTION What Is a “Tenure-Track” Job? q&a ANSWER In Nature. If tenure is not granted. compare the advantages and disadvantages of the various jobs against your list of priorities. a faculty member hired in a tenure-track position will work for several years before a formal decision is made on whether tenure—something approximating lifetime job security—will be granted. and frequently in career discussions you will encounter the term “tenure-track. with some minor exceptions—it is not the institutions that go looking for applicants. I know of no positions (with one exception) in Argentina that have been advertised.

Include only papers that you are seriously 6 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Major research projects undertaken.and postdoctoral fellowships. addresses. you may get more chances to make presentations about your work. but remember that job hunting has valuable spin-offs. go ahead and send in your application with an In some countries. Teaching experience. and interests. All higher education. you may put in several job applications at once. this career summary should contain: Your name. This section provides some general guidelines. with specific examples from various individuals. THE JOB APPLICATION How you go about applying for a job varies from place to place and from institution to institution. Invited keynote speeches and presentations. or are considering jobs in more than one country or region. do not apply for a scientific job for which you are clearly not qualified. grammatical. Main responsibilities held in work-related committees. That may seem unnecessary. awards. Talk to those who trained you and to colleagues to find out about the culture at the institutions you would like to approach and what you will need to do to put in a successful application. MAKING A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION Regardless of the type of application process. but in others this practice will seem peculiar and may cause your application to be viewed less seriously than those that conform to a less personal standard. with dates and brief descriptions of the work performed. But if you learn about the position after the application deadline has passed. You do not want to be eliminated at the outset— a sloppily-prepared document makes a bad impression. titles. Awards and honors. if more than one place is interested in you. with degrees obtained and dates. and telephone number.When you pull together your work for presentation. number of children. List manuscripts in preparation as a separate category. Make sure your materials are free of factual. Many institutions are willing to consider late applications. address. and your research itself will benefit from this outwardly directed thinking. Membership in national. Major sources of independent funding. Your self-confidence builds. follow the application instructions or expected protocol carefully. you are practicing skills you will use throughout your career. For example. References. If there is a deadline. including pre. regional. unless jobs are extremely scarce in the place where you most want to work. including names. Your ideas are sharpened by organizing your thoughts and making presentations. Typically. whether it is beyond your current experience level or far below it. and spelling errors. explanation that you were unaware of the position before the deadline. Ask friends and colleagues who have positions like the job you hope to get if they will look at your CV and tell you if there is anything more that should be included or anything that should be removed. You also get better at all parts of the process as you go along. and other contact information. All professional positions held. and your sense of what you want develops as you are introduced to various research environments. be sure to get your application in on time. However. Putting Together Your CV. or general health. and international scientific and professional societies. Do not list every paper you can conceive of writing in the next year. Highlight your name in bold type in your publications list so that it will be easy to see where you fell among the authors. including major reviews. You do not want to waste people’s time and perhaps damage your own credibility.same time. Nor should you pursue employment that really does not interest you. and most will be delighted to see your application if you are particularly well-suited for the position available. it is accepted that you will provide personal details such as your marital status. Publications. Most job applications require you to submit a CV along with your application.

Send along any important papers that are not yet published.preparing for immediate submission. as they would be in a published paper. Depending on the application instructions. Here are some suggested items you might include: A title that succinctly describes the nature of your proposal. State how this research is expected to contribute to other research in your general area of scientific interest. The Research Proposal. make sure that your proposal is clearly written and that it provides sufficient background for non-specialists to understand the importance of the work. and important and how it is the basis for your research proposal. you might land the job and then be expected to live up to your unrealistic plans!) If your plans are not big enough. Again. It also may be acceptable to submit one or two more references than the number asked for in the application. This topic will be discussed further in chapter 8. Typically. It should include your publications and manuscripts submitted or in press. A statement about the problem you intend to work on. especially if you work in the same country. This. as well as pertinent publications by others. these letters are written by your former supervisors. GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB 7 . A short bibliography backing your research plan. Follow any guidelines given when writing your research proposals. For this reason. letters of recommendation can be included by you in the application package or submitted later without passing through your hands. you should check in with the organization to which you are applying about this. Put forward three or four specific aims that address a range of fundamental questions within your discipline. or you may be seen as dishonestly padding your CV rather than as someone who has many irons in the fire. This section should comprise 50-70% of the proposal. Some applications will require you to provide a description of your research plans. you may undermine your case by showing that you are not a realist. These can help make your proposal more interesting to read. however. Statement of Teaching. A description of your research plans. and if appropriate to the proposal. it is usually not appropriate to go overboard. (Worse. then. figures are most useful when they are included in the text. Be prepared for requests for copies of manuscripts that you have described as in preparation or submitted. and not tacked on at the end. Be both creative and realistic. how it may contribute to policy formulation or informed decision-making. indicating the key unanswered questions you will tackle. Follow instructions given for each application. Checking in directly with the office of the person who is hiring is one way to make sure that you do not send the wrong message. A few comprehensive figures. Your research proposal should accomplish one goal: to spell out what you realistically hope to accomplish in the next few years as an employee of the organization to which you are applying. If the job has a teaching component. It is in your best interest to find out which is more likely to be true at the institution you are interested in joining. your instructional style. you may appear to misunderstand the position or lack ambition. If your plans are too grandiose. is another document where insight from others who have landed similar jobs in the same or similar institutions will be extremely valuable. Demonstrate that you have the necessary background to achieve what you propose. A detailed description of the research you conducted as part of your training. Remember. Reprints. and any teaching experience you may have already had. but some might view it as a sign that you are well-connected. If possible. as they usually are when you are submitting a paper for publication. You may want to make clear that the work you are taking with you will not be in direct competition with your former supervisor. Letters of Recommendation. you may be asked to include a separate section describing how you look at teaching. Sending 12 references when three are requested would be viewed by many employers as a sign that you are insecure or grandiose. with an emphasis on what is novel. This research proposal may be reviewed by a committee composed of people from scientific areas outside your subspecialty. useful.

use the conversation as an opportunity to get a sense of how they judge your work. Be aware that although someone may have described this as a “draft. and things you say that are meant to turn any negative impressions of you around could backfire. Or you might be asked to meet directly with the hiring official at a local or international meeting and not be brought on site at all. THE JOB INTERVIEW Depending on the process for obtaining a job in your country. or else they may procrastinate.” he or she may sign it and send it without adding more comments or editing it. in addition to paragraphs commenting on the bigger picture of your science. or it could involve a day long or over night visit to the institution. When you deliver or send them your CV.When you approach someone other than an advisor for a letter of recommendation. a paper letter on the writer’s letterhead stationery should be sent. It might last a short time. addressed envelopes ready to accept letters and be sent. Give those who are writing you letters of recommendation plenty of time to prepare the letters. and then remind them until they send your letters. your recommenders will write the letters themselves and will not let you see them. If you are able to. It is better to buy the stamps yourself rather than have the letter languish simply because this important person was unable to find time to go to the post office. give them your application package. You might meet with several senior members of the institution. point out any strengths you have that they may not be fully aware of. or. even if an electronic version has also been forwarded. the letter might spend a paragraph focusing on your mastery of the technique. Unless a job application specifically asks for electronic submissions only. provide your recommenders with stamped. If the people who are writing your reference letters are established scientists with a secretary or aide. either 8 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . it is not uncommon (but certainly not common) for people to ask you to prepare a draft of the letter of recommendation for them. They do this so that you can highlight points that will strengthen your application—if you are applying on the strength of your experience with a particular technique. You want to lower the barriers to them sending the letters. and on your standing compared with your peers. Your future depends on them. with some applicants being eliminated at each step. a formal job interview may be required. If you encounter any hesitation at all. The interview could also be conducted in stages. In most cases it is better to ask someone who really knows you and your work—not just someone with an important title. so that you can get the format and tone correct. In most cases. don’t worry— many people feel the same way. Check in with the office that is hiring to verify that each letter has been received. or an indication that the person does not have time to write a letter or does not know you well enough to do so. If an advisor asks you to draft a letter. These letters may be the key to convincing a potential employer to consider you for the job. If you find the process narcissistic or are uncomfortable with the self-promotion involved. provide the complete URL or email address for submission. and your most up-to-date CV. not just things you may have done years ago. Tell them when each letter to each of your potential employers will be needed. it is fair for you to ask him or her to give you some examples of other letters. on your character. and for you to ask others in your lab to help you craft the best letter you can. you may want to enlist the help of that assistant to be sure the letters are sent in on time. current. any advertisements or job announcements to which you may be responding. When possible. if letters are to be sent electronically. so check it very carefully before you declare it complete. But what you are trying to do is to put on paper the facts that will make employers want to have a look at you. In some places. and laudatory as they can honestly be. The institution inviting you for an interview may or may not pay your expenses for travel and accommodations. It may be conducted by a single person or a committee. for example. ask others. You need them to be as strong. It is important that your more recent accomplishments are on their minds. But be careful—you do not want to appear to be dictating your letter to them.

But remember that your publication record may make it obvious that you are not asking the person with whom you worked most closely to give you a recommendation. but conflicts are bad for both parties involved. particularly in the small world of research. Convince the interview panel that your competencies and expertise will complement and strengthen those of the research group and add value to existing research activity. Often. you can ask that person to take on the task of helping you advance to your next position. Not having a recommendation from the very person who trained you and supervised your work can be a very significant red flag. if your interests in basic science grew to conflict with your supervisor’s need to use you in an administrative or bureaucratic role. then neither of you were “bad people. those in charge of reviewing applications may contact your immediate supervisor anyway. Sometimes if you have a good relationship with the top person at your institution or department. and should not be surprised if a few years later others turn out to know of the grace with which you handled this difficult situation. You may also be asked to give one or more talks about your research. a letter from another scientist at your supervisor’s level at your institution who can comment on your intellect and hard work and perhaps make a comment on the difficult relationship between you and your supervisor may be critical in this case. during the first or subsequent interviews. sometimes it is best to explain why in your cover letter. In the meantime. It is obvious how and why some bad feeling might come along. and will not always judge you harshly for it. but do not become too paranoid—a soured relationship with a past boss can be inconvenient. Regardless of how the particular process works.” the job was simply not a good fit. Convince each person you talk with that you will be a good colleague. and the job are right for you. Despite your insertion of a higher official into the process. it will be your task to: Convince those listening that your work is exciting and that you will be a leader in your field. Get enough rest beforehand so that you will be at your best.QUESTION What if I do not get along with my former or current supervisor? q&a ANSWER If you do not have a good relationship with your supervisor and cannot ask for a letter of recommendation. You should resist the urge to complain or badmouth your nemesis. This may be effective in allowing you to get past conflicts with your problematic supervisor. and they may be asked to provide feedback about you to the person or committee doing the hiring. the frictions that arise between people can be put in a light that reflects positively on you and your supervisor—for example. Find out as much as you can that will help you decide if the institution. Think and act carefully in this situation. and hounding you forever would probably be a negative career move for your former supervisor. No matter what the format of the job interview is. When important people are consistently bad bosses to those they train. word gets around. be prepared for a demanding and exhausting experience. Be completely candid about the situation. the working group. People do understand that sometimes the fit between individuals’ personalities or between a scientist and a particular job is just not right. GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB 9 .

That does not make a very good slide show! Keep the text on your slides brief and to the point. Knowing this before you arrive. a talk is not presented in the same way as a scientific paper. Most researchers use PowerPoint presentations to deliver their talks. write out the entire talk. and the schedule of events on interview day. underclothes. the jacket and tie can be taken off for a less formal look. PREPARING YOUR JOB TALK During an interview visit. include a brief statement acknowledging those who helped you in your research. arrangements for pick-up. hotel accommodations. To help your audience follow your talk. Try to vary the design of your slides. so that you can make your own arrangements. find out about their scientific interests ahead of time. Next. At the outset or at the conclusion of your talk. Find out whether you will be given accommodations while you are on site. Assume that your audience will be composed of intelligent people who are uninformed about your chosen scientific field. including 10-15 minutes for questions. will save you plenty of confusion and trouble later. Many people who are nervous about public speaking will place every word that they plan to say on their slides. including travel tickets. At many institutions this kind of talk lasts about an hour. divide it into several clear and concise sections. If you will be meeting other scientists. Read a few of their papers or at least skim the abstracts. At the end. Be ready to ask them about their work. just in case your baggage goes missing. but do not just read it— elaborate on it. particularly if you are flying in before the day of your interview. balancing the use of text and figures. Think through what you will do if your luggage is lost on the way. It may be that accommodations will not be provided. It is advisable to carry an extra shirt. You must get your main ideas across to listeners who have had little opportunity to study the details. but here are a few guidelines on how to prepare your talk: First. Refer to the text as you speak. and matching trousers or skirt—may be the best approach. and light toiletries in your hand luggage. buttondown shirt. tie for men. You have probably given a long talk before. 10 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . for example a CD or flash drive with your talk. and give an overview of the talk at the beginning. A simple suit—jacket. restate your conclusions and offer an outline of your future research plans. translate what you have written into the pictures and “major points” summaries of a slide presentation. That will lead your audience to be comfortably attentive to both your text and your remarks. as well as a less technology-dependent backup like acetate slides that go on overhead projectors. Be conservative about your estimates of travel time—you do not need the added stress of missing a connection and being late. exchange addresses or phone numbers with the person who organized your interview so that you can alert each other if there are problems during your travel or any changes in plans. Be sure to ask your hosts ahead of time about the type of equipment that will be available to you and plan accordingly. bring along a sturdy backup. you may be asked to give a formal presentation on your current research. as well as to those whose research interests and backgrounds are very different from yours. DRESS CODE Dress neatly and in keeping with scientific custom as you know it. If you have trained abroad. Resist the temptation to use only bulleted points. but also avoid long sentences. and you know what works for you. If you will have access to email or cell phone communication during your trip. Do not make assumptions about arrangements being made for you—get the details beforehand. You want to make sure your ambitions are in line with those of the institution. Be sure that your slides are readable from the back of a lecture room and that the order of your slides matches your written presentation.ADVANCE PREPARATION Be well-prepared by doing the following before your visit: Organize the logistics of your trip. Learn as much as possible about the institution and its mission. If you end up being over-dressed. talk to colleagues who are local to the institution where you are interviewing to make sure you understand the dress code. thinking of your audience as you write. Remember. If you use computer slides.

Remember that a talk that is slightly too short is much better than one that is too long. practice with one. avoid using light-colored text on light-colored backgrounds or dark text on dark backgrounds. enlist your supervisor. your manner of speaking. as the jumpiness of the laser spot can be a distraction for the audience if the speaker is not used to handling the pointer. or elsewhere. and to avoid speaking about oneself (e. personality. Finding opportunities to talk informally with people from the countries frequently represented will give you a chance to experiment with different levels of eye contact. Keep repeating the talk until you can deliver it easily. Specifically. using your slides as your only memory aid. in some cultures it is suggested to be very polite. and even how much to pursue eye contact may be different from what is right for institutions in your country. including difficult and unanticipated questions.During an interview. pursuing. is difficult to gauge. Finally. in particular. When interviewing with a person with a foreign/international background. they will frequently meet with researchers in the South. If necessary. never make eye contact with interviewers. scientifically trained friends and any students you work with as an audience for a “dress rehearsal” practice talk. and appearance. Make sure that you start preparing your talk well before the day you will have to leave and that you ask for comments early enough to leave time for editing your slides and your talk to incorporate with any good advice you receive. Eye contact. It may be better to focus on only one aspect of your research. not for thorough dissection of your work. In many (but not all) Northern cultures. and your professional appearance. It is important to find out the background of the interviewer and adjust one’s behavior accordingly. and holding eye contact too much is interpreted as aggressive. In particular. it is good to start by reminding your helpful crowd you are looking for insights that will let you quickly improve the talk. A few back-up slides of new work or additional experiments may occasionally add value to any discussion arising from your presentation. ” View your slides projected in a lighted room. Doing so allows you to time your presentation while getting used to the sound of your own voice. New York.) This is a useful exercise as it may help prepare you to respond to comments.g. Encourage the group to ask questions and offer frank criticism of your work. edit the talk down until you can deliver INTERVIEWING IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT When NGOs and multinational organizations recruit. Mali it comfortably within the time allowed. practice your talk in front of a mirror. but bring with them assumptions and expectations that come from institutional cultures in Geneva. GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB 11 . London. these principles may be viewed as major weaknesses. describing your strengths in overt terms). (Especially if you are a very sensitive person. If you will be using a laser pointer when you give your interview talk. briefly dropping and then re-establishing eye contact on encountering a person in a position of power is a respectful sign. Ask the group for suggestions for improving your PowerPoint slides. gaining. Abdoulaye Djimdé. Many images look fine on a computer screen but work poorly when projected. but keeping them dropped is viewed as unconfident or dishonest. your gestures and any annoying speech or gesture habits that distract from your talk. In most places. how forward or aggressive to be during the interview. females are encouraged to avoid eye contact with male interviewers. The dress code. so that you can give sufficient detail within the time you have. your colleagues. how to interact with the organization’s staff during the process. and thus reduce your chances of getting hired. When you feel comfortable giving your talk. whether North or South. Paris. if possible. saving the rest for the question-and-answer session.

“Yes. arrange to have your slides accessible during the discussion period. You may have to ask your host to get you to the room with enough time to prepare. not the leaders. as it is often difficult for other audience members to hear a question asked without benefit of a microphone. Do not worry if some people close their eyes or seem uninterested. Do not memorize your whole talk and give it as a recitation. Then take your time answering. In case you need to go back through your slides to a particular one in order to clarify a point. A computer mouse and a pointer may be enough to keep you from fidgeting—but be careful not to play with either of them.” Be aware that someone may interrupt and ask. “The work I will tell you about today was carried out while I was in the lab of X at institution Y. Let it show that you are excited about your work and the chance of perhaps landing a job working with the people in front of you. It is okay to answer “I do not know” if you then offer to find out about any matters of fact later and follow up with the questioner. In a pinch. arrive early. even if those who remain engaged are the students. Plant your feet firmly on the floor. but what of this work did you yourself do?” Practice how you will answer questions. Even though you may have done all the work presented. If there is a slide where you find yourself saying too much or going off on tangents. Rambling on only conveys uncertainty. describe each research slide in terms of “we. If you feel you will be very close to your time limit. Then plunge in. give an interpretation of what you think the questioner wants to know. Break habits such as rocking from foot to foot or pacing.PRACTICING THE TALK Practice your first few sentences until you can deliver them without much thought—this will help you dive into your speech even if you are nervous. Make eye contact with a few audience members who seem eager to hear what you have to say. buy some more time by asking for a restatement of the question. but relax and talk with your audience rather than trying to say exactly the same words that you practiced in the weeks before the talk. You may generate a whole new line of questioning. middle. pause and take a breath between transitions. so that you can become comfortable with the room and can be sure that your slides are set up and ready to go. Feeling balanced is important to your selfconfidence. take the initiative by pointing out some aspect of your work that you passed over quickly but that you believe warrants the audience’s attention. go through your talk over and over again. On your own. This gives you a chance to use some of the material you edited out of your talk. It is a great opportunity to make contact with faculty after the interview. Continue to give your talk as you practiced it. though—know what you plan to say. Take a moment to think through what you want to say and then speak. ANSWERING QUESTIONS Repeat the question for the audience. Begin by saying. 12 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . paying attention to the words you will use to go through your slides. If questions are slow in coming. formulating a beginning. DELIVERING THE TALK If you can. making eye contact with those who are listening closely. The most nerve-wracking moments are just before you begin your lecture. Practice what you will do with your hands so that you can break fidgeting habits or the urge to put them in your pockets. Focus on your breathing. just as you would if you were telling a friend an exciting story.” Then. and end for your answer. During the talk. Give your best answer and stop. Make sure you speak clearly and loud enough for all in the room to hear. Make every inhale and exhale deliberate to control a rapid heart rate. work particularly hard on moving crisply through the data. Greet your audience and tell them you are glad to be with them. practice deferring questions to the end of the session so that you are not derailed by questions that come up during the talk. it is important to sound modest in your presentation. If you need to.

few individuals are mortified to receive a formal note of thanks and you have little to lose by sending one. Meeting Potential Colleagues. thanking everyone for their hospitality and reiterating your interest in the position. In the meantime. because the institution may be interviewing other candidates. You may be taken out to dinner by some of the faculty. For an informal talk. state several specific problems you want to work on in the next few years. If part of the interview process will include one-on-one conversations with other researchers who will be at or near your level. you can still try to end the backand-forth by suggesting that you agree to disagree until you can talk later and find out where you are misunderstanding one another. but this work is a small part in your greater interest in how one microbe causes disease. it may be time to wait patiently. GIVING AN INFORMAL TALK When you visit a potential employer. Do not become defensive.If challenged. your visit will conclude with a conversation with the head of the institute or department to which you are applying or with the committee in charge of hiring. I may be right—what is the best experiment for settling the matter?” is a good way to turn a disagreement back to the questioner and to the audience. do your best to keep things friendly and to keep any disagreements light. Expect to be interrupted. Questions are more often asked because the questioner does not understand something than because he or she is trying to make a fool of the speaker. Include in this talk both your short. but also be appropriately respectful and deferential to your would-be colleagues. and explain in detail how you plan to proceed. This is a chance for them to evaluate you as a future colleague and for you to determine whether you would enjoy working with them. you may be working on a very detailed signaling pathway. stand your ground politely. you may also have a chance to meet students or other trainees working there. you may also have an opportunity to give a less formal presentation during which you can offer detailed information about the direction of your future research. listen to the criticism and give a judicious response. Understanding a tiny phosphorylation event may seem esoteric. CONCLUDING YOUR VISIT Typically. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Even if you feel pressured. If the criticism seems unfair or there is a disagreement about a matter of fact. Saying “You may be right. Ask before the interview how long you should talk and make sure that in fact the more formal seminar is not expected. Be sure to convey to your audience why the work is important and how your work can make a difference to your field. Show that you are familiar with the details of any new techniques you may need to master. it is customary in many places that as soon as you return home you write a formal letter addressed to the individuals you met during your visit. Depending on where you are applying. This kind of talk is a chance to show that you can think on your feet. Remember that these potential colleagues are looking for someone who will benefit their own work. Be yourself during these events. For example. and that you will be an interactive research colleague. If during GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB 13 . that you respect others. it is important to show interest in their work and ask lots of questions.and long-term objectives—both the purpose of the work you are talking about and what you would like to accomplish during your career. Even if that is not the expected protocol in the place you are looking for a job. putting it in the context of your long-term interest in Dengue fever helps even the least trained person in the room understand why you are doing the work. and often as someone who will be pleasant to have as a neighbor down the hall. Once you have established a sense of perspective. Once the visit is over. Be prepared to write on a white board and bring along an overhead projector sheet or two of preliminary data that will demonstrate the feasibility of your plan. give a brief overview of your research agenda (which you may have included in your job application as a research proposal). Even if the person is being quite aggressive. as well as someone who is a good scientist. You might suggest a followup discussion later.

or to cluster your responsibilities in ways that leave you more time for research. and there may be no money available for start-up support. or at least let you know that you are the top candidate. and. In some places it is expected that you may be able to negotiate some aspects of the job. transportation expenses related to the job? Benefits such as these can be negotiated in some institutions. the idea of asking your institution for help with any of these things would be absurd.your one-on-one interviews you have promised to share data or more information. Make your wishes known to the institution’s representatives. or there may be some room for negotiating about where your lab will be. and discuss what will be done to make sure you have access to them. both in terms of your salary and technical resources. it is important to clearly indicate any resources without which you will not be able to do your work. If being “Johnnyon-the-spot”—very quick and eager to serve any request—is out of place in the culture in which you will work. Decide what is absolutely necessary and what you can live without. Be sure to inform those who have interviewed you if you decide to take another job or if for some other reason you decide to withdraw your candidacy. if you can (this is not possible at all institutions). talking with senior scientists who are familiar with the institution may help you learn where flexibility is available and how to ask for it. EVALUATING THE OFFER If you are offered a position. but not others. still follow up quickly but perhaps note that the fast follow-up is a sign of your enthusiasm for the question. In some countries. while in others several of them are typically part of what is available. Does the institution provide help in finding or paying for housing. and engage them in the process of negotiating with you. be sure to follow up on your commitment quickly. 14 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . not a rush to move things along more quickly. You should gather information beforehand to better understand what is likely to be negotiable. If you are not satisfied with some aspects of the offer. The best way is to ask people in similar positions in the same area about their own experiences with starting a new position. NEGOTIATING YOUR POSITION Once the head of the institute or of the department where you applied has given you a tentative offer. you are in a position of maximum strength for asking for what you need to do your job well. try to negotiate better terms. Re-read the list of priorities you made at the outset of your search to evaluate how the job stacks up against that list. You may be given the only space that is available. Enumerate in detail the other resources— especially equipment not currently on site or opportunities to travel to places where the proper equipment is available—that you believe you need to succeed in the scientific work you have planned. Is this the job that will work for you and for your family? Calculate precisely what you need in salary and other benefits to determine whether the offer measures up. They may remember you negatively if you give them an unpleasant surprise by not revealing your plans until after they have made an offer to you. Even in situations where salary and other personal factors are not negotiable. you may be able to negotiate for more independence. Find out ahead of time what the custom is for the position for which you are applying. there will be very little room for negotiation in salary. while in other places it is expected that you will take what is offered. fees for children. you will need to find out as much as possible about the job and the resources that will be made available to you if you accept it. No matter where you go. if necessary. Even when all of the practical details are pre-determined. it may be satisfactory for the department to guarantee you access to shared equipment. In some cases. can you afford to live in the community on the salary offered? Think about your family’s expenses and other financial factors that will be important to you in the long run. rather than buying you your own. You will have to do the following: Learn the details of the offer. For example. In some places.

This is true even if you are getting “the standard package” and no negotiations will take place. and talk with others recently affiliated with your potential department and institution. If it does not. get everything spelled out in writing—it helps both you and your employer to be clear on what is promised and expected from both sides. especially if there are issues that are not “deal breakers” but would be better dealt with before you arrive. but be straightforward. Even in cases like that. and have a preliminary look at available housing. if such a document exists. When you are contacted with an offer. You may need to do some homework to rule out problems that may not have been revealed during your discussions with people at the institution where you have received an offer. as well as important secrets like where to find the good coffee or who to call when the power goes out. As much as possible. You also want to know whether people who have worked in the institution and department have been happy. It may be easier to discuss those resources before you agree to take the job than it will ever be after you have done so. Ask for a copy of a manual that spells out the institution’s or department’s policies for its staff.. This time. and successful. including what levels of staff leave most frequently and why. It may be that your job is very large. you may be hired to be the person for an important disease in your country. whether key leadership or staff members are about to leave or retire. it would be helpful to know if the working group has experienced internal personal conflicts recently. to get yourself situated at the institution. Use the grapevine—talk to people you met during your interview visit. well-supported. You do not want to be surprised. and staff. which he or she will not pursue.QUESTION q&a How do I distinguish myself from the lab that I trained in if I want to continue in the same research area? ANSWER Get a letter from your mentor explaining that he or she is pleased to know that you will be continuing to work on project X. you will be able to ask more detailed questions about the position. For example. if the head is retiring or stepping down soon. what forms you will need to fill out. if the organization has financial problems. For example. A second interview visit is an excellent time to start the discussion about what you will need in terms of laboratory space. etc. materials and equipment. Be discreet. and so on. time to be spent at outlying clinics. GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB 15 . make sure you know who you will need to see. Talk with key people in your prospective department. Have this discussion with your mentor before you start to write the grant application. you might be asked for a second interview. and the rate of staff turnover. For physicians in clinical departments. you will need resources well beyond your job title to get your work done. job discussions should indicate the extent of clinical duties and clinical support. Often finding someone who is willing to act as a “big brother” or “big sister” as you settle in is the most useful way to go about learning the written and unwritten rules of your new institution.

computers and software. To evaluate the salary offered. The Salary. what approvals are required. Research Money and Facilities. and support for travel to conferences and meetings. and expectations about your role(s) within the organization. including how much consulting is permitted. On the pretext of this line of discussion try to find out (how advancement works) and where you want to be in the next five years. private. In some countries. a technician and other support staff. you need to know whether part of your salary and other support must eventually be obtained from other sources. such as grants. help in obtaining grants. or it may be available only for a pre-determined period of time. In so doing you may be able to estimate the salaries of those that are above you and thus compare with your own salary. Salary.Also try to get the associated advancement grades and some salary scales. This group will be in various grades and will also have different career advancement requirements as well as salary scales. for example by consulting or teaching or working in an unrelated job? What are your institution’s policies on outside consulting. Are you responsible for obtaining money for your salary through grants. Zimbabwe WHAT YOU NEED TO FIND OUT Here are some of the details you will need to ask about. If your salary is negotiable. you need comparative information on starting faculty salaries at the institution offering you the job and in your field elsewhere. This kind of institutional support may be ongoing. research institute vs. or will your institution provide it? If your institution provides it. but it can be useful to draw on friends and colleagues to at least get an idea of the appropriate range. you should seek out sources of information you can use to evaluate your initial offer. 16 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . and if so. university vs. The length of your initial term of employment. Salaries differ not only from country to country. what kind of conversation could yield some general numbers without showing your hand or asking someone else to? You can engage in a conversation with human resource personnel in a relaxed environment (away from the work environment) where you can talk about your vision of the research group that you will be leading. equipment. what is the amount of your base pay (this may determine future raises) and is that base pay tied to a particular grant or other funding source that may expire? Can the salary be negotiated or is it a set amount for the type of position you are being offered? What benefits come with the position? Can you supplement your salary from other sources. as well as on costs of living. type of institution (public vs. length of your expected relationship with the place where you are working.If talking directly about money is not socially acceptable in a given place. after which the head of the lab is expected to obtain funds through other sources. and scientific discipline. but even within the same country they can vary widely depending on degree. You need to know the following: What your job title implies about your independence and authority. Salary numbers are confidential in many institutions. hospital). and what limitations apply? Are there outside opportunities that are explicitly not allowed? Susan Mutambu. an institution is expected to provide an investigator who is just starting his or her own lab with some money for hiring workers and for buying supplies and other resources such as office and lab space. for how long? In other words. ” The Appointment. geographical location. You need to pin down the following: Is the salary guaranteed. The terms under which the organization’s commitment to you will be renewed or not renewed. It is much easier to find out what salaries those you supervise earn than those who supervise you.

If your job will be attached to a university. GETTING WHAT YOU NEED AND WANT How to Negotiate. the status quo is changing. If you do not get a clear understanding of these issues before you start your new job. or other duties you will need to perform). try to establish an understanding and agreement with your superiors about how your time will be divided between your research project and other tasks. present your requests clearly. Teaching Responsibilities. Ask whether you will be expected to serve on committees within the institution and about other projects you will be expected to become involved with. GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB 17 . anything. You do not want to later find out that your assumptions do not match those of the person or people who have hired you. and advising students on their university curriculum and their careers. Government has begun to increase research funding through the National Research Foundation and the Medical Research Council. housing allowances. and think about how to explain those needs to the person in charge of hiring you. Mali Negotiation is not so common with government positions. However. Whether you are expected to draw students into your research work and direct their thesis projects. it is good to ask up front about the resources you need so that you can plan appropriately. If in your institution you can negotiate some of the aspects of your job (such as the salary. posts are mainly clinical. Secondly. The pool of jobs is limited in our clinical setting. you may become overwhelmed when opportunities or crises put your various roles into conflict. Brian Eley. and then negotiate as time goes by and you climb the ladder. Early on. money for research. and levels and types of students). Zimbabwe ” ” ” Protecting Research Time. You may inherit them or be expected to share them with others in the research group. in addition to doing your research. Expectations about teaching-related tasks such as running student laboratories and administering and grading student examinations. you will need to clarify as much as possible how much time you will spend in each of your roles. but do be sure that you maximize your opportunities to do the research you hope to do. teaching can be the most time-consuming activity for new faculty. but this can be done in cases of consultancies.If you are to set up a new laboratory yourself. If you are a physician who is seeing patients and doing research. Take some time to make a list of what you really need. or if you are a government scientist or public health official who has administrative tasks and is doing research. if it works at your organization. You will want a clear statement about the following: Your teaching load (the number of subjects and classes each term. you should know that although it is rewarding. Abdoulaye Djimdé. which does compromise one’s ability to negotiate. You need to know what is expected when your other responsibilities call you away from your research. it is useful to inquire about how to get such resources at the institution. students’ accessibility to you during non-lecture times. for active clinicians. Fortunately. Research is seen as a secondary activity which does limit time allocated to research and the ability to negotiate for protected research time. Susan Mutambu. Be reasonable with your requests. typical enrollments. work terms) in some parastatals (state-run companies) and the private sector. South Africa Jobs are far too scarce! One has to find something. Service within the Institution. One can negotiate their salary and the rest of the package (transport.

title. Even if offer letters are not usual in the institution where you are accepting a job. 2001). 1996. however. The Offer Letter. Golde. one way to accomplish the same thing is to write a detailed thank you letter expressing your pleasure at accepting the job and noting the features that make it especially attractive. Golde. New York: Academic Press..org/career_magazine/previous_issues/ articles/2001_08_24/noDOI. “After the Offer. salary. but they also make life complicated. and Gloria Fry.org/careers/ careerresources. http://www. RESOURCES Davis. http://www. and research support). Knowing what is essential to you is crucial at this time. “Be Honorable and Strategic. Career pages. Online Austin. The letter is usually your contract. January/February 1999. 1996. Martha. be prepared to make trade-offs. 1990.faseb.. congratulations! Multiple offers are gratifying.When the institution responds and you begin to discuss the terms of your employment.org/ publications/academe/1999/99jf/GOL_JF99. schedule. For example.5231522495243752553. Keep in mind. M.htm. Bethlehem.htm. it can be useful to write a letter to the person who is hiring you soon after you have talked about your needs. http://sciencecareers. If presenting a list of the particulars seems arrogant or offensive. Be prompt to decline the offers you are not interested in so that other candidates may be considered for the job you do not want. indicate that you would be willing to share it with other faculty and how it would benefit the rest of the department.org (November 22.15726094919902624321. M. Be as straightforward as custom allows. There have been cases when firm verbal offers have been withdrawn because of a university-wide hiring freeze. HANDLING MULTIPLE OFFERS If you are offered more than one job. Whether you should play the institutions against one another to obtain a better offer varies from place to place. Chris. so take it seriously. Heiberger. and Julie M. the fruits of your negotiations should be reflected in an official letter from the institution offering you a job.sciencemag.” Academe: Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors. Chris.aaup. Mary M.” ScienceCareers. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.org (August 24. The important thing is to deal honorably with all of your suitors. The Academic Job Search Handbook. 2002). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Vick. Six Steps to Successful Interviewing: How to Build Your Reputation by Picking the Winners.g. Rehrig. It is much better to try to move a deadline than to miss one completely.org/career_ magazine/previous_issues/articles/2002_11_22/ noDOI. http://sciencecareers. Talk confidentially to some very trusted advisors to gauge the situation where you want to work. Before the Deal: Negotiating a First Academic Job. Scientific Papers and Presentations. 44–49.sciencemag. “You’ve Worked Hard to Get This Far. In it. process. PA: College Placement Council. Work with the institution to craft as comprehensive a letter as possible. that it can be risky to decline all your other offers before you have accepted your first choice in writing. ask for an extension of the deadline if you need to. and requirements for your job. At some institutions. Norita H. the letter should detail the timing. In addition to the basics (e. you can restate what he or she has said regarding the particulars of the job. 18 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Jim. if you are asking for a piece of equipment. If you need to delay making a decision.” ScienceCareers.

You may also not be as familiar with the current system in your home country.CHAPTER 2 ENTRY AND RE-ENTRY: ESTABLISHING YOURSELF AS A SCIENTIST IN A NEW JOB “LE PRÉSENT SERAIT PLEIN DE TOUS LES AVENIRS. and so you may have many advantages in moving your scientific ambitions forward. it can be frustrating to see those you trained with “race ahead” with their careers in a richer country when you return to a place where doing science is more difficult from a practical standpoint. It may be difficult to adjust after working in a different system for so many years. The quote above: Gide says that the present would be full of possible futures if the past hadn’t already chosen the story. For example. The advantage of training abroad is that you get exposure to the latest approaches and ideas from the broader community. and handling your own administrative tasks. ANDRÉ GIDE ” Many scientists decide to train abroad and then return to their home countries to obtain a permanent position. When you return. before you had gained a true understanding of how and why things work in your own country’s scientific system. If you trained in a country with many resources. you probably had access to state-of-the-art facilities. And even if you maintain a high rate of work. you may not have maintained the necessary connections to help you find a job in your homecountry. and conferences. training abroad can pose special challenges to a job search. Also. Challenges you may face include limited research support and its attendant need for more time spent on preparing and revising budgets. particularly if you left your country very early in your professional training. ENTRY AND RE-ENTRY: ESTABLISHING YOURSELF AS A SCIENTIST IN A NEW JOB 19 . Even if you are doing well. including human resources management and procurement of materials. You will meet people with whom you will be able to collaborate for years to come. remember that science does not proceed at the same pace in all countries. especially when stocking your laboratory with supplies and equipment for the first time. your basic research may be slowed as you respond to your country’s or region’s needs for practical solutions to immediate health problems. so that the fact that you published in top-tier journals while training abroad may not hold as much weight as having the right connections in your home country. at first you may be very frustrated with how slowly things get done. the ways of judging scientific accomplishments differ between countries. reading and modifying contracts. SI LE PASSÉ N’Y PROJETAIT DÉJÀ UNE HISTOIRE. major scientific publications. In addition. But at the same time.

who can advise you about the policies of the university and safe procedures for controlling research risks. colleagues with whom research collaboration is possible. They may include: Heads of departments and divisions Senior scientists within your own department or division Senior scientists in other divisions who share your research interests Senior physicians (if you are a physician-scientist) It is a good idea to get acquainted with faculty in your own department and in other departments whose research interests are complementary to your own. You may find. Mali What happens if I outrank my advisor when I come back? You must always bear in mind that outranking your advisor will be a sore point for him or her in most cases. This should be done in such a way that he feels that he is truly part of the process. Exchange rate fluctuations may eat away at grants from international funders. Abdoulaye Djimdé. such as when the head of your department or division retires or moves on to another position. These individuals will also be valuable in preserving stability when inevitable changes come. You should get to know administrators in your department or division who can help you with matters such as requesting maintenance. PEOPLE YOU SHOULD GET TO KNOW ” As a beginning investigator. Be humble and respectful: work hard on your relationship with him or her. one should be careful not to be taken advantage of. The advisor should also be a part of the planning and implementing process of your research programme. tracking expenditures. and you should handle this situation carefully. Communication (including in writing) in all aspects of your work copied to his supervisor is very important. Your advisor may feel outranked in terms of: qualifications grants sourced technical expertise publications One way to overcome this would be to tactfully get your advisor involved in grant proposal writing (if he or she is a good scientist) that will boost the overall profile of the research section where both of you are. Your network of nearby colleagues may be smaller than you have grown used to. No matter how well trained you’ve come back. and/or colleagues with a good understanding of any health and safety risks associated with your research. It is in your interest to be humble and open minded. However. You can also use your technical expertise to bring into the section some funds that can be used by the section as agreed upon by you and your supervisor. you will want to learn quickly which individuals can affect your career progress. for example. Susan Mutambu. purchasing. and you may have less access to the informal transfer of knowledge that happens when there are more scientists working closer together. Zimbabwe ” 20 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Maintenance and calibration of equipment may be sub-optimal and you may find yourself handling those tasks yourself. he or she is better connected and will know many more things that can help you readjust.equipment and supplies. hiring staff. and a host of other issues you will not have time to deal with in detail.

you are probably already familiar with the traditional campus-wide resources and some core facilities at your institution. Nancy Gore Saravia. and services to test the integrity of safety equipment. If you are not at an institution that is primarily focused on research. and for disposing of hazardous chemical or biomedical waste. Your institution may have an office to help you with this responsibility by providing safety training programs. scientific integrity and the ethical conduct of research are weak. Support services include libraries and media centers. Universities often have rules for safety. ” HEALTH AND SAFETY It is important that you become familiar with the health and safety guidelines that apply to your research.” and administrative offices established to help faculty complete grant applications and comply with regulatory requirements. but even if you are at an institution that does not. Requirements for carrying out studies on animals. risk assessments. you must know what centralized facilities exist to support you. technical assistance.SUPPORT FACILITIES AND SERVICES Some universities provide considerable support to aid faculty in their activities. drugs and approvals for research that is specifically regulated in your country—for example. or stem cell research. To save your time and to be compliant with your institution’s rules and customs. but may never have dealt with administrative support services. Listed below are some issues for which you may find some administrative support at an institution that has a large research operation. you should make sure the members of your research group know the hazards that may be present in your laboratory. If you are remaining at or returning to the place where you trained. regulatory compliance assistance. In many developing countries it is possible that government policy and infrastructure to regulate safety. if you intend to use radioactive materials. are trained in safe work habits. Licenses needed for the use of proprietary reagents and materials. or perhaps even non-existent. work with certain dangerous pathogens. REGULATORY COMPLIANCE There may be an office or committee at your institution to help keep track of the licenses and approvals you will need to comply with government regulations for research. You may need to find out about: Requirements for radiation safety. recombinant technologies in organisms that accidentally or purposely could be released into nature. Requirements for using lasers or acutely toxic chemicals. scientific or technical services commonly referred to as “core facilities. Institutionalization of regulatory guidelines and policy on scientific integrity and the ethical conduct of research will often require proactivity by the scientific community. ENTRY AND RE-ENTRY: ESTABLISHING YOURSELF AS A SCIENTIST IN A NEW JOB 21 . Requirements for the possession and use of bloodborne pathogens and other infectious materials and for recombinant DNA research. Colombia Approvals for human subjects research. or you may have to develop these capabilities yourself. you may find that you need to handle these important concerns yourself. and know how to deal with any emergency that may arise.

Is your institution ready to apply for international funding?


It takes some preparation to get ready for managing grants from most major funding organizations. If your institution has not already been pursuing grants from major funders, you yourself may have to see to it that the clerical work to get ready for funding gets done. This preparatory work is not especially difficult, but it can be bureaucratic and time-consuming. Most large funding organizations now or will soon require electronic submission of grant proposals. Funders supported by governments, such as the National Institutes of Health in the U.S., may require your institution to be registered and given an identification number, which will be used on all grant-related communications with the agency, before you can put in a grant application. Uploading grant applications to electronic submission systems can also be a time-consuming task. Each piece of the grant, from the proposal itself to the budget forms, may require a separate document to be uploaded to the funder’s online form, and others may be asked to submit electronic letters of recommendation and collaboration agreements before your proposal is complete. If your internet connection is slow or frequently interrupted, even though you begin to upload a document, it may not be properly transferred to the funder’s computer. Incomplete grant application forms will generally be rejected by the funder’s computer system, sometimes leaving one mystified about which of the many parts of the application has triggered the rejection. If your institution plans to become more involved in seeking grants, it can be very useful to have clerical staff who can take care of background work such as registering your institution for ID numbers with various funders and phoning or emailing funders to straighten out computer glitches. Whether you have clerical staff to help or will be doing the submission on your own, be aware that until you have conquered these systems’ learning curves, the process can be very slow. Begin the process as soon as you know you will be submitting a grant to a particular agency, and begin submitting the grant several days—perhaps two weeks—before the agency’s deadline to allow time for straightening out any problems that may arise.

Your institution may have individuals who can tell you about available university financial support and help you apply for it, and can provide information about outside funding opportunities. Some institutions have complex procedures in place for submitting grants—many signatures may be needed. You should find out what the procedure is at your institution before you write your first grant so that you will not run into administrative obstacles as you race to meet a grant deadline.

Some institutions have an office to manage the patenting and licensing of any discoveries made at the university. (See chapter 12 for a detailed discussion of technology transfer and intellectual property.)



You may be required to go through a specific committee or office at your institution to buy equipment and supplies. Its staff may be familiar with the full range of vendors and products and may be able to help you negotiate prices. Staff members may also be knowledgeable about regulatory and shipping requirements related to the products they buy. They may also keep track of payments and receipt of goods, thereby providing a valuable accounting function for your lab. If there is not such an office, you might consider finding a good accounting software program to use to keep track of spending and resources.

One of the lessons I have learned as a student in a foreign university and as part of a university in Costa Rica is the importance of keeping good relations with and learning from administrative staff—executive secretaries, administrative assistants, financial officers, etc. Even if one is a good researcher, one may not have good administrative skills. Besides, large organizations like universities develop a large set of regulations, and it is difficult to keep track of all of them.
Gilbert Brenes Comacho, Costa Rica

Large institutions may have administrative “human resources” staff people who can help you hire research staff to work in your laboratory, or you may be responsible for advertising the job and attracting candidates yourself.


” q&a

Is your institution ready to administer grant- funded work?

If you are at a well-known training institution, excellent students may be drawn to you by the chance to work at the institution. At smaller or less well-known institutions, attracting students may be more difficult, and forming alliances with (including, perhaps, getting faculty appointments at) other institutions may be very useful if training a new generation is important to you.

Your institution will be responsible for a variety of tasks, ranging from assuring good accounting for financial support you may receive to accounting for how much of your working day is spent on a project. If your research touches on human subjects, uses animals, or requires application of “Good Practice” guidelines discussed on page 25, there is administrative tracking that must be done. Hiring institutional clerical staff will make life easier, but if hiring staff for this work is impossible, remember to budget your own time for the required administrative tasks. Without timely and proper accounting and reporting procedures for grants management, the flow of money from funded grants will likely stop and agencies may be reluctant to support you in the future. Failing to keep up with administration of human, animal, and good practice requirements could result in your work being stopped by regulatory agencies until you can prove that proper procedures are in place.

The public relations or communications office at a research institute keeps the outside world informed about the achievements of the institution and its scholars. Its staff maintains contact with the news media and can help you prepare for an interview, translate your findings into “sound bites,” and learn how to field questions comfortably. If such an office exists in your institution, individuals in it may have a personal interest in reading and editing your grants and scientific papers, but this may or may not be part of their official job.




Whether you will be using invasive techniques or simple surveys, before you work with human subjects you must obtain the approval of your institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Independent Ethics Committee (IEC). The IRB or equivalent committee at your institution is responsible for ensuring that all research done with the institution’s participation is in line with international standards for what experiments can and cannot be done with human beings. Research involving non-human animals and some ethically contentious work on plants is also regulated, but falls under different sets of standards. Why do IRBs exist?
To protect the rights and welfare of human subjects. To ensure compliance with existing regulations. To prevent conflicts of interest. To ensure that all research conducted at a facility is reviewed according to a uniform standard.

Code, emerged from the trial verdicts. Among several important statements, the Code firmly established the concept of informed consent. The Nuremberg Code stated:
The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonable to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment. The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.

Why does an ethical person need IRB review and approval?
No one can be completely objective about their own work. People underestimate the risks involved in things they are very familiar with. People overestimate the benefit of things that are important to them.

After World War II, several Nazi physicians were put on trial for their participation in horrendously abusive medical experiments done on concentration camp prisoners. The first codification of ethical principles surrounding the use of human subjects in scientific research, the Nuremberg

In 1964, the Nuremberg Code was adapted by the World Medical Association into a standard for therapeutic research done in humans, the Declaration of Helsinki. The Declaration has been amended several times since then, and continues to be one of the international standards used for the conduct of clinical research. A 1975 revision of the Declaration established the idea of review by an independent institutional committee. Revisions to the Declaration of Helsinki continue, but there are



including whether subjects are inappropriately lured to participate. but until unified standards can be established. however—there is also Good Feng Shui Practice (GFSP). Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) is the most dominant of them. Japanese. Good Regulatory Practice (GRP). Many national ethics bodies have pulled away from use of the Declaration of Helsinki so that they can continue to allow research that will improve human lives even if it is not up to the standard of care available to the world’s richest people. It is meant to assure that not only are human subjects protected. rules for research on women. reporting. to focus on both ethical and technical issues in developing new therapeutics. THE GxPS In 1990. Countries and corporations that are using GxP often insist that work done with their support must be carried out according to certified GxP standards. and more. The buzzword has escaped. Although there is considerable overlap between the competing standards. Efforts are being made to align the standards better. rules for ethics review around the world may remain contradictory and confusing. which are very involved in pharmaceutical development. analyses. recording. This standard makes it difficult to test improved therapies that may yield better clinical outcomes but will not come up to the benchmark of the worldwide best standard of care. but also that data from human trials meets the highest quality standards. the differences between them are very important. auditing. informed consent. Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and others now exist in science and science-related manufacturing. The Organization for Economic Co-ordination and Development has produced Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards. It provides a framework for design. conduct. rules for research in especially vulnerable groups such as children or the mentally ill. American. Workshops for learning the rules and procedures are becoming widely available. performance. monitoring. focuses on documenting the flow of products through manufacturing and on quality control in manufacturing of foods and drugs. performance. and other countries’ national interests related to development of pharmaceuticals. especially in lower resource countries.now competing standards. especially in the fields of pharmacology and toxicology. choices of appropriate experimental controls. The Declaration of Helsinki holds that in therapeutic trials. confidentiality. Good Distribution Practice (GDP). which are meant to improve rigor in planning. not as an initial for anything). The CIOMS International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects cover topics that include ethical review (the review committee process). the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (usually called GETTING STARTED: FINDING AND MOVING INTO A JOB 25 . It now brings together European. they are called the “GxPs” (with the ‘x’ acting like a mathematical variable. As a group. and archiving the results of experiments. and reporting of clinical trials. Other harmonization efforts have produced other sets of standards. Good Clinical Practice. Good Tourism and Hospitality Practice (GTHP) and more. especially while pregnant. which is not yet as well-harmonized as GCP and GLP. rights of anyone injured by the research to get treatment and compensation. Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). the “Conference on Harmonization” or ICH) was formed. monitoring. The ICH has developed a separate standard. participants are entitled to the worldwide best standard of care.

awards. So.RESPONSIBILITIES BEYOND THE LABORATORY As a scientist at a research-oriented university or a research institute. TEACHING You may find juggling your teaching and research responsibilities to be a bit overwhelming at first. laboratory safety. Generally. you also need to be judicious in your choice of assignments. Papua New Guinea ” 26 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Although you should take this responsibility seriously. ask for a detailed description of what will be expected of you in terms of time commitment and the nature of the decisions to be made. try to find out about the meeting schedules and workloads of these committees. If you are asked to serve. In addition. as well as being a good way to bring in scientists with whom you may want to collaborate. human subjects research. If there are any “how to teach” courses offered on campus. do give you a good return on your time investment.” Launching a research career in biomedical sciences in low-resource environments in disease-endemic countries is a huge challenge. before you accept a committee assignment. you may also have to look after patients. teaching. and long-term planning for the university. You might also want to be on a committee that puts together a seminar program or scientific meeting. Other committees may deal with matters irrelevant to your concerns as a scientist. you may have to perform various administrative functions at your institution. Serving on a search committee for hiring new staff may give you a voice in deciding who a new colleague will be. take them. Moses Bockarie. COMMITTEE WORK You may be expected to participate in one or more committees or groups at a university. However. Some committees are very labor-intensive. committees that are responsible for case-by-case review of individual applications or projects are the most labor-intensive. But you may also be required to teach classes and to train the people who work in your laboratory. and if you can. however. No matter when your teaching duties begin. ask permission to sit in on a few of your colleagues’ lectures to see how they handle their classes. Success may depend more on creativity and luck than the extent of knowledge about the subject. This will give you a chance to invite leaders in your field to visit your institution. take the time to prepare for them. and if you are a physician. the workload of a policy committee that initially sounded light may suddenly expand when it finds itself dealing with a “hot” issue. Ask the head of your department and senior faculty for advice on balancing committee work with your other obligations in the early years of your career. Work on an admissions committee for graduate students might be worthwhile because it will introduce you to students who could work in your lab. ethics. hiring new faculty. There is much more detailed discussion about teaching in Chapter 8. Bear in mind that teaching gives you an opportunity to meet students who may be interested in doing research in your laboratory. It may help to talk with your colleagues about which committees are important to your success and which are potential time-wasters. “Teaching and Course Design. A good strategy is to try to get on a committee where your expertise will be useful but you will not be overburdened. Others may deal with politically sensitive matters that may be difficult for a new researcher. In these environments a genius is best defined by Thomas Edison’s adage—90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. you may focus principally on research. Your university may have a number of committees that take care of issues such as promotion of faculty. Many committees.

letting those above you know that you have been invited to participate is important. The people you should get to know locally should also include politicians and public servants in the appropriate government departments. In addition. you may owe allegiance to several constituencies —to the university or research institute that supports you. you may find opportunities to consult with commercial entities such as biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies in your own country and abroad. Remember. Both you and your home institution stand to benefit from relationships that extend your reputation. If you are at an institution where such guidelines are not in place. It is easy to be misunderstood or quoted out of context. Participating in industrial labor actions (strikes). You may also have opportunities to participate in educating the public about science and how it affects them. It may help to have a letter of invitation that clearly specifies that your expertise is the reason for the invitation. But remember— the institution that employs you may have primary claim to your labor and your allegiance. Many universities with faculty involved in this kind of work have developed explicit guidelines limiting the extent of a staff member’s work with other parties. add to your knowledge and skills. at schools or at community events. If you are worried that your superiors will take these opportunities for themselves or resent you for having been offered such opportunities. talk to a trusted advisor about how to proceed. Papua New Guinea ” 27 ENTRY AND RE-ENTRY: ESTABLISHING YOURSELF AS A SCIENTIST IN A NEW JOB . It is critical that you know your institution’s policies regarding your work outside the scope of university or research institute employment and your relationships with outside parties. PUBLIC SERVICE As your career progresses. Again. Relationships with the news media and with government and political agencies. you need to be aware of the university’s or institute’s rules and expectations with regard to: Service in professional associations. Moses Bockarie. To keep your outside activities appropriate.SCIENTISTS AND THE OUTSIDE WORLD If you are based at a university or research institute. and to the general public that stands to benefit from your research. Treat these invitations as a serious responsibility. including limits on consulting activities. Conflict of interest and conflict of commitment. These opportunities can be both enjoyable and rewarding. or testify before government bodies on the meaning of your work or its ethical or public policy implications. it is still prudent to check in with those above you before you take on a significant outside commitment. CONSULTING As your career develops. Practicing what you want to say before the event will help you deliver your message clearly. to your profession. you may be called upon to serve on boards of directors or commissions. you may welcome the added income. and may result in practical applications of your discoveries. anything you say in public will reflect on your institution. You will need their support if you require funding from UN organizations like the World Health Organization and aid agencies like USAID.

financial. It also discusses some of the professional responsibilities you may have to fulfill outside the laboratory. you will need to: Get to know people who will support your research efforts. If your role includes being the head of a laboratory or major project. you are entering into a new set of relationships with your professional colleagues. and international standards for work involving human subjects or collecting samples from the field. Find out what the expectations are for independent researchers with regard to how much they should publish. If you have done part of your training abroad. which may be composed of academic. and may have a say in decisions about faculty appointments and promotions. it is important to keep your eyes open and not to overlook or underestimate those around you. and heads of the technical units and the administration will make decisions on finances. it will give you some insights into how decisions about promotions are made and how you can maximize your chances of being promoted. ORGANIZATION OF A “TYPICAL” UNIVERSITY Although the major goal of most universities is the advancement and dissemination of knowledge. but many will have the following people in charge: A board of directors or governors. in the case of physicianscientists. This chapter provides you with a starting point for obtaining this type of knowledge.UNDERSTANDING YOUR INSTITUTION AND HOW TO PROGRESS WITHIN IT You have no doubt spent many years in academic institutions and are familiar with their overall structure. and what other activities they need to perform. Finally. you will need to reacquaint yourself with the structure of institutions in your own country. proper accounting and handling of paperwork for granting agencies. as fully trained scientist. patient care. universities also need funding to support their activities. These individuals could be anyone from senior researchers to clerks. promotion of personnel. and institutional advancement. A typical research institution may be composed of a director. in particular who will be making decisions about how you advance in your career. section or unit heads and support services that include technical and administration sections/units. including who administers the funds to run your laboratory. It may be that if you are at a quite new institution or the first researcher doing your kind of work. If you are going to work in a university setting. including the head of your department or institution and any more established researchers nearby who can serve as advisors throughout the next phase of your career. including. Usually a top management team that includes the director. one or more deputy directors. it can be useful to learn the paths through which decisions are made. Early on. and community leaders who hold appointed or elected positions with specific terms. including teaching and service and. as well as the channels through which money flows. 28 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . whether they should seek outside funding and if so how much of it. researchers. what support services are available to you. Perhaps for the first time. you may have to deal with many of your institution’s administrative offices. deputy directors. and any policies about laboratory safety and ethical issues that apply to your work. and management decisions. Know about the organization’s research infrastructure. Understand how your organization is run and who reports to whom. Sometimes there are people who are not technically “in charge” but are key to your getting resources (or in some cases have the ability to thwart your efforts). you will have to help your organization get up to speed on things like safety standards. A university must seek revenue from a variety of sources. But now. business. A board meets regularly to review all major policy. in some cases. Universities across the world vary in organizational and reporting structures. Watch carefully to understand hidden power structures that may be important to your success. appointments.

directors of graduate schools. each headed by different individuals. A number of individuals with high-level titles— vice presidents. appointment of new faculty. pro vice chancellors. If you will report to more than one person. a more senior scientist who organizes the activities of a group of researchers working on related aspects of a problem. student affairs. deans. or departments. or in some places to a group leader—that is. If you have an appointment in more than one department. you may have to report to more than one individual. and so on. maintenance of facilities. Within these units. a large university may contain a School of Engineering. and fundraising. or in a department and in one of the university’s separate research centers or institutes. He or she is also the university’s public spokesperson. departments of study. vice rectors. information technology. or a Faculty of Medicine. dealing with “big picture” issues such as relationships with the government and with other funding bodies. provosts. you will primarily report to your department or division head. divisions. THE STRUCTURE OF ONE LARGE UNIVERSITY (drawn from a South American institution) Board Board and Office Manager Executive Secretary EXECUTIVE TEAM: President Committee Secretary Legal Secretary Exec Manager Corporate Affairs Vice President Research Exec Dir Finance Exec Dir Tech & Innov Exec Dir Operations Exec Man Cap Dev Exec Man Res Admin & Mgmt Exec Man Strategic Res Initiatives Exec Man Knowledge Mgmt Exec Man HR Man IT Man Operations Strategic Research Committee 18 Intramural Unit Directors 22 Division Managers ENTRY AND RE-ENTRY: ESTABLISHING YOURSELF AS A SCIENTIST IN A NEW JOB 29 . and departments of research. patenting and licensing issues. These individuals may have significant input on your appointment and career development. complex university.C O N S U LT T H E FA C U LT Y H A N D B O O K If you take a job in a large. or a Division of Public Health and Sanitation. as well as relationships with alumni. which are also often headed by powerful individuals. Many universities are organized into smaller schools. research funding. such as budgets. chairs of departments. and similar positions may look after different areas of academic life. or faculties—for example. there may be smaller ones. rectors. A president or chancellor who has general oversight of the university’s academic programs and financial health. you should try as much as possible to get these lines of command and responsibility in writing as described in the previous section. regulations for research involving human subjects.

You may have to demonstrate that you are willing to work for the betterment of the university. you can then start planning your strategy accordingly. Centres. your profession. It may be that promotion depends on factors outside of the department structure. Your research must be of a quality and quantity that contributes substantially to your scientific discipline. For instance. Ongoing research grant support may also be expected. and on grant review panels demonstrates your willingness to assume your share of responsibility. on editorial boards of journals. on research ethics boards. Invitations to serve on editorial boards and other outside committees also demonstrate scientific recognition beyond your institution. and Lead Programmes Research Capacity Development Research Admin and Management Strategic Research Initiatives Technology & Innovation Directorate Finance Directorate Operations Directorate Listed below are some of the important factors that university administrators take into consideration when promoting a scientist. as well as invitations to present your work at conferences. carries. You should ask early in your teaching how your efforts are evaluated so that you can be sure to perform well in the expected areas. Work for professional associations and work as a consultant to government and industry also may be viewed positively when considering your service to the institution.CRITERIA FOR PROMOTION Structure of the South African Medical Research Council President’s Office Corporate and Public Affairs Directorate Legal Services Research Directorate Research Units. Ask the head of your department or division for advice. You can find this out through discussions with your department head or other immediate superior. Service on departmental and other campus committees. Research. the national research agency. You may have to provide evidence that you are a competent teacher and that you fulfill your responsibilities to your students in a conscientious manner. Determine the weight that each of these factors. Teaching is notoriously difficult to evaluate. and the public at large. 30 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Additional evidence of competence includes prizes and other recognitions of your work. for promotion. but your department may have mechanisms to do so. Groups. in Argentina a researcher in a public university depends on evaluation from Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET). Teaching. PLANNING FOR PROMOTION You are more likely to advance in your career if you understand from the start how decisions regarding promotion are made at the institution you are joining. Service. and other aspects of your job. Publication in peer-reviewed journals in your specialty and statements from individuals in your field who can testify to the quality of your research may be required.

Actively communicate progress on your research with people who matter in your department or division. Other clinicians who know your worth can become your advocates and help protect your interests. Get the word out that you are doing something. Make yourself essential by providing an important clinical skill or filling a crucial clinical need. You should familiarize yourself with the process by speaking with colleagues who have gone through it. achievable objectives for yourself right at the outset of your career. but they should rely on you and your expertise. Meet on a regular basis with your department head or the people who will have input into your promotion to review your progress and make sure that you are doing what is expected of you. Integrate research and clinical activities and use departmental academic meetings to promote the clinical relevance of your research program. TIME FRAME FOR MOVING AHEAD Your institution may have established the exact time frame for evaluating your work and for your eventual promotion. THE REVIEW PROCESS The review process for promotion varies greatly from country to country and from institution to institution. Advocates need not be in your own department. and you will be able to make realistic career decisions based on your progress. The whole process will seem more manageable. Seek the advice of several people. Find out how long it typically takes for someone in your position to progress from one level to the next.SPECIAL ISSUES FOR PHYSICIAN-SCIENTISTS: Straddling the Worlds of Research and Patient Care You can increase your visibility and the stability of your job by doing the following: Create allies who will stand up and protect you. Cultivate a few people in your field who think you are terrific. set specific. ENTRY AND RE-ENTRY: ESTABLISHING YOURSELF AS A SCIENTIST IN A NEW JOB 31 . Once you know the time frame. with timelines that tell you what you need to accomplish each year.

Deneef. is available online at http://www. Cold Spring Harbor. informed consent. Spanish. and other topics in English. The Academic’s Handbook. Robert J. Denise M. Laboratory Management: Principles and Processes. Reis. systems or outcomes. and Penny Schine Gold. Goldsmith. Kathy. At the Helm: A Laboratory Navigator. Advice for New Faculty Members: Nihil Nimus. and Study Guide. Mentor in a Manual: Climbing the Academic Ladder to Tenure. Donald.RESOURCES Barker. John A. and associates. NJ: IEEE Press.S. aspx?RID=44584. Leigh. 1997. Piscataway.pdf Quality practices in basic biomedical research. 2nd ed. Goodwin. NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. eds. A. NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. 1995. At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator. MA: Harvard University Press. Medical Laboratory Management and Supervision: Operations. NC: Duke University Press. 1994.. NJ: Prentice Hall.int/tdr/ svc/publications/training-guideline-publications/handbookquality-practices-biomedical-research. 1999. Davis Company.dhhs. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. John Komlos.who. research review processes. and Public Policy. Philadelphia: F.gov/documents/rcrintro. good practice. and Institute of Medicine. 2001. Lionel A. Faculty in New Jobs: A Guide to Settling In.uk/resource/item. National Academy of Sciences. Varnadoe.org. Tomorrow’s Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering. Becoming Established. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Madison. 2002.org. Harmening. Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research. 1997. 1996. Durham.citiprogram. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Academic Duty. 1998. a guidebook on research ethics from the Office of Research Integrity of the U. 2nd ed. Public Health Service. 2000. Washington. 2003. a guidebook on Good Practices from the World Health Organization. Online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) offers a range of tutorials related to ethics. Kennedy. WI: Atwood Publishing. Engineering. The Chicago Guide to Your Academic Career: A Portable Mentor for Scholars from Graduate School Through Tenure. Review. is available online at http://www. 1995. 32 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Menges. a guidebook from the Association of Public Health Observatories on how to monitor and improve performance. and Robert Magnan. Barker. There is both free material and material only available by institutional subscription at this site. Cambridge. Boice. Clay. Richard M. DC: National Academy Press. French. Committee on Science. Portuguese and Chinese at its Web site www.. Upper Saddle River. The Good Indicators Guide: Understanding how to use and choose indicators. Schoenfeld. is available online at http://ori. Cold Spring Harbor. On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research. and Building Institutional Support.A. and Craufurd D. Kathy. Robert.apho. A. National Academy of Engineering.






You may have discussed your space and equipment needs during your hiring process, or you may be moving into a laboratory that has already been in use and has some equipment. Either way, before you move in and start working, create a detailed plan for how you intend to work within the space allotted to you. This will help you hit the ground running once you start your position. You should:
Envision the relationships between the various workstations, preparation areas, and any office space you may have been given. How can you best set up your space for the work you are going to do? If applicable and possible, arrange for and help supervise any needed renovations or re-arrangements. If you can, order equipment and supervise its installation. Acquire any licenses required by regulatory agencies.

You may need to attend training courses before you can order radioactive or hazardous materials or use animals in your lab. Even the use of recombinant DNA needs to be approved in some countries. Put in place data management systems both for control of laboratory ordering and expenditures and for the documentation of your research. Plan ahead. Expect major delays in delivery of bulky equipment, troubles with customs, fluctuations in currency values, etc., so that these predictably unpredictable factors will not derail you.

Staffing your lab with the right people is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your research. The types of people you may bring on board include students, scientists who are not ready to lead their own lab and will work in yours, and technicians or other paid employees who offer technical support.



This section reviews issues to consider when determining your staffing needs and suggests strategies to help you manage the process of recruiting, interviewing, and evaluating applicants. The chapter also offers guidance on what to do if you have to ask someone to leave your lab. For a discussion of the skills needed to manage the people in your lab day to day and get them to work productively, see chapter 4, “Managing Your Many Roles.”

Quality Used Equipment
Seeding Labs (http://www.seedinglabs. org/), a Boston-based non-profit group that facilitates transfer of used laboratory equipment from North American universities to laboratories in countries that are building toward greater research capacity, may be a good source for equipment that would otherwise be unaffordable.

Your decisions about whether and when to take on staff will depend on several factors, such as how much money you have to run the lab, the stability of your funding sources, the progress of your research, and even your personal preferences about performing various laboratory tasks. In some places, you will not actually hire new people, but will take on staff people who have already been hired by your institution and belong to a common labor pool. In other places, you yourself will be the new hire, and everyone else in the laboratory will already be in place. Established scientists caution against rushing out and hiring people just to fill an empty lab. Before you bring on staff, think carefully about the consequences. Will you be able to hire the caliber of people you want? Can you make the time to train them? Remember, you need to preserve sufficient time and space to do your own work. If you have a choice, the first person you might hire is a laboratory technician or equivalent. A person filling this versatile lab position can help you with time-consuming initial tasks such as setting up equipment and handling routine tasks that keep your laboratory working. Although an inexperienced person may be cheaper, you might benefit more by hiring an experienced technical person who can help train other staff as they come on board. Some experienced workers can also contribute in substantial ways to your research project. If there are trained technicians working at your institution and funding available for such positions, a technician who is familiar with the administrative processes of your institution can also be extremely valuable.

Purchasing research supplies is often a nightmare in most African countries. Often, no local vendor is familiar with the kinds of equipment and supplies that you need. In some cases, you have to find out yourself where and how to get required supplies and then teach a local vendor how to proceed. Often, even when one finds where to order supplies abroad, payment may become an almost insurmountable hurdle. For example, currency exchange issues may arise: there are no project credit cards, suppliers often require payment up front while your financial office may require that the goods be delivered before initiating payment.
Abdoulaye Djimdé, Mali

Consider bringing a student on board once your lab is running and you have the time to invest in training him or her. You could also hire an already trained scientist, for example a postdoctoral fellow, who would like to work in your lab as a stepping stone to becoming qualified for an independent position. A good strategy is to do this when your main project is well underway and you have enough other projects to turn one of them over to this person and allow him or her to have a great deal of responsibility and independence. Additional considerations for working with lab members can be found in chapter 10, “Expanding Your Influence: Training the Next Generation of Scientists.”



What’s in a Name?


your Web site, if you have one, inviting people to contact you if they are interested in working with you. If you teach, you may find some students who are interested in learning more about your work and carrying out a research project in your laboratory. Formal Advertisements. Ask those working around you how and where the kinds of jobs you would like to fill are advertised. If you are hiring a scientist to train in your lab, it may make sense to place an ad in a science journal published in your own country. But placing formal advertisements in print publications can be expensive and may not yield good candidates, depending on who reads the journal or newspaper. It is a good idea to discuss advertising with senior colleagues who have had experience recruiting people into their labs. Advertising on your institution’s Web site is usually a free service, and in some places has a high rate of success. Other resources for advertising for scientists with advanced degrees are Web sites and list serves maintained by professional associations. For any advertisements you place, make sure you follow your institution’s policies.

The title “technician” means different things in different places. In some regions, a laboratory technician may be a manager or unit director. Throughout this book, however, a “technician” refers to a professional scientist who has a steady job focused on advancing the work in your laboratory.

If you will hire staff from outside your institution, the first step is to develop a job description for the open position. First, identify and prioritize the initial and ongoing lab tasks for which you need support. Then determine the qualifications needed to best complete these tasks and develop a general plan for allocating the person’s time. Bear in mind that the position will have to fit within your ability to pay and that the position’s level may also be something that is already set in stone. The process may be more complicated if unions represent identified groups of employees at your institution. For example, you may only be able to consider hiring union workers for certain positions.

As someone who has just started his or her lab, you may find it a challenge to recruit the people you want, especially trained scientists and experienced lab technicians. Here are some things you can do to increase your chances:
Promote your vision. When you talk to others, make sure you mention that you are hiring and take time to convey your vision of what your lab will be “about” (see next chapter). Your excitement about your work and your lab will excite and interest potential staff. Communicate your lab culture. Think about how to create a lab environment that allows you and your staff to work efficiently and harmoniously. If good communication, collaboration, and cooperation are valued concepts in your lab, they can be selling points that will make people want to work with you.

Once you have a job description, the next step is to make sure that the people you would like to recruit will see it. There are several ways to do this. Informal Methods. Try to recruit by word of mouth. Ideally, you want people to seek you out. If you work in a country with a fairly large scientific community, meetings and seminars where you present your work are good venues to reach students and scientists, as well as lab technicians who are not employed by your institution. Another strategy is to include a statement on



WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR Lab Technicians. Nevertheless. Students are often attracted to new labs because. for example a postdoctoral fellow. If you have a good reputation from your own work. Offer flexibility where you can. My advice is that you avoid seeing extended family members at your workplace and ensure hiring is a very transparent process that is handled only by the appropriate staff in the administration section. Moses Bockarie. especially experience that will help them decide whether to continue with their studies. Flexibility. Good salaries and status (related to publishing papers) may be of prime importance to more experienced lab technicians. Potential staff members are likely to be aware that the money to pay their salaries may be coming from your research grants. You are likely to face requests for employment. On the other hand. At a university. who wants to train in your lab before establishing his or her own lab. or other sources that may increase or decline over time. Therefore. they are eager for the opportunity to work directly with the person who is directing the research. or your institution’s reputation and geographical location. Students may want to work in your lab because they want to pursue a career in science. you may be able to recruit highly qualified individuals right away. Provide a realistic level of reassurance regarding the stability of your funding. funding. Students. Try to select students who are motivated to contribute to the productivity of your lab. Educating these students in how to work in the lab can be time-consuming. Most scientists in training are attracted to more established labs because they are usually better launching pads for their careers—the boss is more famous and the publications may come faster. Technicians may be attracted to a beginning laboratory because they are eager for the opportunity to work closely with the head of the lab and are interested in learning new techniques and being included on papers. Alberto Kornblihtt. they will quickly share this with their peers. some might be attracted by your research area. Let potential staff know if they will be working directly with you and that you have an interest in helping them in their careers. they may be looking for academic credit. especially about assignments or research directions. This is an enormous challenge for every working person in Sierra Leone.e. people who really want to do a postdoc in your lab and not people who for family reasons or else could not go abroad and seek your lab as a second option. Papua New Guinea a career in this area. is attractive to most job applicants. you may want to sign up your first student when your lab is running well and you have time to work with each student properly. i. and your ability to recruit good students will suffer greatly. In Sierra Leone and more so in Papua New Guinea. thoughtfully working with students early in your career will help you develop a positive reputation and will increase your ability to attract other students. or recommendations for further training. if your first students have negative experiences in your lab. It may take two to three years for you to recruit a scientist. like lab technicians. Scientists Training in your Lab.Convey your commitment to training. members of your extended family believe they are entitled to large parts of your time and attention. your concern for furthering their careers. On the other hand. Inexperienced technicians may place more value on the opportunity to gain experience. especially for the first few months. Argentina ” 36 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . or perhaps they are curious about research and want to find out whether they should consider ” I would encourage policies to hire real postdocs.

What to Ask a Reference. if you are able to. try to find a scientist with a record of accomplishment—usually at least two first-author papers—that indicates he or she will be able to see a project through and perhaps will be competitive for obtaining his or her own funding. including those who may know how the student has performed in a laboratory course. check skills against qualifications and look for transferable skills.SCREENING APPLICANTS When you review résumés. you should evaluate the candidate to determine whether he or she has the ability to contribute intellectually as well as technically to the lab. Checking references is an important part of the selection process. you should directly contact the applicants’ references. Do not settle for yes or no answers. You might want to ask: Why is this person leaving? Is he or she reliable? What are this person’s strengths and weaknesses? What are you most disappointed in with respect to this person? Also. Carefully check references to find out about their capabilities. a smart but shy person may be tongue-tied in a conversation with you—you are an important person. A “trainee” refers to a student or postdoc—someone who is both working for you and being educated by you so that he or she may advance into another position. be sure to ask careful questions and check references. remember that high grades are no guarantee of success in your lab. It will help to verify impressions gained during the interview and expose potential problems that may not have been evident in either the interview or CV. Remember. open-ended questions. If a technician has contributed to publications. Ask short. speak informally with other people who have worked with the student. Always review résumés carefully—some applicants may inflate their experience. If the degree of job-changing seems unusual. Talk to the student at length to see how articulate. and energized he or she is. or may simply reflect the job situation in your region. When selecting students. CHECK REFERENCES DIRECTLY For a variety of reasons. and ask for examples. or by email. When discussing an applicant with someone who has provided a reference: Describe the job and the work atmosphere you want to create. Gaps in employment or job-hopping may be signs of problems. if possible. “Would you rehire this person?” is a very important question to ask. people rarely write negative letters of recommendation. A “student” refers to a trainee who is enrolled for an undergraduate or graduate degree and is working with increasing autonomy in your lab. after all! Try to talk long enough to draw them out and put them at ease so that you can really get a sense of their capacity. preferably by telephone. QUESTION What’s in a Name? q&a ANSWER Throughout this book. For a student. a “postdoc” refers to a researcher with a relatively recent doctoral degree and intentions to move on from your laboratory to a more independent position after working with and learning from you. Probe for further information. GETTING STARTED: EQUIPPING YOUR LAB AND HIRING PEOPLE 37 . bright. Although it may not be realistic for someone who has just started running his or her lab. consider publication quality—not just quantity— and the applicant’s contribution. and avoid asking questions to which the desired response is obvious. For an applicant to a degreed scientific position. Therefore. The résumés of less-experienced lab technicians may not show a record of contributions to published papers or other indicators of productivity.

accomplishments. “Describe a time when you demonstrated initiative. As with interviewing references. If you are a department head yourself and you are to hire trained scientists who will work relatively independently underneath you. Make sure you get the information you need. it is best to obtain information in person or by phone. you must respect their request for confidentiality—the most common reason is that they do not want to risk losing their current job. “What skills do you have for this position?” The interviewer determines the focus of the answer.) If Possible. The appendix (page 44) shows a sample outline that can help you in your phone interviews with applicants. Remember. though sometimes email may be the only option available to you (for example. You may be tempted to do less when hiring for a smaller job. INTERVIEWING APPLICANTS INVITE APPLICANTS TO VISIT YOUR LAB After you have completed the initial screening. If possible. applicants will not give the name of a current supervisor as a reference. (Consider developing a similar form for talking to applicants’ references.” Try to determine whether your lab values are similar to those of the reference. you might also arrange for the applicant to spend some time with other lab members so that the others in your lab can get a sense of this person. especially in jobs where firing is difficult. perhaps by asking about the reference’s lab and philosophy. you might require that each applicant deliver a seminar to members of your lab or department. and everywhere. and history. or threatening person could do to your work. dishonest. You can also ask for additional references who can provide you with information about the person’s work habits. If possible. easy. you may want to screen promising applicants by telephone before inviting any of them for a formal interview.TYPES OF INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Open-ended questions cannot be answered yes or no. 38 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . rather than by email. for example. narrow your list of potential applicants to a reasonable number of good prospects. for example. Sometimes. However. If possible. “Tell me about yourself. Contact All References. invite each person to visit your lab for a formal interview. This information should help you decide how much weight to give to the reference.” The applicant determines the direction of the answer. even those overseas. Directive questions solicit information about a specific point. if you can afford it. To correct for bias in the responses of any one reference. for example. You are trying to make a decision about someone with whom you may be spending many of your waking hours. if the reference is difficult to reach or lives in a place that is extremely expensive for you to call). make sure you call all of an applicant’s references. If that is the case. focus on asking openended questions. you should ask why the applicant does not want you to call. but think about the damage hiring a poorly-trained. talking to someone by phone is no substitute for looking them in the eye. FURTHER SCREEN APPLICANTS BY TELEPHONE If you live in a place where phones are reliable. Reflective questions solicit information about a past experience that might serve to predict the applicant’s future performance.

and your notes from your conversations with the references to identify any items or information gaps that need clarification in the interview. equitable manner from all qualified applicants. Would this be a problem? Tailor your follow-up questions to reflect each applicant’s responses and to encourage each applicant to provide examples from his or her own experiences. Your questions should be: Outlined ahead of time so that you ask basically the same questions of each applicant. Experience and Skills Tell me about your most significant accomplishments. Give me an example of a situation where you found it necessary to gather other opinions before you made a decision. GETTING STARTED: EQUIPPING YOUR LAB AND HIRING PEOPLE 39 . Tell me about its features and benefits. Review the job description you created earlier. page 44) contains a list of general questions as well as questions geared for specific laboratory positions and for determining specific personal characteristics. and personal qualities that you need. Job related. like those used when checking references. Tell me about a project or situation that required you to take initiative.CONDUCTING A STRUCTURED INTERVIEW The goal of the structured interview is to use a standardized set of predetermined questions to gather key information in an efficient. Tell me the part you played in conducting a specific project or implementing a new approach or technology in your lab. Short and open-ended. technical skills. In addition. think about how to determine whether the applicant has the knowledge. At the Helm: A Laboratory Navigator by Kathy Barker (see Resources. Working and Learning Styles What motivates you at work? Would you rather work on several projects at a time or on one project? Do you learn better from books. hands-on experience. What was the outcome of the team’s efforts? How would you feel about leaving a project for a few hours to help someone else? If you encountered a problem in the lab. or other people? Tell me about a project that required you to work as part of a team. you may want to tailor the following questions to the position for which you are interviewing. You want to give each applicant a fair opportunity to compete for the position. either good or bad. DEVELOP THE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS As you develop your questions. the applicant’s résumé. Time Management How do you prioritize your work? What happens when you have two priorities competing for your time? Decision Making and Problem Solving What is your biggest challenge in your current job? How are you dealing with it? Tell me about a time when you made a decision that resulted in unintended or unexpected consequences. would you ask someone for help or would you try to deal with it yourself? You may be asked to work after hours or on a weekend. I see you have worked with [insert specific technology or technique]. Commitment and Initiative Why do you want to work in my lab? Where do you see yourself in five years? What kinds of projects do you want to do? Why? Tell me how you stay current in your field. Describe a time when you were in charge of a project and what you feel you accomplished. Sample interview questions. Focused and designed to elicit information— avoid asking philosophical questions.

even ones that may seem innocent to you. Briefly describe the selection process. 40 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . MAINTAINING OBJECTIVITY As in any situation that involves interpreting interpersonal behavior. EVALUATING APPLICANTS Before you begin evaluating an applicant. Take brief notes. collaboration. Conduct any reference interviews you were unable to complete before the interview. Gather opinions from others who have met with the applicant. Explain how the interview will be structured. Include values that may seem obvious to you. if anything? Tell me about a situation in which your work was criticized. Cultural Differences. do the following: Give the applicant a chance to add anything else he or she thinks may be important for you to know in making your decision. This will give you some insight into what is important to him or her. seek guidance from your department and other relevant departments at your university. even if you asked it during the telephone interview. what would you do. you may find that these answers give you more insights into the applicant’s character and thinking than you were aware of when you were sitting and talking with the person. Let the applicant do most of the talking. try to make the applicant feel comfortable. before asking all questions. You may find yourself considering applicants from different cultures whose beliefs. Record actual answers to questions. and deference. such as those about self-promotion. especially if the applicant seems to be under-selling his or her achievements. but avoid a social atmosphere. or having come to the interview wearing clothes that have clearly been used by generations of the family’s job seekers. Making a decision too early in the interview. Make the applicant aware of the next steps. As needed. Know your own local laws and customs pertaining to what questions can and cannot be asked at job interviews. Give the applicant many chances to ask questions. Downgrading an applicant because of a negative characteristic that is not relevant to the job itself. not evaluative or conclusive comments. Ask the applicant about his or her timetable for leaving the current job. Convey your expectations about the job. How did you rectify the situation? Describe a scientist whom you like and respect. Thank the applicant for his or her time. and keep in mind which (if any) topics must be avoided. Develop a high tolerance for silence. when thinking through whether to offer the applicant a job. Later. and why? If you heard through the grapevine that someone did not care for you. offer a beverage.Interpersonal Skills How important is it to you to be liked by your colleagues. Make appropriate small talk. Outline the responsibilities for the open position. Develop professional rapport and be friendly. may differ from your own. and compliment the applicant on making it thus far in the selection process. objectivity in evaluation may be difficult. Never make promises or give commitments. TIPS FOR CONDUCTING AN INTERVIEW Before you begin. such as your commitment to lab safety and scientific rigor. such as a particular regional accent. Before ending the interview. make sure you have all of the necessary information. such as additional interviews and the time frame for hiring. What do you like about that person? Listen carefully. Remember that the applicant is also deciding whether he or she wants to work for you. Take this into account when conducting your interview. Nevertheless. try to avoid the following: Relying too heavily on first impressions. Give the applicant a chance to think and develop thoughtful answers to your questions.

g. Enthusiasm. Be certain the applicant is committed to good research practices. In some institutions. responding to an interview question with anger is never appropriate. Keep in mind that you are building your team and need people with the skills and personalities to get things done.. grudging replies and slouching are not signs of an eager. a can-do attitude. Judging the applicant in comparison with yourself. If he or she turns down the offer. you should also keep the following points in mind: Consider the “chemistry. Ascertain whether the applicant is a good fit. MAKING THE OFFER Before you make an offer. polished presentation. Check the applicant’s career plans. Incongruence between what you hear and what you see (e. you can move on to your second choice. inform the person you have selected. you may be given some leeway within a predetermined range appropriate for the job description. salary. Recordkeeping and reporting results are even more important now than in the past because of patent and other legal issues. and other conditions of employment. as well as his or her commitment to a specific research area. Be sure to check with the appropriate office in your institution first to determine whether you or they will make this contact and cover these issues. Look for people who have a track record of productivity and have demonstrated an ability to learn new skills. you may rate merely average applicants highly). assertive candidate even if he or she is saying all the right things). RED FLAGS Warning signs during an interview that should alert you to potential problems include: Unwillingness to take responsibility for something that has gone wrong. Delaying answering questions. Demanding privileges not given to others. contact him or her to extend the offer and discuss start date.g. challenging your questions. In others. if any. but have little substance in the workplace. Humor and sarcasm can be tools to avoid answering questions. GETTING STARTED: EQUIPPING YOUR LAB AND HIRING PEOPLE 41 . Knowing what the applicant wants to be doing in five or ten years can give you insight into his or her scientific maturity and creativity. or tangential association with someone famous might make them seem impressive on meeting. rather than according to the selection criteria (e. WHAT TO LOOK FOR In addition to determining whether the applicant has the qualifications required to perform well in your lab. Seek someone who has a passion for science and a strong work ethic. if you have been interviewing poorly qualified applicants. Once you have identified the person you wish to hire. Unless you have been rude. the initial salary that you can offer will be set for you. Comparing applicants with each other. Insist on the highest level of scientific integrity from anyone you are considering.. interviewing during times of the day when you may be tired). check with the appropriate people in your department or your institution to learn which. or avoiding answering them altogether. and the willingness to go the extra mile are critical attributes. Look for a person who is interested in and able to get along with others. Allowing factors not directly related to the interview to influence your estimation of the applicant (e. Trying to control the interview and otherwise behaving inappropriately.g. Complaining about an advisor and coworkers.Allowing a positive characteristic to overshadow your perception of all other traits—an applicant’s posh accent..” Pay attention to your intuitive reaction to the person. INFORM ALL OF THE APPLICANTS First. items related to the job are negotiable and whether you are responsible for negotiating them.

especially junior members. especially if you are thinking about letting someone go: Susan Mutambu. especially ones of similar stature. However. they should also be encouraged to be a part of the ownership of the research programme. ASKING STAFF TO LEAVE Despite your best efforts. If hiring does not involve an administrative office. one should continue to recruit appropriate personnel to fill in vacancies. Once you have filled the position. because it promotes collaborative linkages between personnel in your lab and other labs. not your personal biases. should be taken into consideration and explored for substance. and allowances and pensions where these are applicable. Try to determine whether you think the person would be better off in another lab or should consider another career. salary. You do not need to give a specific reason for your decision not to hire an applicant. The solution is creating an attractive environment. it is a problem. teaching at the local university to supplement their salaries. Before considering dismissal. Delegation with responsibility to junior researchers also builds confidence and gives them a sense of ownership of the research programme. This may include assistance with scientific techniques or counseling for behavioral issues. Check with the appropriate people at your institution about their own personal policy or the institution’s personnel policy in this area. There are no hard and fast rules about how a manager should address performance or behavior problems in the lab. make the offer and clearly establish the start date. clear career paths. however. be certain that your dissatisfaction is based on objective observations. You can provide that person with encouragement and suggest other career options. For students and scientists. be sure that you have tried various avenues to help the person be successful in your lab. Zimbabwe Yes. where NGOs and the private sector pay better salaries than government research institutes.Multinational Organizations are hiring our people away! Brain drain continues to be a major problem in the developing world. this usually means talking with that person and his or her advisors. Those recruited should be given an opportunity to train in short. All research ideas that are brought forward by research personnel. you may state that the selected candidate had better qualifications or more relevant experience or that it is your policy not to disclose this information. It is a good idea to put the details on paper in case disagreements arise later. However. if any. Presentation of research findings at national and international fora is usually a big motivator.g. THE OFFER LETTER After you and the selected candidate have confirmed the job details. and to make presentations on some of the research aspects of the work that is being done. you or your institution might send a formal offer letter that confirms the offer terms.and long-term courses that are relevant to their work areas. you may at some point need to ask someone to leave your lab. keep in mind the following. personnel should be allowed to do part-time jobs that are related to research. Dealing with brain drain can be quite frustrating. High salary is not always the most important incentive in keeping staff. stable social environment. and these linkages may generate a lot of research ideas between groups. including start date and salary. Coordinate with the appropriate administrative staff at your institution to determine what information to include. Mali ” ” 42 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . etc. Once settled in the research programme. Abdoulaye Djimdé. but not a major one for now. Also. e. It may be best to suggest to someone that research is not for them if you truly believe the profession is not suited to his or her talents or personality. no matter how silly they may sound. try to let the other applicants know of the outcome of the interview. In countries where salaries are low.

and pay close attention to what is being said. a termination will involve a meeting between you and the individual you are terminating. GETTING STARTED: EQUIPPING YOUR LAB AND HIRING PEOPLE 43 . WHEN IT BEGINS TO LOOK LIKE FIRING MAY BE NECESSARY In many places. including lab notebooks. you should ask yourself the following questions and document each of the actions before proceeding: Have you given the person at least some type of notice or warning? Have you made it clear to the person what he or she is doing wrong? Has the person received counseling or assistance in learning new or difficult tasks? If so. During the meeting. Listen to the employee’s point of view and explanation. DELIVER A WARNING Warnings should be delivered by you. Many academic institutions publish their procedures on their Web sites. KEEP A RECORD It is a good idea to outline and set expectations for the performance and conduct of everyone in your lab. Explain the decision briefly and clearly. remember to: Be polite.Be fair. those investigators who have had to release staff say that in retrospect their biggest mistake was not doing it sooner. How to Terminate. Often. You may want to commit your action plan to writing. an institution’s disciplinary and dismissal procedures are based on the country’s labor laws. Let the employee have an opportunity to have his or her say. and so should be directed by someone who has experience with them—usually someone in a Human Resources or other administrative office. especially in a small lab. protocol books (unless it is a personal copy). Develop a plan for addressing the problem with benchmarks and timelines. can significantly retard research progress. calmly and in private. consult with colleagues to determine whether there are legal procedures to keep in mind. employees will not be surprised when you take forceful action concerning unsatisfactory performance or behavior. Although it is not easy to decide to terminate someone. Make sure the person knows your concerns and is given a reasonable opportunity to respond and turn things around. Avoid laying blame. and in some places workers are quite aware of their labor rights. Stay focused on the issue at hand. If circumstances permit. IF YOU DECIDE TO TERMINATE An employee with serious work-related problems is a disruptive force and. No surprises. Questions to ask yourself before letting someone go. and if available. If you provide advance notice. Arrange to have scientific materials and equipment and supplies returned to you. Termination procedures must be correctly carried out according to the law. and keys. lists of laboratory resources and information on any experiments still in progress. how much? Are you treating (or have you treated) the person differently from other staff in your lab? Are you following written procedures and institutional policies? Does the documentation in the personnel file support the reason for discharge? Fairness dictates that lab members receive some type of notice about unsatisfactory performance. Get to the point quickly. seek help from whatever institutional office deals with personnel issues early on in the process. When you believe that someone should be let go. at least to advise you on how to move forward legally. Ask the appropriate individuals at your institution or department how to terminate staff. Do not apologize or argue with the employee in an effort to justify your decision. Keep in mind that delivering a warning or giving an employee a chance to “straighten up” may help you turn a bad situation into a good one without resorting to dismissing a worker. Do not expect your employees to read your mind about what you want them to accomplish and how you want them to accomplish it.

goals Termination Letters and References.com.org. town Timing. At the Helm: A Laboratory Navigator. hrhero. Marlene. and ask for examples. 2002). The projects we are working on What I am looking for What I expect (enthusiastic. funding for [e.seedinglabs. http://sciencecareers.edu/empserv/department/empsel/index. Extensive resources on firing: http://www. a hard worker. on joint projects) Timing. responsible) What I will offer (be there. and your paths may cross again.” Denver Business Journal (November 17.umich. and that their personal effects will be sent to them later. support career with communication about goals. As part of final documentation.html..hr. you may be asked for. constraints This interview form is adapted from one developed by Tamara L. a termination letter may be required by your institution or by law. current job Visa status Investigator’s Comments Background.” http:// www.) To see if we might fit. Immediate Dismissal.html. or other unusual behaviors may make it necessary to immediately remove someone from the lab. University of Michigan Employment and Executive Services. Doering. Sometimes the reasons for dismissal are more acute: dishonesty. You should get advice from your colleagues on how such a firing is normally done. Check with the appropriate staff at your institution about proper procedures.umich. RESOURCES Barker. Take notes that document this meeting and convert them into an informal or formal memo to file. Online Austin.bizjournals. University of Michigan Employment and Executive Services. or may wish to offer. a reference.com/topics/firing.html. Kathy. Washington University School of Medicine. Try to part on cordial terms. edu/empserv/department/empsel/electronic. Seeding Labs’ website is www. 1997).If there is an office that handles employee benefits. 44 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Robert D. 2002. http://www.org/career_development/previous_issues/ articles/1470/managing_knowledge_workers/. department. Siering.html. Cold Spring Harbor. “Hire the Best. for example. give me an idea of what you are looking for. interested. NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. refer the employee to them for a discussion of eligibility for any benefits the institution may have provided.org (April 26. help.” http://www. endangering others. “Conducting a Successful Employee Selection Process. HRhero. communicate.” Science’s Science. length of time]) The university. “Electronic Recruitment Resources. with others. APPENDIX Telephone Interview Outline Date: Candidate: Investigator’s Questions (Use openended questions.com/denver/ stories/1997/11/17/smallb2. “Managing Knowledge Workers. sciencemag. In addition. Science can be a small world.hr.g. long-term plans) Tell me about yourself as a scientist: What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What do you want to learn? What are you looking for in a supervisor? What is your preferred interaction style? (with me. How will you get any keys they may have or prevent them from re-entering the premises? It may be that you should have the person removed from the premises by local or campus authorities. communicative. interests. What are your goals for this position? (short-term expectations.Careers.

the basic ideas may help you as you think about how to get the most out of your resources. But you will quickly realize that the day-to-day operation of the laboratory—the projects that get done. how to make decisions and resolve conflicts. The third section is about different leadership approaches and how you might proceed as you develop your individual leadership personality and style. The fourth discusses the role of the laboratory leader in building and sustaining an effective team—that is. maybe across a whole institution). MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 45 . but many of the principles here can be applied if you only manage yourself and your day-to-day work. This chapter draws from material developed by Edward O’Neil. you should work through how you will manage things as your own research operation grows. This chapter describes the skills involved in leading and managing a group of people. how time is spent.CHAPTER 4 MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES “I KNOW THE PRICE OF SUCCESS: DEDICATION. director of the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California– San Francisco. It also offers some suggestions on how to build these skills. As you get ready to start your job. even if you are still under the authority of a more senior scientist who directs the project of which your work is a part. as well as from interviews with scientists with years of experience running laboratory research programs. The first provides a definition of leadership in the context of directing a scientific laboratory. and how to set and enforce expectations and rules of behavior. HARD WORK. Whether or not you are in charge of your own group of workers and thinkers. Your main role as a leader will be to organize and motivate the people in your lab to enact this vision. At least in the space of your own bench (and in some readers’ cases. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT ” The day has finally come when you take up your new position. The second describes a process for developing a vision for your laboratory. how to communicate with the people with whom you work. AND AN UNREMITTING DEVOTION TO THE THINGS YOU WANT TO SEE HAPPEN. how to motivate them. The chapter is organized in four sections. you are the boss! What got you here is your creativity and scientific expertise. which needs get priority—also requires strong leadership and management skills.

but in a larger sense. projects. It means thinking through and clearly stating what you want to accomplish over the course of your scientific career. A leader’s reach expands when he or she can sway others to help advance his or her own vision. Communicate and listen. Beyond a basic knowledge of the scientific tools and processes used in the lab. Be an advisor and teacher to others. Thus. a leader must perform a number of functions. VISION A leader must create a vision and set direction for the lab (see “Creating Your Vision as a Leader. 46 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . “Getting Funded”). Developing a vision is not a small effort.g. as well as seeking good advice for your own advancement (see chapter 10. including people whose time and efforts you do not directly control (e. Thus. Delegate responsibility to others when possible. from motivating people to managing budgets and resources. Leadership is getting a group of people to turn a vision of what needs to be accomplished into a reality. whether that means managing a large group or the activities of only yourself and perhaps a helper. and choosing the right people. a leader must: Build and manage teams. Steer others to see things your way and to do their work in ways that can advance your projects as they advance their own. Leadership starts with a vision that a leader makes into reality by accomplishing tasks. In practical terms. from understanding the scale and scope of the problems to be addressed to coming up with a scientific strategy.. it is probably worthwhile to consider the definition of leadership. Motivate and support the people working on your project in your laboratory or performing work outside your responsibility but essential to your success. All scientists have limited time and limited resources. This means developing a clear idea of what you are doing.YOUR ROLE AS A LABORATORY LEADER WHAT IS LEADERSHIP? Before getting into the details of your responsibilities as the head of a lab or head of a project. it is central to your success. building good relationships with others is a key element of leadership. This requires the leader to understand the core activity that he or she is responsible for directing.” page 50). TASKS A leader also manages the activities of lab members. “Expanding Your Influence: Training the Next Generation of Scientists”). Create budgets (see chapter 7. Only by developing great research questions that fit your own individual strengths and the unique resources available to you at your institution or in your country can you thrive. not just with your hands on any given day. a history of accomplishment. from other labs or groups). to advance your work you must also be able to: Design projects and determine time frames for successfully carrying them out (see chapter 6. and opportunities to accomplish those goals. In fact. Be sensitive to the motivations of people around you—understand what they want and need from their personal lives and their own careers and how those needs affect their behaviors. Make fair decisions and manage conflicts. “Project Management”). Create an environment where people are able to give and receive feedback. RELATIONSHIPS A leader enables others to come together to do the work at hand in a unified manner.

and make a plan for achieving them. budget. is primarily an administrator who makes sure that people and processes are in place to achieve the desired goal. You realize that you should be keeping closer tabs on the experiments being done by everyone in your lab. CHOOSE A BEHAVIOR YOU WANT TO MODIFY Say a conflict arises between two people working in your laboratory—their projects have converged and now they are competing against each other over who should take charge. A leader influences the opinions and attitudes of others to accomplish a shared goal. Just as you set yourself a course for acquiring and improving your scientific skills. they do not mean the same thing. I will know what everyone in the lab is working on and will have set up regular scheduled meetings with each person so that it will become routine to talk about the progress of the work. How could you train yourself to stay better informed on the progress of their work? What could you do that would help you stay more generally aware of the tensions between the people around you? It is not necessary to be a technical expert at everything. teach courses (see chapter 8. and on the interactions among people. may come easily to you. may prove more difficult. DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP SKILLS Some of the leadership skills mentioned above. such as motivating people in your lab or delegating responsibility. “In one month. Juggle many different demands at once (see chapter 5. CHOOSE A SPECIFIC GOAL FOR CHANGING YOUR BEHAVIOR You should choose a goal that is as specific as possible. because it is neither clear how you will go about reaching that goal nor easy to assess whether you have succeeded. “Teaching and Course Design”). “Increasing Your Impact: Getting Published”). and state it in clear. such as articulating your goals clearly enough to develop a vision statement. But a leader has to understand how and why various scientific approaches to a problem work and how to choose between possible strategies for solving the problems using the resources available. you can set yourself one or several goals for becoming a better leader.” MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 47 . For example. In some cases. Here are some tips on how to go about it. As head of a scientific effort. “Getting Funded. You will be more likely to achieve a goal that states “I will meet weekly with the person who is working on project x to discuss in a direct and open way progress on the project and any issues that might be affecting the work. a goal that states “I will become better at communicating with people in the lab” is not very useful. you will need to be both a leader and a manager. “Managing Your Time”). on the other hand.Seek funding and publish papers (see chapter 7.” and chapter 9. A manager. Managers need to be able to plan. in order to keep a complicated system of people and technology running smoothly. measurable terms. For example. Others. and solve problems. DETERMINE A TIMELINE FOR COMPLETION You should set realistic deadlines for assessing your progress. LEADERS AND MANAGERS: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Although the words leadership and management are often used interchangeably. organize. “Leadership development” is the process of improving your leadership skills.” This way you will be able to tell if you have or have not followed through.

It is always a good idea to stay in contact with the teachers who have shaped your life and work. or they may notice that meeting regularly with you keeps their own project on course. As your communications improve. or skilled at running meetings. For example. This involves asking people in your lab and your colleagues for feedback on how you measure up against your desired model (see “Giving and Receiving Feedback. but there are some more systematic ways of going about it. You can gauge whether your leadership skills are truly improving. But you can ask for helpful input about your own management style without undermining your authority. You will need to practice and probably cannot copy your colleague directly. they are better informed about how research in the lab is proceeding. They will likely be flattered (see chapter 10. you probably have colleagues and friends who are good public speakers. 48 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . what is your impression of how these conversations are changing things in the lab?” You might see evidence of success when you learn that the lab is having a problem with an experimental protocol before it becomes a crisis. You may also ask these colleagues for feedback on the skills you are developing and seek advice on your own behavior and progress. In some places. cool under pressure. you can say explicitly. For example. and then try to adopt these behaviors yourself. Seeing a colleague make this kind of comment may remind you to do it more often yourself. “Expanding Your Influence: Training the Next Generation of Scientists”). identify someone who does what you would like to do. LEARN BY OBSERVING To help you define and achieve a specific goal. and then try using the same kind of action in your own lab.ASSESS YOUR PROGRESS From the beginning you should have clearly stated the expected outcomes of your goal. so that you will know whether you have achieved them. Similarly. But this is especially important if you are starting your career at an institution that is just beginning to build up its research training. Though everyone likes to be rewarded. effective at managing time. “I set up these regular meetings with you because I want to be sure that you and I are communicating well about your day-to-day progress. they may notice that your lab has become more productive or that the people reporting to you are more engaged in their work. Now that we’ve done a few. The role models for you at your institution may be few and far between.” page 59). you may want to observe how another leader recognizes and rewards the people in his or her group.” and it may seem paradoxical to suggest opening yourself up to feedback from those who work under you. you may be surprised to find that simply saying out loud things you think should be obvious— “I am proud of your consistently excellent work” or “you set a good example for everyone when you do your work so carefully”—can go a long way toward solving the problem. It does not make you a weaker leader to ask questions that let you check whether you are communicating as clearly as you think you are. if one of your limitations is that those who work with you frequently seem to believe that you do not appreciate their work. If there are people supervising your work. You can observe these people and identify factors that make them good at these things. First. rather than after. because to be natural any approach you try will have to suit your own personality and situation. “the boss is the boss. people working with you might notice that overall. are you accomplishing more and moving more effectively toward achieving your goals? It may be useful to open channels for feedback. The questions you want to be able to answer are: How do I know I have been successful? Who are the other people who will notice and be affected? What difference will they notice? HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS Improving leadership skills is often a process of trial and error.

It is important to pay attention to them. or take advantage of similar career development activities offered at meetings sponsored by large professional societies. One may think the other is “too obsessed with detail. thinking about your personality and preferences in a formal way can make you more aware of how your personality may shape the behavior of people around you.In fact. even though you yourself have just finished your training. and so that is how I will run my own group. GET TO KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES In most cases. Tuition is often charged. whether one is more of an abstract or concrete thinker. READ BOOKS AND ATTEND COURSES Good leadership and good management are priorities for organizations of all kinds. they may be able to take advantage of one another’s natural strengths rather than becoming bogged down in frustration about each other’s differences.” It is a questionnaire that sorts out how one person compares to others with respect to four factors related to temperament. and whether the person is more comfortable with orderliness and structure or likes things that are “free form. such as one night per week. and understanding the preferences of the people around you can give you insight into what drives their habits of mind. but becoming aware of them can help you lead more effectively. especially if you are building up a working group that will both do research and train students who themselves will need to learn to become successful professional scientists. whether one prefers logic or is more inclined toward trusting feelings. and help you direct and support them more effectively. rather than coming to the institution and saying. it is essential that you also follow the examples of laboratory heads in your own country. abstract thoughts and hard data—but knowing your preferences and those of the people around you will help you understand how people act in given situations. non-governmental organizations. Their example will help you avoid making serious missteps as you develop your career. MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 49 . you cannot change your personal qualities. You could also take a World Health Organization workshop on management. for example.” while the other may think. You can aid your leadership development by reading books and taking university courses on the subject. you may be the senior scientist at your institution and thus the one that others look to for clues about how to manage their projects. If your training was done almost entirely abroad. One useful framework for understanding personalities is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test or similar tools. For example. The factors let you gauge quickly whether one is oriented toward looking inward or toward looking outward when surrounded by other individuals. “it is all ‘what if’ to you —what about the real situation on the ground?” Once these people realize that the issue is not one another’s vision but rather that they look at the world in different and complementary ways. Also. but scholarships may be available—it never hurts to ask. Many large scientific societies offer workshops on management as well as on scientific issues in the days just before their annual meeting. This is not a test that hands out labels like “this person is neurotic” or “that person is paranoid.” In each of these four areas. Many academic institutions provide leadership/managerial courses through their business schools/economics faculties. or public-private partnerships. Often such courses are offered at convenient times for busy professionals. someone who loves big ideas may frequently argue with another person who loves looking after page after page of data. learn from them. Those who trained you will be valuable collaborators and may also give you useful suggestions on how to run your laboratory. You can learn to make the most of your assets and work around or improve upon your liabilities. “At the Pasteur we always did it this way. neither extreme is good or bad—everyone uses both logic and feelings.” Local senior scientists know how the system in the present country and in the present institution works. and not let your enthusiasm for other approaches come to be seen as signs of disrespect or feelings of superiority to them.

or someone working on one project within a larger laboratory? Even in a very small working group— one researcher and a technician—if there is no clear vision of what drives the work and what its goal is. There are many questionnaires available online that will provide a Myers-Briggs score. They will not be elements of your mission statement. A different person might thrive on devoting great efforts at many different problems connected by a common thread. But what about someone running a lab. and people you admire. Searching for the phrase “free Myers-Briggs” should find a few. and family goals. A popular way to understand your on-the-job strengths and weaknesses is to seek feedback from those around you. in turn. the motivation for your research. Instead. This. discipline.. As you develop your mission statement. in addition to your scientific ones. but it can be useful to capture “the big picture” and to refer to it now and then to see if you are spending your time and effort in ways consistent with moving you closer to your long-term intentions.g. Knowing yourself—your strengths and weaknesses—will help you determine what you want to accomplish and how to get it done. competition). with an eye to your future work. and the kind of atmosphere in which you want to work. HOW TO CREATE A MISSION STATEMENT Writing a formal mission statement can provide you with a cornerstone for building the vision for your lab. scientific excellence. your vision and mission will be oriented toward the achievements of a department and institution as a whole. Someone who enjoys being focused might thrive by picking a single scientific problem and focusing great efforts to solving it. The exercise of writing down a mission and a vision may seem artificial. financial. You might think. your peers. someone may head off in his or her own direction. including those above you in rank. “These are all good things. will help determine the scope of what you hope to achieve. You may be surprised to find that areas you consider your special strengths are viewed by others as your areas of weakness and vice versa. It should take into consideration the history and current challenges of your lab and what you want to accomplish in the short and long term. keep in mind the following points: Decide what values you want for your lab (e. This statement describes the kind of research you want to do. Consider your social. 50 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . but they should help you understand what efforts and resources you can put into your research. Some people want to have a lab where everyone collaborates on projects. others may prefer to have each lab member work on distinct aspects of a scientific question without much interaction. so why not just aspire to greatness?” But the values and strengths you see as leading to great science may be different from those someone else would pick. If your position is one of higher responsibility. a shared vision may help them better understand how you set priorities. so some of what you read in these descriptions (especially in the areas of introversion and extroversion—one’s openness to other people or preference for spending time alone). it provides a foundation for creativity from which new directions may be taken. Developing a vision for everyone in the lab to share does not limit innovation.There is a great deal of commentary online about what these factors mean in terms of how you interact with other people or ideas. small disagreements and normal human differences may become magnified as individuals’ own preferences may come to overshadow what is really important for driving the work forward. teamwork. CREATING YOUR VISION AS A LEADER Most people understand that the president of a university or the head of a large institute must have a vision for what he or she wants to accomplish. Feedback from others can help you recognize and see past your blind spots. If you have many people working under you. Without a clear shared goal. will be written with cultural assumptions that may be different from those in your own region. Much of the development around these personality types has been done in North America and Western Europe. wasting time and potentially generating ill will.

and when to do it.Craft a statement that you feel comfortable communicating to your peers. it should be ambitious but not a grandiose overstatement of importance. Think realistically. can be made with this statement in mind. without seeking the input of others in the lab or colleagues. In addition. Every decision you make from now on. After a few months. they are not static—they evolve and change with time. SUPPORTING COACHING Low DELEGATING Low DIRECTING High Directive Behavior (Adapted from a concept developed by the Center for Leadership Studies. we will focus on technical challenges that others have not been able to overcome. State it at lab meetings. American management gurus Ken Blanchard and Paul Hershey have written about leadership styles in terms of a continuing spectrum of directive and supportive behavior. and then closely monitoring behavior. Keep in mind that mission statements are not operating plans or strategic maps for the lab. but think boldly about what you can do. It does not need to be flowery language. superiors. providing assistance and encouragement. and lab members. and then facilitating their involvement in problem-solving and decision-making. and that you should practice using a variety of such styles to help you navigate through different problems and challenges. but how do you go about directing and motivating people to accomplish this vision? The way you carry out your role as a leader is called your “leadership style. Our access to patients with a unique type of cancer gives us an unusual opportunity to do excellent molecular and population work. We will publish our work internationally and seek out excellent collaborators. Directive behavior involves clearly telling people what to do. from hiring staff to choosing scientific projects for the people in the lab to establishing how communication flows.” It will depend largely upon your own personality and the types of experiences you have had up to now. and when you sit down to write a paper. Blanchard and Hershey Model of Leadership Styles Supportive Behavior High Here are two sample mission statements: The goal of our laboratory is to be among the most successful and respected researchers in the area of cancer genetics. the degree to which you direct and support people who work for you is influenced by their level of competence and their commitment to completing a given task. Or you may find it difficult to give unsolicited feedback to your students and postdocs. you may find you feel more comfortable making decisions on your own. The ultimate goal is to help develop better therapies and cures for cancer. But management experts tell us that different styles are required for different situations and different individuals. but do serve to shape those essential elements. One could read them cynically. A main focus of the lab is to train the next generation of scientists. Supportive behavior involves listening to people. For example.) MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 51 . We will be recognized for being fair and collegial colleagues in the broad cancer field and as the world’s experts in the cancer that is our specialty. If you have written a mission statement you are pleased with. Inc. and think proudly about doing it where you are. Our lab aims to understand the mechanisms by which cells transport proteins. It will help remind you to ask yourself whether an action being considered is in keeping with what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. According to this model. But why do that? You are setting out in words your hopes for your career and maybe for your country’s role in advancing science. when people first join the lab. We will create an environment that is conducive to learning and testing new skills. try saying it over and over to the people in your lab. DEVELOPING YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE Your mission statement is what sets the course for your lab. In particular. you will most likely develop a style that you feel comfortable with. how to do it.

helping this person find someone to collaborate with so that he or she can get the next step of a project accomplished. “This person is acting in my stead and must be given the priority and access to resources that you would give me if I was carrying out this work myself. In a lab. Although you may want to continue to involve yourself in approving purchases. This style puts a low focus on both task and relationship. you may have to show him or her different techniques and help the student decide which experiments to do.” Give clear directions and make sure they are understood. ask yourself the following questions: What am I doing now that I would like to see someone else do? Is there a person in the lab who is capable of handling some of what I do and willing to take on a new responsibility? What could I do if I had more free time? One of the tasks you may want to consider delegating is ordering supplies. and helps prepare them for the responsibilities that will someday fall to them. For example. delegation serves to empower and motivate the people who work for you. you would give a trained scientist working in your lab the responsibility to choose what experiments to do. because it will relieve you of some of the lab’s day-to-day responsibilities. It requires a lot of time and emotional investment on the part of the leader. It merely gives you time to handle more tasks that suit your position than you could if you had not passed along some of the work that can be done by another person. so that over time the student will be able to work creatively. Delegation is important.In their model. someone else can look up catalog numbers and fill in order forms. the four styles of situational leadership are: Directing. DELEGATING TASKS AND AUTHORITY Many heads of laboratories are reluctant to delegate because they fear losing control or power. This style puts a high focus on getting tasks done and a lower focus on relationship. 52 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . the supervisor is likely to adopt this leadership style with most trained scientists and experienced graduate students. You would also facilitate progress by. could be passed along to less-trained individuals if you are doing these tasks yourself. confidently. and make this information known to everyone in the lab. You may have to explicitly tell others. without interfering with it. but continue to discuss what they are. and independently. When the person you are supervising is not yet qualified or is not sufficiently motivated to carry out a task independently. Supporting. keep two-way communication channels open. In deciding whether there is something you could delegate. Also. you may be able to delegate that work to a trusted. but you would explain why and how they fit in with the lab’s mission. follow up to make sure the job is being done. you need to: Be sure you delegate the necessary authority with the responsibility. Other activities. soon after a graduate student joins the lab. you might allow a fully trained scientist who is doing very well in your lab to take responsibility for the day-to-day progress of one of the lab’s projects. and support the individual’s professional development. For example. Assigning responsibility does not lessen your role in the lab. This leadership style is the most demanding. but would also take the time to explain decisions. Coaching. and to function within the context of that project as a fully independent researcher. for example. then you need to tell him or her precisely what to do at each step. You would continue to direct the actions of the person you are supervising. Clearly define the responsibilities assigned to each lab member. For example. Once you have decided to delegate the responsibility for a given task. This style puts a low focus on task and a higher one on relationship. such as washing dishes or feeding research animals. If you make all of the reagents in the lab. careful worker. This style puts a high focus on both task and relationship. solicit suggestions. For example. you may take this approach with a technician who has just started working in your lab and needs to learn an important technique that he or she will be doing routinely. You would turn over responsibility for decision-making and problem-solving to an individual who has become more independent. Delegating. Once you have delegated.

spend most of his time in the lab. If you would like to be approachable but your many obligations prevent you from having an “open door policy. Keep in mind that the people to whom you delegate may view problems that arise as personal failures or as letting you down. Recognizing and dealing with low morale or bad feeling arising among your workers (or between your workers and yourself) requires most people to pay more attention to human relationships than they did before taking on a leadership role. You do not want to add to your own burden by having to micromanage your delegations. it can be valuable to hold regular goal-setting and evaluation sessions—an annual lab retreat for discussing big picture issues. Argentina ” MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 53 . it will Alberto Kornblihtt. more than at any other time in history. may save you headaches later. In addition to these informal interactions. Regardless of the size of your lab or your group. science is a team sport—and the teams keep getting bigger.When you delegate authority to someone. If you are still doing experiments at the bench yourself. make a big difference to your group’s research productivity if you make an effort to walk around the lab frequently (on the scale of at least once a day. formal meetings are an organized way to ensure that everyone is kept informed of the group’s activities and results and for you to reiterate your expectations and values. but sometimes putting some time into seeing to it that the work starts off well is all it takes to ensure a successful transition to your delegates’ ability to work independently. no matter the nature of your work (desk or bench). can also be important for building morale and encouraging lab members to think of themselves as part of a team. there are some general guidelines for keeping the team members motivated and working effectively. held periodically.” try establishing a regular schedule of hours during which people from your lab group can reliably get a moment of your time without the formality of setting up an official meeting. except when out of the lab for meetings or other academic commitments. Your job as a leader includes maintaining good working conditions so that your group can be productive. if you can) and informally chat with people. Taking the time beforehand to communicate what should happen. Not to give the impression that being the boss one has the privilege to work less. They may therefore put off telling you about problems. and anticipating any potential problems. For many kinds of work. Keeping your office door open when you do not need privacy or quiet sends the message that you are approachable and available for scientific and practical questions about the work in the lab. you need to integrate people who have different kinds of technical expertise and backgrounds. They are discussed in the sections below. I would add that it is important that the boss. COMMUNICATING WITHIN THE LAB You should communicate with laboratory members on a daily basis if possible. from communicating and giving feedback to setting specific rules of behavior. If you have time. be sure to back that person up when his or her authority is called into question. Group activities such as lab dinners or outings. Distribute responsibilities fairly among members of the lab. arriving early in the morning and staying late. BUILDING AND SUSTAINING AN EFFECTIVE TEAM Today. you will be accessible to your lab members. and scheduled one-on-one advisory meetings and performance evaluations for your trainees and employees. regular lab meetings involving the full staff. But if you spend most of your time in your office writing papers and grants or handling other responsibilities.

they should be witnessed by a scientifically competent reader in case you later need to prove that your work came before another scientist’s. Even routine procedures should be documented each time they are carried out. WHY ARE NOTEBOOKS SO IMPORTANT? Spotting problems quickly. ENSURE THAT DAILY RECORDS ARE KEPT OF ALL OF THE WORK IN YOUR LAB The precise way in which to document scientific research varies from field to field and from place to place. or individual’s way of carrying out the work changes with experience.GOOD PRACTICE FOR LABORATORY NOTEBOOKS Scientists everywhere are expected to keep daily records of their work. and will let you find out quickly when things are not working or when a worker is struggling to achieve an expected result. especially when you have written down a bold new insight or done a profoundly important experiment for the first time. This not only reinforces the habit of keeping notes but also preserves a record of how shortcuts. Never remove pages. You will be responsible for the integrity of all of the work that comes out of your laboratory.S. including the U.. even if some-one else tries to patent it before you. When these changes evolve. not only because it is meant to be a fair record but also because sometimes what seems to be a failure turns out to be an important insight and the beginning of a new success. they have not been exposed to much legal scrutiny or been part of many controversies. if you can prove you thought of an idea first. you own it. “tweaking”. but some general rules apply: Use a permanently bound book. will help you ensure that the work in the lab is being done up to your standards. many labs continue to use paper records even if they are also using electronic systems. New electronic tools for laboratory record–keeping are increasingly coming into use. entries should be signed by you. Careful record-keeping can help prove your claims of priority. Periodically. especially if they improve the work process and should replace the original method. A well-kept lab notebook documents failures just as thoroughly as it documents successes. In many countries. When working in the lab. Checking notebooks and setting a good example by keeping exemplary records yourself will help prevent fraud. Sometimes. Defending patents. whoever patents an invention first has rights to it. Avoiding fraud. . For this reason. and reviewing your own periodically. one often comes up with “tweaks” and “work-arounds” that make work go faster. But in some places. Having a look at everyone’s notebook a few times a month. they should be noted. with consecutive dated entries. So far. These records allow work to be reproduced by others and serve as a record of your progress and the evolution of your ideas. Avoiding technical drift. Keeping an eye on the lab’s notebooks will also help you spot when an attempt at efficiency or convenience causes an established procedure to become less accurate or reliable.

g. expiration date). Explain nonstandard abbreviations. Identify and describe reagents and specimens used. For this reason. it can be useful for researchers to keep a personal notebook full of procedures. fireproof box in the lab is a good place to store notebooks overnight. They should not go to anyone’s home. should stand on its own. . including a brief explanation. Use ink and never obliterate original writing. If safety and security of the notebook is a concern.. Use proper names for items and real verbs to describe how you used them. including their objectives and rationale. even for a routine task. not grouped together with related work done on various dates. Laboratory notebooks usually stay with the lab in which the work was done. a locked. preferably with waterproof. to permit others to replicate the work.Use only pens. Entries in the notebook should be written in order of the time the work was done. If you write out an experiment and do not carry it out. and other useful information using a second. suggested by your observations. Write all entries in the first person. recipes. lot number. Loose items like photographs. Write down some analysis of your results and outline new experiments. This personal book. methods. or machine printouts should be permanently attached to the notebook pages using glue or staples. sturdy book which they have purchased themselves. solventproof. and fade-resistant ink that does not smear. Each entry. never remove pages or portions of a page. Enter analytical instrument serial numbers and calibration dates. which will leave the lab. make a note that it was not done. to write in the notebook. reagent manufacturer. and be specific about who did the work. KEEPING A WELL-ORGANIZED RECORD Organize material with sections and headings. purity. Make sure that your handwriting is clear and that others can read it. should never function as a separate lab notebook. drawings. Lab notebooks should not leave the laboratory area (including the researcher’s office. if it is close to the lab). Identify sources of those materials (e.

If you run a very large group working on several projects.” spell out in writing the progress the individual has made since the last review and set future goals. Another idea is to have joint research meetings with other labs. which is especially useful when they are looking for jobs or letters of reference.” share their results and their interpretation. Comments and suggestions from the research team usually follow. you may not have the time to meet with your lab members that often. and together consider logistics and technical matters. SMALL GROUP MEETINGS Some large labs also have meetings of subgroups working on specific projects or working with specific techniques. but it is important that you make an effort to communicate with them as often as possible. it is useful to meet often with each of the people working or training under your supervision so that you can keep current with their progress and any problems they may be encountering in getting their experiments to work. make note of new skills acquired. but it can still be useful to schedule occasional formal presentations so that the individuals training in your lab can perfect their ability to speak about their research and learn to look and act like a professional scientist. provide some background to get others “up to speed. It is good experience for your lab members to give presentations to scientists outside your lab. Depending on your circumstances. For example. This gives everyone who is working hands-on with the project a chance to consider and choose different experimental strategies to generate the best results. See the Appendix at the end of this chapter (page 72) for a sample six-month performance review. These reviews. 56 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . They may meet with them more frequently immediately after lab members have finished a series of experiments or when they notice that a lab member is struggling. sometimes called “performance reviews. It can help to clarify presentations and may bring out new ideas from those who are not so closely involved with the projects. It is valuable to carry out formal reviews of a person’s progress during these one-on-one meetings once or twice a year. teach individuals who are leading these projects to meet regularly with students or technicians working under them. The review can give you an opportunity to acknowledge and comment on the person’s hard work. Small group meetings give everyone an informal opportunity to share tips and tricks. ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS Regardless of the frequency of research group meetings. They give an introduction to the purpose of their individual project or activity. Many heads of labs meet with lab members for an hour each week. It extends your network and that of your students.RESEARCH GROUP MEETINGS Many research groups hold weekly or monthly meetings. Invite them to come into your office with their lab notebooks and show you what they have been working on. and restate your expectations for the trainee or employee’s work in the lab. People in the lab take turns presenting what they have done since they gave their last presentation. each person discussing what he or she did that week. The benefit of small groups like this for getting new technologies and techniques working is so large that it may be worthwhile to put together “user groups” of personnel working on the same approaches in other nearby labs. a group meeting is a semiformal presentation. and can help keep morale up when members of the group run up against technical challenges. in other labs these meetings may be more informal. and then discuss what they plan to do next. In some labs. Informal meetings tend to be much more interactive. you will help them learn how to supervise and at the same time make your workload more manageable.

made and purified by Jane Doe on May 22. Once you have developed a systematic way of labeling everything you’d like to be able to find. One might index a new plasmid named pJD03. and where more information can be found. Then develop a system for labeling these things so that you can find them again. who generated it. Think about what kinds of things. you will have a quick.STRATEGY SESSIONS Should you decide that your research needs to take a new direction. especially as the personnel in your working group change over time. you can use the search capacity of a personal computer to make your life much easier. what kind of resource is stored. These meetings also help you determine how potential conflicts and competing interests can be avoided. you may want to call an official strategy session. if 20 years from now you would like to remember something about a plasmid you vaguely remember a student making sometime after the Olympics in China but before the World Cup in Johannesburg. from ideas to pictures of laboratory results. Such a meeting also helps the group develop a shared understanding of the lab’s direction and clarifies what needs to be done and who within the group is interested in what aspects of the new research area. as well as other information that may suit a given laboratory. Integrate research and clinical activities and use departmental academic meetings to promote the clinical relevance of your research program. A strategy session helps the group identify the next most important questions and what experiments will answer these questions. simple way to find it. WHAT TO STORE Lab protocols Primary data in a form that will survive into the future CDs/DVDs Handwritten data in pen in laboratory notebooks or other high quality paper Laser-printed computer documents on high quality paper Lists of specimens and reagents Information about instruments MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 57 . you would like to be able to find quickly. A good system might name things in a way that indicated the date the item or information was generated. DEVELOPING A DATA MANAGEMENT SYSTEM TO TRACK YOUR LABORATORY’S WORK Having an orderly system for maintaining lab procedures and information can be very useful. and described and recorded in the third volume of her notebook on page 79 as 20092009-05-22 /jd /plasmid prep/ pJD03/III:79 Even with this simple system.

Everyone participates actively in the discussion of the articles. what constitutes effective analysis. Regardless. The discussion of a scientific report serves to illustrate how to (and how not to) construct and test a hypothesis. There are many ways to hold a journal club. the rationale for doing it. the person leading the discussion of a particular article will review the background of the study. which focuses on infectious diseases. Typically. but in general. the data presented. or as desired. and instrumentation used? Is the analysis and interpretation of the data valid? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen experimental design? Are there any errors that the authors may have missed? What is the impact of these errors on the authors’ data. followed by a question-and-answer or discussion period. such as “molecular biology. Finding Good Papers for Journal Clubs Our journal club. methods. South Africa ” HOW TO RUN A JOURNAL CLUB In many research institutes. Some journal clubs take place over lunch. In addition. Brian Eley. In some groups. A journal club meeting also reinforces the idea that reading current papers is essential to keeping up with the field. interpretations. with a portion of the time allotted to a presentation. It will also help more junior scientists stay motivated about their own work and learn about the elements of a sound scientific paper and study. members of different labs will get together to discuss published articles in a particular field or subject. Responsibility for leading the discussion of articles is rotated among all of the regular participants. and will evaluate both the results and their interpretation. Presenters do have the freedom to occasionally select interesting or relevant articles from non-preferential journals. and/or conclusions? What is the overall significance of this work to a particular field of study? Do the conclusions follow from the data? Are there other. these meetings work best when: The group meets regularly in the same location at the same time. Most journal clubs last about an hour. perhaps better interpretations of the data than those presented in the paper? 58 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . and how to report scientific findings. these meetings provide an opportunity for you to communicate your values about science when discussing other people’s work.JOURNAL CLUB MEETINGS These meetings are an integral part of training new scientists. Articles selected for reading and discussion are of interest to the majority of the group. and can vary in frequency from weekly to monthly. others at other times of the day.” Reading and discussing articles with others who share your interests and background will really help you and the people in your lab stay abreast of current developments. such as “chromatin. has identified 10 leading journals from which presenters are encouraged to select articles for presentation. In other journal clubs only the person leading the discussion reads the paper ahead of time and the others learn about it through his or her presentation. In the process.” or broad in scope. The subject can be very specialized. the discussion leader should address the following questions: Is the paper clearly written? What is the quality of the work described? What is the quality of the materials. everyone in the group reads the paper ahead of the meetings. these meetings are more popular if some food and drinks are provided.

Follow up the meeting with a meeting summary and a to-do-by-what-date list. who will take notes. or some other lasting sign of the day is kept and proudly displayed for continued inspiration. systematic approach to do that. giving them feedback will help them develop as scientists and will ensure that your expectations are met. these outings. the group getting a new grant. most heads of laboratories agree that it is important that lab members occasionally socialize in a relaxed. After a while. you might have to arrange ” GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE MEETINGS Solicit agenda items and distribute an agenda before the meeting. make a decision. who will lead the discussion. Even if you have a very formal manner with your lab. Discuss what should be on the next meeting’s agenda.Finding Good Papers for Journal Clubs Search on Medline for your field/subject of interest. Have clear assigned roles for the meeting—that is.” is also important. good or bad. Such get-togethers can help promote a team feeling and enhance communication among lab members. As you are establishing your lab. try to: Time it well. positive feedback. about the work. In some groups. Zimbabwe INFORMAL GROUP ACTIVITIES Organizing social occasions to celebrate a major accomplishment—publication of a paper. MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 59 . a group photo. this is a tough technical problem that we need to get through. especially if full papers are available.. You do not have to be everyone’s friend in the lab to do this—providing small comments will do.” or “Keep trying. feedback should be given informally on a daily basis. and do not feel offended if you are not invited to all after-hours occasions. non-work environment. Feedback delivered during stressful times (e. Remember that although one often notices criticism and correction more.g. they will occur more spontaneously. a team member getting a new job. Discuss papers of interest that have just been presented at a recent conference. Look through relevant journals that the research institute/university department subscribes to. and so on—is important for promoting your shared vision of the lab and building morale. or when someone walked into a discussion not expecting to hear critique. go over discussion points. especially if your role in your organization puts you at a much higher level of seniority and responsibility than those on your team. Do not feel that you always have to participate. GIVING AND RECEIVING FEEDBACK Giving and receiving feedback is a critical leadership skill. as well as during formal meetings. especially when either party is angry or elated. Also. for example “Thanks for making sure this got done on time. who will speak. and you are using a good. and determine post-meeting actions. Susan Mutambu. When you give feedback to people in the lab. Receiving feedback from individuals in your lab will help you improve as a leader. when a grant deadline is looming) is rarely helpful. and will help you steer people toward your vision. For each action item on the agenda. a souvenir like a copy of the newly successful grant or celebratory champagne bottle signed by the whole team. Look at papers that your collaborators have published. In turn.

What can you do today that will help you get here on time for the next five days in a row?” Working toward small goals can sometimes help good workers meet your standards. Select the highest priority issues to start with. Even positive.” Reinforce expectations. for example.” Be very clear about what you want your discussion to achieve. and arrange a way to monitor progress. Why does a person come to the lab late in the day and have an erratic work schedule? Does she have a problem with getting transportation to and from the lab? Has he taken an additional job? Suggest ways to overcome these problems and agree on a deadline for re-evaluating the problem. Avoid too much. If you have an excellent worker who is failing to meet your expectations for working regular hours in the lab. Many people depend on your expertise and need to know when you are available. group title. you may Present it in a constructive way. You and I both know that you are a good worker and that you struggle with family responsibilities. this is the kind of problem people get fired for. time Meeting purpose Desired outcome Expected preperation Attendees and known absences Minutes from the last meeting New business Other business Date and content of next meeting need to say explicitly “In the long run.” think of a specific instance that you thought was a problem. In some cultures it is not acceptable for someone working or training in your laboratory to give you feedback on any aspects of your own performance. “Maybe staying closer to the lab during the week or catching a ride with someone in another part of the institution would help?” Make sure it registers.” Try instead to stick to objective arguments. For example. ensure that the student or other trainee in the lab has a plan for dealing with any problems you have identified. where it will be held. Feedback is often subject to distortion or misinterpretation. But that outcome may not help you achieve your intended goal.” or “You do not seem to care about your experiments. Focus your comments on first-hand data. well-motivated people sometimes have to think a few days to assimilate your message. but you can point out solutions. An example of such a statement is “I do not like the fact that you show up in the lab whenever you feel like it. Receiving Feedback. Sometimes when people receive negative feedback. So how can you get feedback if you want it? 60 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . You cannot organize a person’s life for them. But we are not at that stage yet and we will not be as long as we can work together and solve the problem. You may want to ask the student or postdoc to rephrase what you have said and talk about his or her assessment of the issues you raised. but you only did one. actions. Feedback should be seen as a method for improvement rather than as a punitive step. they feel defeated. “We decided at our meeting that you would do these three experiments.”). Be specific and objective. date.. To this end..Components of an Especially Useful Agenda Meeting title. and remember that time and space are needed for integrating feedback. In such systems. it is difficult for other people in the lab to know when they can talk to you. instead of saying “You are not focused enough on your work. and behavior and not on the person or speculation about his or her intentions. for example. and that is the end of the story. Provide feedback in terms of previously outlined goals and decisions (“We decided at the last meeting. saying. “If you arrive at unpredictable times. you are The Boss. Avoid subjective statements.

to choosing to hire a new researcher to work in your lab. In general. As you are listening to a comment. this approach improves the quality of the decision. which may lead to resentment or misunderstanding. Regardless of where you get your advice. or when you are dealing with highly confidential information. to deciding what experiments to do. If the feedback is negative. from determining which emails to open and how to answer each one. the decision involved in hiring a new technician is a serious one. MAKING A DECISION AFTER CONSULTING WITH OTHER INDIVIDUALS You would use this decision style when you need input from others and have sufficient time to gather information. if approached by another researcher to collaborate on a project. if another scientist approaches you to collaborate on some experiments for a paper he is in a rush to publish. but you run the risk of involving people who are not really participating in the decision-making process. can I use the same approach? Answers to these questions will help you choose the most appropriate decision style. it may be that old friends or trusted relatives can help you work through your growing pains. If you are a very senior scientist at your institution despite having only recently finished your own training and have little hope of getting honest feedback from your colleagues. MAKING DECISIONS As the head of a new laboratory you will be making tens if not hundreds of decisions a day. do you need to make? Whether or not you give a talk at the departmental seminar next August may be a decision that will not carry very serious consequences. you must be receptive. If something is not clear. when there is no need for buy-in from other people. MAKING A DECISION IN COMPLETE ISOLATION This decision style works best when you are under severe time constraints. and have lunch with senior colleagues to get a sense of how they think your work is progressing and whether you are on track for achieving your scientific and career goals. when you alone have the best insight. you also need to find someone in your current social and scientific culture who can help you maintain your perspective and sense of humor. if any. you may ask your colleagues whether MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 61 . that is. Past advisors may also be able to help with some issues. take time to think about what you heard. if you have one. however. Another example would be to decide whether to referee a paper or write a letter of reference for someone working in your laboratory. invite people in your lab to provide feedback on specific issues by asking questions during lab meetings or scheduled one-on-one meetings. You can make this decision without consulting anyone else if the work can be done by yourself or a technician. For example. You will have to interview the candidate and carefully research his or her background before you make a decision. even if you do not agree.If possible. the first step in making a decision involves understanding the demands of the situation by answering the following questions: How important is the decision I have to make? For example. on a regular basis. those in your lab and other colleagues will be reluctant to give you their true opinions. This feedback will make you a better manager. If you have entirely trained abroad. If you respond angrily or defensively. try to understand what the other person is saying. When do I need to make the decision? Do I have enough information to make the decision? How critical are the consequences of this decision? Who needs to know or cares about the decision I am about to make? Will I need assistance or approval from others? If I made the same kind of decision before. you may quickly decide whether it is worthwhile for you to get involved. the degree to which you go at it alone or include others. For example. remember that to get honest comments and suggestions. In each case. What behaviors might have caused these perceptions? What changes. ask for clarification. Make it a point to meet with your own supervisor.

you should live by the expectations you set for your lab members. Show your workers that you enjoy what you are doing. but in some cases it improves the quality of the decision. at lunchtime if you eat with your group. Having these standards written down is especially good for new lab members and will be useful when you are conducting periodic performance reviews. WORK HOURS Some heads of laboratories feel they should stipulate a specific number of hours per week that they expect people in their lab. and. if you believe that the trainee has good judgment and enough experience to make a mature. to work. during lab meetings. you might let a senior scientist training in your laboratory decide on his or her own whether to collaborate with another scientist or where to submit a paper. As a general rule. They will be able to see how you work and what is important to you. whether you like it or not. Another example is if you have to decide whether or not to buy a new piece of equipment you have little experience with.” PASSING THE DECISION ON TO OTHERS This happens in cases when the decision is more important to other people in the lab. But that strategy does not necessarily work well and can generate resentment if the hours 62 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . or when you have little competence in the area or other more pressing priorities.they know this person and what his or her reputation is. or need a creative response. The best way to communicate expectations is to convey them continually—at the first interview.g. This can increase the likelihood of buy-in and help increase motivation. need the buy-in or technical experience of the group. It is also a good idea to communicate in writing your expectations about everything from expected work hours to dress code to how one gains access to training opportunities and advancement. working side by side with them if your position still includes bench work. informed decision. Some expectations may apply to a particular group of lab members (e. or you may want to work with your lab members to set these expectations. For example. or showing interest in their work if your role is more administrative. most importantly. MAKING A DECISION WITH THE GROUP This decision style is helpful when you have few time constraints. by setting a good example yourself day by day. It is more time-consuming than the two discussed above. Below are some general areas you will want to consider when setting expectations for people in your lab.. especially trainees. on the first day on the job. You might be formal about stating your expectations. For example. Do not let those you consult believe that they have control of your decision. It does not diminish your authority to say to a trusted subordinate. you may decide jointly with existing lab members. when deciding whether or not to invite an individual to join your lab. The head of a laboratory considering taking on a new research direction may consult with the head of the research institute or other colleagues. “Since you are the one who will be the most involved in running this machine. The most important thing to consider in this case is that you will have to live with the decision. The last thing you want to do is overturn a decision once it has been made. postdocs). But the decision ultimately rests on the shoulders of the laboratory head. others may be unique to each individual. There may be other scientists working in your lab who are more knowledgeable and can make a better decision on which particular model to buy. be present in the lab. get the one that suits you best. SETTING AND COMMUNICATING RULES OF BEHAVIOR FOR MEMBERS OF YOUR LABORATORY A key element of your role as a lab leader is to effectively convey expectations that reflect your vision for the lab. Especially in the early years.

Focusing on productivity will prove more successful than focusing on the number of hours or on the specific hours an individual works. your own work hours set the pace for your group. Here are some guidelines to consider: The first author is normally the individual who is primarily responsible for the project. If you want people to have access to the lab at unusual hours. In some places. laboratories may be capable of running around the clock. Generally. you will probably want the members of your laboratory to be present during certain hours. It is unwise to make upfront promises about authorship. you will need to think through issues of key control and your workers’ security as well as that of your laboratory and the supplies and equipment in it. AUTHORSHIP OF PAPERS The inclusion and order of authors on a paper are often sources of discord in the lab. While in others. You should let applicants know about your institution’s and your lab’s policies. Most journals permit a statement that indicates that the first two or three authors listed have each contributed equally to the publication. but remember that the author lists when cited in publications or on one’s CV will not have this statement attached. In deciding who should be an author on a paper. and the degree to which civil and religious events affect work also varies. Nevertheless. MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 63 . the Principal Investigator (PI) must consider who has contributed to particular aspects of the work. and other adjustments for family needs. PROLONGED ABSENCES Communicate your expectation that lab members should give you several weeks notice about an upcoming vacation or their intention to spend a holiday or harvest period away from the area. work is confined to the normal business day. to make sure they can interact with you and the other lab members. This topic is discussed at greater length in chapter 9. demanded are far beyond normal expectations. You may choose to make it a policy in your lab to wait until you know how much each person has actually contributed to any given paper before authorship is assigned. and provide their rationale for being considered as an author. study leave. All lab members who are involved in a project should express their expectations concerning authorship and credits on the resulting paper. the amount of vacation leave varies from country to country. Occasionally. Inform them of any vacation and personal leave limits set by your institution. maternity and paternity leave. For example. It is best to follow these guidelines rigorously to avoid perceptions of favoritism.QUESTION q&a How do I avoid potential misunderstandings among lab members regarding work hours and time off? ANSWER The best way to handle this is to convey your expectations about work hours and time off to applicants during the employment interview or their first day on the job. Your institution may also have guidelines about sick leave. funeral leave. two individuals may share that responsibility. This can be helpful.

If leaving the boss off your papers will ruin your position at your institution. This may be the reality at some institutions. if you have a more senior position and are in charge of several labs.WHEN THE “BIG BOSS” EXPECTS TO BE AN AUTHOR Depending on the protocol of your country or your particular institution. So how do you decide whether or not to list him or her as an author? Here are some things to consider: If this person is a recognized authority in the field of work of your study. listing him or her as an author may actually help you get the paper published. Of course. At some research institutes. what can you do? This is a difficult problem. There may be no other topic in this book where the gap between the right thing to do and the pragmatic thing to do is so large. help as much? It is hard to know. Would an accompanying letter to the journal editor from the authority. and you should encourage your staff to attend.. This material is also sometimes delivered at large scientific meetings or in workshops offered by the World Health Organization and other agencies. If listing your boss as an author will win you his or her favor and will help you advance in your career. Some institutions offer lectures or seminars in scientific ethics. scientific rigor and reproducible and discrepant results) in a lab meeting or in a more informal setting. ask: “Could this project have been done without this person’s conceptual or technical contribution?” SCIENTIFIC ETHICS The best way to communicate responsible research conduct to your lab members is to live by those values yourself. if the “big boss” provided ideas or suggestions that were crucial to the development or completion of the study. though. 64 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . but around the world it is regarded as scientifically dishonest and quite unethical. you should consider carefully about when it is appropriate to be an author. the head is on every paper. period. Finding ways to truly involve the authority as a collaborator in your work may give you a strategy for maintaining your integrity. and in some places a politically dangerous issue to confront directly. And listing this person as an author may communicate to readers that you are not an independent scientist. you may always be an appropriate author on any paper the lab publishes. in many cases your boss will have had little input into your work. you should talk about important ethical issues (e.g. But setting aside your integrity is never the right thing to do. However. he or she should be listed as an author. The importance of your name being on the paper will vary from place to place and situation to situation. In deciding whether to include someone as an author. it may be to your advantage to do so. you may have little choice deciding whether your boss should be on the paper. If you are running a lab and overseeing all of the work conducted in the lab. rather than the authority’s name on your paper. As a leader. However.

The scientific needs of your trainees are obvious. Work in the lab is most effective and productive when members have clearly defined projects that are sufficiently distinct for each person to carry out some independent work. Journals will generally list other members of the group in the acknowledgements. multi-center group has conducted the work. the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. This matters for everyone. When submitting a group author manuscript. most people are motivated when their contributions to the laboratory are recognized and appreciated. People need the skills to do the work that is expected of them. The National Library of Medicine indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being directly responsible for the manuscript. If a postdoc has decided to pursue a career in government or in industry. involve them in discussions about general scientific strategy. People need to understand the importance of their role in the lab and in the scientific enterprise. and that even dishwashers and other less-skilled helpers are working with you for reasons that are important to them. but at the same time the projects are interrelated so that no one is working in a vacuum. As the leader of your group. an excellent technician may be driven by goals in and outside science. and 3) final approval of the version to be published. or analysis and interpretation of data. Authors should meet conditions 1. everyone in the lab can consult with and motivate his or her lab mates. It is important for you to set goals that define success for those working under you and make sure they match with what the person is doing. during which everyone talks about what projects they would like to continue or initiate. People want to make some decisions. make sure you give people appropriate responsibilities. Some labs have strategy discussions every three to four months. the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and should clearly identify all individual authors as well as the group name. or ask appropriate questions that will help you judge the individual’s development. Choice. and listen to their ideas. with input from individual members. and 3. 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content. As a lab leader. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above and editors will ask these individuals to complete journalspecific author and conflict of interest disclosure forms. 2. you need to address your lab members’ individual goals while you work together to realize your shared vision. KEEPING LAB MEMBERS MOTIVATED One of your key roles is to motivate people to work hard toward achieving your shared vision and your shared interests. trying to motivate him or her to follow in your footsteps into academia will not work. Competence. usually decides what projects people in the lab work on. It is important to listen to what each person wants to do and understand what his or her goals are. most people require: MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 65 . large or small.THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF MEDICAL JOURNAL EDITORS CRITERIA FOR AUTHORSHIP OF SCIENTIFIC WORK Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design. Check competencies by asking someone to do an experiment with you. This way. While different people respond to different types of internal and external motivation. PROJECT OWNERSHIP The head of the laboratory. According to Edward O’Neil. When a large. but remember. or acquisition of data. Purpose. to feel motivated.

You should develop a clear policy concerning whether you will allow scientists who train in your lab, and then leave to establish their own research programs, to take their projects with them. Communicate this policy to all scientists who join your lab. Some heads of laboratories let scientists who trained in their labs take whatever they had worked on during their stay, with no strings attached. Others will let them take only portions of a project. When you develop your policy, think about how you would want to handle a situation in which the research results are different from what you anticipated, or a situation in which the results lead to interesting new avenues of research. If you have a small research group and a focused area of research, you may not be able to allow departing researchers to take their projects with them. In that case, you might need to develop some alternatives to benefit them.

Recognition. You need to provide continuous feedback to those who work with you. Criticism, comments, and suggestions should be provided in the context of the given expectations. Special accomplishments, such as publishing a paper or getting a difficult technique to work, require special recognition, such as a lab outing. Feeling Comfortable. To be able to focus on their work, people must feel comfortable in their environment. One example is that some lab members like to play music in the lab, while others are distracted by it. The working environment needs to be safe and, if possible, comfortable, so that your lab members look forward to coming to work every day and enjoy conducting research in your lab with their colleagues. Progress. Satisfaction from achieving goals should not be in the distant future. It is a good idea to schedule individual meetings as often as once a week to set deadlines, solve problems, and plan future experiments. A paper is a big goal but may be several years into the future. But getting an enzyme to work correctly or processing a given number of samples can be goals that are attainable much sooner, and are encouraging.

Enthusiasm. You undoubtedly love science for the thrill of discovery, of finding the answer to an important scientific question that has never been answered before, or helping find solutions to an intractable health problem. Share your enthusiasm and passion and soon others in the lab will follow your lead.

Unless also wrestling with personal problems, poor health, or family problems, when these factors are in place, people should feel motivated to work. A lack of motivation may manifest itself as a decrease in productivity. For example, someone who was productive will stop producing results consistently week after week. You will first need to determine the cause for this decrease. Is it an interpersonal problem in the lab, an experimental obstacle, or a personal crisis? Discuss the problem with the lab member and see whether you can jointly develop a strategy to address the issue or minimize the impact of the lab member’s actions or distress on others.



Conflict is any situation where one person’s concerns or desires differ from those of another person. In the lab, conflicts often arise over “turf wars,” when two individuals are interested in the same project. By staying on top of what each member of your lab is doing, you can often spot potential problems and deal with them before they become too serious. Many people tend to avoid conflict. But we should think of conflict as a creative part of our lives. Conflict has the potential to produce both positive and negative effects. Depending on how it is managed, conflict can be constructive or destructive, stimulating or unnerving. It can produce higher quality results or stifle a project; it can lead to original thinking or cause destructive power struggles.

it sometimes seems justified, the mistake many scientists make is to stay in an individualistic, competitive mode all the time. For example, if the head of another lab asks you for a reagent that you have not yet cited in a publication and that one of the people in your lab is using for a project, you may decline to share the reagent until your lab has published a paper referring to it. The decision will probably make you unpopular with the other scientist, but you are safeguarding the interests of your lab. Accommodating. This mode is unassertive and cooperative. In other words, it is the opposite of competing. Accommodators often neglect their own concerns in order to satisfy the concerns of others. The accommodating mode may be appropriate when you want to build political capital or create good will, and for issues of low importance. However, keep in mind that the accommodating mode can be a problem if you keep a tally and expect that the other person will be accommodating next time. For example, you and your collaborator are sharing a piece of equipment that just broke down. He is insistent that you pay for the repairs since your lab uses it more. You do not agree, but you give in on this one because you know that his lab uses all the other shared equipment more—so it will be his turn next time a piece of equipment needs repair. Avoiding. Avoidant behavior is both unassertive and uncooperative. Those who avoid conflict do not immediately pursue their own concerns or those of others. The conflict is never addressed by avoiders. Many times people will avoid conflicts out of fear of engaging in a conflict or because they do not have confidence in their conflict management skills. However, avoiding can be a good strategy in cases where the person with whom you are in conflict has much more power than you do or when issues are not that important. It is also a good strategy when you need to buy time. An example of how to do this is to say “These are serious changes. I will need some time to think about them.”

Dr. Kenneth W. Thomas and Dr. Ralph H. Kilmann provide a useful model for evaluating an individual’s behavior in conflict situations. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict MODE Instrument describes a person’s behavior in a conflict situation along two basic dimensions: assertiveness, that is, the extent to which an individual attempts to satisfy his or her own concerns, and cooperativeness, that is, the extent to which an individual attempts to satisfy the concerns of the other person. These two basic dimensions of behavior can be used to define five specific modes of dealing with conflict that everyone is capable of using. Competing. This conflict-handling mode is assertive and uncooperative. A person who handles conflict in this manner pursues his or her own concerns at the other person’s expense. They use whatever powers seem appropriate to win their position, including their ability to argue or their rank. This conflict mode works when you are dealing with a vital issue, an unpopular decision, or a decision that needs quick action. Although



Collaborating.This conflict-handling mode is both assertive and cooperative. It is the opposite of avoiding. Collaborators attempt to work with the other person to find some solution that fully satisfies the concerns of both persons. They dig into an issue to identify the underlying concerns of the two conflicting individuals and try to find an alternative that meets both sets of concerns. With such a positive outcome, some people will profess that the collaboration mode is always the best conflict mode to use. But collaboration takes a great deal of time and energy, so it should be used only when the conflict warrants that investment of time and energy. For example, if two students in your laboratory are arguing over who should do a particular experiment, you might want to spend the necessary time to carefully carve out different projects in a way that will satisfy both students. On the other hand, if your students are in conflict about which day to hold a lab meeting, it is probably not worth the time and energy necessary to collaboratively resolve the conflict. Compromising. On the negotiating continuum, this mode lies somewhere between assertiveness and cooperativeness. The goal of the compromiser is to find an expedient, mutually acceptable solution that partially satisfies both parties. The compromiser gives up more than the competitor, but less than the accommodator. He or she addresses an issue more directly than the avoider, but does not explore it in as much depth or detail as the collaborator. This mode of conflict resolution is useful for decisions of moderate importance, when you have equal power status, or when you are faced with an issue that needs to be resolved quickly. In general, academics tend to underutilize this mode of handling conflict. For example, say you are invited by a collaborator to give a talk at his university in a different country, but you do not want to add more days of travel to your busy schedule. You may agree to do it, but time it so that it coincides with a meeting or other event in that country. Another example is if the head of your department or university goes back on her agreement to give you a semester free of

teaching responsibilities. She tells you that she is desperate and needs you to teach a course for 200 students, including labs, during your first semester. You point out that it is stipulated in your contract that your first semester would be free of teaching responsibilities; however, you are willing to teach a smaller, graduate-level course. You of course would rather not teach anything and are not contractually bound to teach in your first semester, but you also know that it is in your best interest to accommodate your chair’s wishes as much as possible. Each of these conflict-handling modes has value; none is intended to be good, bad, or preferable in all situations. A worthwhile goal for you as the head of a laboratory or project is to increase your repertoire of responses to conflict, with the flexibility to use various modes in different situations and in appropriate ways. The people who work for you in your lab will also tend to adopt one style of handling a conflict over another. You will have a mix of competitors, accommodators, and avoiders. Show them by example that there are different ways of handling conflict, depending on the situation. Resolving a conflict between lab members. When conflict occurs between two or more members of the lab, determine whether it is necessary for you (or someone you delegate) to step in and facilitate a resolution. Usually, people will be able to resolve their own conflicts, but make sure a conflict does not fester to the point that it affects morale and the atmosphere in the lab. Here are a few tips for how to help resolve conflict in the lab:
Try to create an environment that accepts conflict, as long as the difficulties are faced openly and honestly by the people involved. Although different cultures differ in how they deal with conflict, open disagreement and its positive resolution is a key part of science. When it comes to matters of technical work issues and data, it is good to have an environment where people feel free to express differences, even if those differences are between individuals who are at different levels of power,



for example. no matter which person harvested it. Make sure each person understands the other’s point of view. Identify your interests. The leader must avoid the trap of dropping his or her leadership responsibilities and responding to the challenge by becoming “just another lab member. clarifying. RESOLVING CONFLICTS BETWEEN YOU AND OTHERS IN THE LAB Conflicts between the head of the laboratory and the lab members also occur. Select a strategy that balances the importance of the problem.” In other words. particularly during the early stages. It is up to you to make sure that people’s pride and dignity do not become too wrapped up in matters of nature. focusing questions. status. The leader can demonstrate interest in receiving and understanding negative feedback and show a willingness to learn from it. The head of the laboratory can actively reinforce openness by lab members. and the relationship of the people involved. time constraints. The head of the lab can do this by summarizing. Help the individuals involved get together to discuss and settle the disagreement. The head of the lab may. you never have just your interests at hand but always those of the lab as a whole. In the end.STEPS FOR DEALING WITH CONFLICT When faced with conflict: Access the problem. or seniority. as the head of your laboratory. the data are the data. Assess the other person’s interests. especially the participants in a conflict episode. Such conflicts are important and influential in developing the future course of the lab. power differences. and come to a resolution. MANAGING YOUR MANY ROLES 69 . invite the people involved in a conflict to the office at a designated time to discuss the problems openly and honestly. when appropriate. and encouraging listening by each person.

Peter F. Renee. 1998. 2003. DC: National Academies Press. Pittsburgh: Three Rivers Press. The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker’s Essential Writings on Management. APPENDIX Performance Review Form Please complete part A in advance and bring it to our meeting or email it to me. Laboratory Management: Principles and Processes. Bantam Books. Boice. Denise M. Daniel. Kathy. NY: Oxford University Press 1998. 1995. Tomorrow’s Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering. 1992. Upper Saddle River. O’Neil. NY: Collins Business. New York. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. but you might want to look over the topics.icmje. New York. Accomplishments II. NJ: Prentice Hall.) 70 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . New York. Baron.html#author. 2001. National Academy of Engineering has a range of materials relating to scientific ethics available online at http://onlineethics.RESOURCES Barker. Joint Feedback Meeting I. Long-term goals Part B. New York. Summary of discussion Strengths/achievements Areas for effort/improvement Scientific goals Long-term plans Lab Director: Lab Member: Date: (This form was created by Tamara L. The U. Washington. Six-Month Review of Goals Date: Candidate: I. New York. Richard M. Writing the Laboratory Notebook. Harmening. Goleman. Part A. Washington University School of Medicine. The New Faculty Member: Supporting and Fostering Professional Development. Cold Spring Harbor. Leadership Aikido: 6 Business Practices That Can Turn Your Life Around. Comments from advisor Quality of work Organization and efficiency Knowledge base Communication skills Working relationships Leadership/supervisory skills Areas for effort/improvement III. NY. Online Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) lays out a widelyaccepted set of criteria for authorship of scientific papers.org/. NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Reis. Integrity in Scientific Research: Creating an Environment that Promotes Responsible Conduct. Feedback on training Frequency of interactions Quality of interactions Level of involvement Positive aspects of interactions Areas for effort/improvement II. John. Committee on Assessing Integrity in Research Environments.org/index. http://www. We will discuss part B together at our meeting. Emotional Intelligence. Drucker.S. 2002. Goals for the next six months III. New York: IEEE Press. NY. What Type Am I? Penguin. Kanare. Howard M. Robert.. Institute of Medicine. At the Bench: A Laboratory Navigator. 1997. NY 1999. Doering. 1998.

and science is not the only part of your life that requires your time. MANAGING YOUR TIME 71 . From a practical perspective. your country. On top of the work itself. and at work and at home take life “one step at a time” without worrying too much about the distant future. serve on peer review and advisory committees for grant makers and publishers. community. and may have also gotten used to not having to account for yourself to your institution or your family quite so often. It is important to tend to your work life and home life during these start-up years. safer. such as hiring staff and writing grants. and self? Learning to manage your time will help you make the most of every work day during this phase of your career. and more. You will need to deal with the practical aspects of running your lab. Life goes through phases—in the next few years you may be laying the foundation of your career. healthier place. You will also need to spend time establishing relationships with colleagues and competitors in your own country and beyond. raising your children. Such demands may be even more pronounced if you trained abroad. Your hard work during this start-up time will pay off. there will someday— maybe now—be invitations to present your work. advances your career. All of this spent time. such as maintaining a household and seeing to your children’s education and caring for your extended family. There will also be the needs of your personal life. HAPPINESS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS. provide advice to government and international bodies. YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. from working hard on a problem that has finally begun to unravel to going away to share your expertise. ALBERT SCHWEITZER ” Science can move very fast and the demands it places on your time will sometimes become large. And much of it is exciting and pleasurable and helps make the world a better. and the dividend will be a better and much less hectic life. family. How can you balance science’s demands with those of the rest of your life—home. IF YOU LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING. because you will have already sacrificed months or years by going away. and your community.600 minutes in a year. and growing in responsibility within your institution. Try not to be overwhelmed. one of the most daunting challenges for beginning investigators is learning how to fit all the things that make up your life into a 24-hour day and a 12-month year.CHAPTER 5 MANAGING YOUR TIME “SUCCESS IS NOT THE KEY TO HAPPINESS. But there are only 525.

sitting on panels. with each achievement tied to a specific time frame. By setting achievable goals. In addition. grandparents. Every so often. Short-term goals are the ones written on your weekly and monthly calendars—the small. Accomplishing just one goal can serve as a powerful motivator to tackle the next goal. aunts. you will face new challenges. finite tasks that can swallow your time. reflect on them.. 72 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . such as defining long. Tips for day-to-day time management are also presented.. you are also defining yourself— who you want to be. or you may come back and find yourself relatively low in the pecking order among the trained scientists at your institution. on your re-entry you may go from being a trainee to being a leading expert in your field. if you have trained in your own country and now have been promoted to new responsibilities. service at a high level to an international organization such as the World Health Organization or the Pan American Health Organization) and intangibles (e. Long-term goals are likely to be a combination of tangibles (e. you can identify the steps necessary to move toward it. are often composed of many short-term objectives.g. Similarly.and short-term goals and setting priorities. Even though you will have to work very hard when you are an early career scientist. balancing research and teaching. Goals come in descending sizes. Finding ways to manage all of these demands can be a challenge for a scientist starting out in a career.If you have left your own country to train. and juggling the demands of home and work. and revise them as appropriate to changing circumstances. Intermediate-term goals. it covers some issues specific to physician-scientists. or moved to a new institution. be prepared to reevaluate yours. but also to defend them. service to the government. Write down all of your goals. trying to build a successful career at the expense of the things that make life worthwhile does not work. Priorities shift. uncles. you avoid having too much to do and not knowing where to begin. and how you want to be perceived. who may also need to be spending considerable time in the clinic and may be called on frequently to help family and friends get appropriate health care. beginning with your long-term goals. promotions within your institute. Before you even have a chance to set up your own lab. This chapter discusses planning strategies that are critical for successful time management. take a look at your plans. intermediate-term goals (months). or advising other colleagues. In the end. a satisfying personal life and the various milestones that define such a thing for you) that may change over time. such as publishing a paper. The needs of parents. STRATEGIES FOR PLANNING YOUR ACTIVITIES DEFINING GOALS Planning is a process that starts with a goal.g. The chapter also offers guidance on managing institutional committee service commitments. Once you have set a goal. you also need to preserve time and energy for the other things that are important to you. concrete. you may be pulled away by travel. such as preparing figures and writing text. GETTING FROM HERE TO THERE Take the time to craft a formal plan. Many returning scientists come home to substantial demands from extended families who have made large sacrifices and have placed great hope in their success. and short-term goals (weeks and days). each of which informs the next: long-term goals (years). Then set interim goals along the way that are realistic indicators of progress. Putting your ideas into words can help refine your thinking and provide a concrete checklist to keep you on target. In defining your long-term goals. but these needs can also create large time demands. making goal-setting an ongoing process that you should revisit periodically. and communities who have made such an investment in one’s career are very important. siblings.

or writing letters and making phone calls to secure a seminar invitation. MANAGING YOUR TIME 73 . 70. Completing publishable chunks is an essential intermediateterm goal for faculty. or ten years from now. or organizing a scientific meeting. 50. you probably want to work toward promotion. how can you make science fit into that tradition? LIFETIME GOALS At the end of your life. what do you want to see? Accomplishments? Wealth? Happy. LONG-TERM GOALS These goals can be achieved in three to five years. looking back. Now think backward. what do you want to be able to see when you look back at your life at age 90? What will you need to be doing in your life at age 80. Other goals of similar scope include obtaining preliminary results for a grant.CHECK YOUR WORK: THE 90-YEAR THOUGHT EXPERIMENT Imagine how old you will be at the end of your life. if you are lucky and healthy. then ask yourself. invited seminars. They include preparing figures for the paper you are writing. completing an experiment. healthy great-great-grandchildren? It is important to check in with yourself now and then to make sure that the things you are chasing are really the ones you want to catch. putting together a new course. If you find it hard to get organized. and other accomplishments?” SHORT-TERM GOALS These goals can be achieved in one week to one month. do you plan to return to your home country or remain abroad? If you wish to remain abroad. In other words. first ask yourself where you want to be after this stage in your career. does this tell you that what you think you want to be doing at 90 is not really what is right for you? Or does it tell you that what you are doing today might not be your heart’s desire? How can you prepare yourself and those around you for a life that may lead you somewhere quite different from the common assumptions? Or if you want a life much like those of your parents and grandparents. if you are training in a foreign lab. 30 for that dream to come true? What needs to be true about your life and your career this year. “What will I need to do for that—how many papers. INTERMEDIATE-TERM GOALS These goals can be achieved in six months to a year. For example. if you want to be on track to be the person you picture yourself to be at 90? If what you are doing today does not get you there. professional meetings. make a daily or weekly to-do list and check tasks off as you complete them. 60. for how long? A lifetime? A career? Until you are well-established? At what type of institution? At a research-intensive institution? At a university much more dedicated to teaching students than to doing research? At a government ministry? An international organization? When you have those answers. “What will I need to accomplish to make myself competitive for that job?” If you are an assistant professor. you might be thinking about the experiments needed to complete your next paper or to put together a poster. For example. preparing reagents for the next set of experiments. how can you change course a little (or a lot) to make sure you achieve what you want to achieve? If your track clearly leads away from your vision. 40. Before jotting down your long-term plans.

Here are some tips to help you do this: Get your email under control. be available to everyone. A sign on your door that reads “knock if important” lets your students and colleagues know you are in and working but do not want to be disturbed. MAXIMIZING RETURNS Given the ever-increasing demands on your time. have an assistant screen messages and flag time-sensitive ones for you. it is impossible to do everything perfectly. Establishing these priorities depends on the intermediate. Securing uninterrupted time in the lab is important if your advancement depends on what you can get done with your own hands during the day. SAYING YES One of the simplest things you can do to streamline your life is also one of the hardest for many people—learning to say no. a draft of a manuscript you are reviewing for a collaborator). “I want to be a professor by the age of X. There are certain tasks to which you must say no. MANAGING YOUR TIME DAY-TO-DAY Many people find long-term goals easy to set— for example. whether at the office or lab or at home before the family is awake. This may give you leverage to turn down administrative duties that have less value to you. your grant application) and which do not (e. you need blocks of uninterrupted time. Decide which projects need to be completed to near perfection (e. might buy you precious focused time away from clamoring students and colleagues. and sign up early for duties that either interest you or will work to your advantage professionally. Then have your assistant type and send them later. Use a telephone answering machine or voice mail service. Today’s technological “conveniences” are often needless interruptions to concentration. Any sound strategy for time management involves learning to disconnect and become the master of those tools rather than their servant. Since in most jobs you must accept some administrative assignments. This section covers how to make the most of the time you have. If one is available to you. you cannot do everything. If you are lucky enough to have administrative help.. and others for which it is fine to deliver a less-than-stellar performance.MAKING CHOICES SAYING NO. Remember.g. You can also print email messages that require a personal reply and hand write responses during short breaks in your day. Explore the options. set aside specific times of the day for reading and responding to emails or take hard copies of your emails home and read them in the evening. try to make them work for you.. 74 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Saying yes judiciously will make it easier for you to say no to things you do not want to do. please everyone. Working during the early hours of the day. Making such choices will allow you to focus on doing an outstanding job in what is truly important to you. DISCONNECTING Part of saying no is also not being available on demand. If you do not have an assistant.and long-term goals you have set for yourself. and at the same time be a successful scholar. FINDING SOME EXTRA TIME To be able to focus and think creatively.g.” More difficult is the daily multitasking —managing the flood of small chores that can threaten to drown even the most organized professional. Close your office door or come in early. invest in a family cell phone plan—one which provides a few family phones and makes calls between them inexpensive—to make sure you are available for family communication and emergencies when you have silenced your office phone. Close your lab door if you are still working at the bench yourself.

the day’s weather. For maximum efficiency. on tasks that are important but not urgent. You might select some milestone during the year —your birthday or name day. or some other day that normally provokes some reflection—and use that as a day to consider whether your career and life are going in the right direction. Time Management Grid NOT IMPORTANT Most Email IMPORTANT Ongoing experiments Preparing to speak at an upcoming meeting Working on a grant that is due next month Maintaining strong relationships with family. Try to control the not urgent/not important quadrant. the latest gossip. you should be spending most of your time in the upper right-hand quadrant. in addition to your regular dayto-day conversations with them.. writing. Similarly. a paper to review. Delegate tasks. you can turn this potential weakness into a strength through multitasking. Always have several things to work on (e. and cycle through them with increasing lengths of time. Covey’s time management matrix in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. with lab members Watching World Cup matches (though in some situations clearly this is important and urgent!) A rumbling stomach 20 minutes before lunch URGENT Ringing telephone A salesman who wants a minute of your time Time Management Grid – Adapted from Stephen R. where few people operate best. decide what you need to do and when. Set aside blocks of time for specific tasks. etc.Make and keep appointments with yourself: Find a quiet hideaway for thinking. New Year’s Day. the introduction to a grant. or a recommendation letter to write). perhaps three or four. This practice trains people to expect that you will be inaccessible at predictable times. friends. remember your priorities and schedules: Plan ahead and know your deadlines. and lab members An earthquake A grant due tomorrow Accidental exposure to pathogen NOT URGENT Discussing weekend plans. and reading and use it on a scheduled basis.g. it can be useful to establish for yourself a time each year for assaying your spouse and family to be sure that you understand whether you are moving your life and theirs in ways that conform to what matters most to you. Make sure they are clearly arranged on your desk so that you do not waste time figuring out what you should do next. and follow the ‘keep it simple” rule. The urgent/important quadrant puts you in crisis mode. SETTING PRIORITIES On the basis of your goals. MANAGING YOUR TIME 75 . A grid that allows you to rank short-term claims on your attention according to urgency and importance can be a useful tool (see Time Management Grid below). Break large tasks into smaller tasks. You get relatively little value for the time spent doing tasks in this quadrant. Complete tasks on time. ROTATING YOUR TASKS If you tend to find it difficult to focus on one task for long periods. If it is important but not urgent.

and perhaps a cell phone with you. adapt well to commuting time if you do not drive. expand the tasks. make a quick phone call instead of having an often less efficient back-and-forth email conversation. capitalizing on free minutes here and there (in professions such as law.g. a notepad. people sometimes bill their time in increments of 15 minutes or less). and protect your most productive hours for your writing and designing experiments and other critical tasks. then repeat the process. Be aware that for some activities. Not only will you learn new information. For example.MAKING THE MOST OF THE TIME YOU HAVE It is important to find ways to make efficient and productive use of your time. Avoid procrastination. write your goals early enough to let your lab staff start gathering relevant data without last-minute panic. Eliminate unnecessary tasks. Technology Changes Everything Better communications—from email and web applications to wireless phone service have made it easier for laboratories in relatively resource-poor regions to play a larger part in the international scientific community. Successful people also learn to use small units of time. Clutter is inefficient. but if you ask questions. Make sure they understand the tasks. such as reviewing papers and reading science magazines. Delegate work. They have evolved practices to create blocks of uninterrupted time for “brain work.. non-government organizations. If it is possible and inexpensive. IMPROVING YOUR LAB STAFF’S TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS Here are some tips for helping your staff work more efficiently: Establish clear goals and expectations early. it may not be immediately apparent that your time spent is worthwhile. it may be worthwhile for you to form a committee with like-minded individuals to find opportunities for upgrading to faster technologies. and you are interested in computers and technology. Returning phone calls. two hours to review a paper). Do not make yourself look for the same piece of paper or pocket calculator over and over again. Set time limits. If a critical reagent requires a long lead time to produce. Know your biological clock. Structure and supervise meetings. Give yourself predetermined amounts of time to complete tasks (e. Efficiency. Find or make a quiet space (or time) to work. attending seminars in your department can actually be a productive and efficient use of your time. Foreign and domestic governments. Reward and correct them as appropriate. students’ homework. Make a place for everything. Some tasks. starting with simple tasks your staff can handle. 76 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . If you have a grant due. and technology companies from both the telephone and computer sides might be willing to develop the infrastructure to improve your speed and connection quality. If you work in a place where Internet access is slow. you will also boost your visibility. During your protected work hours. and put everything in its place.” Here are some tips to help you make the best use of those parts of the day you control: Create an environment conducive to productivity. Successful people tend to be efficient. focus and do not allow interruptions. and reviewing your weekly schedule are just a few ways in which you can put a few minutes to work for you throughout the day. Start tasks early—at least in outline. start it early enough to make sure it will be ready when you need it. The trick is to be prepared when those moments arise by having messages or email. drafting memos. Fitting It All In.

South Africa In some institutions. send a follow-up email containing a summary and to-do list. ” MANAGING YOUR TIME 77 . you can also delegate to a key staff person the task of summarizing meetings and assigning follow-up actions. If you have some influence over which committees you will serve on. Meeting minutes are also useful for patent protections in establishing proof of an idea. Moses Bockarie. they can take valuable time away from your research. When time is up for one task. They can also help bring your research to the attention of your colleagues— a genuine plus for a beginning faculty member. scientists are required to take part in committees or groups that meet on a regular schedule. collaborate more. Develop an agenda for every meeting. but you may not have time for it. On the other hand. you will have to set limits for non-research tasks and stick to them. they may also be exhausting because of the travel involved. you should pace yourself when accepting these obligations. attribution. Clinical demands are high. ” MANAGING NON-RESEARCH TASKS In some institutions. Consider such opportunities carefully. Teach them how to describe projects. This can be a very rewarding experience for many scientists. Many public servants take pleasure in performing such functions. and date. Start meetings with a clear description of the purpose of the meeting and when it will end. you start each day anew without carrying forward serious work deficits that accumulate through the week. but can also take a large portion of your time at the expense of everything else. issues. Brian Eley. which may on occasion severely compromise protected research time. and stick to it. If research is of primary importance for your promotion and career goals. Papua New Guinea Once the members of your lab learn the importance of time management. and problems accurately and efficiently. Use these informal minutes to start the next meeting and gauge progress. As with opportunities close to home. Such committee duties can connect you with interesting people in your department. and perhaps be called on for service to your government. As you begin to build an international reputation. school. and beyond. be proactive and seek out committee service that suits your interests and schedule so you can turn down other requests with the legitimate excuse of previous committee commitments. Though many may be good for your career and your reputation. This way. your institution. move on to the next item in your daily planner. After lab meetings. or health center. Time management is a major challenge for clinician-scientists based in resource-limited settings.Help them seek advice without taking up unnecessary time. you may find you are asked to sit on more committees (including in other countries). you will be required to teach courses to students. The local government authorities should not expect you to attend the opening of every road.

especially if messages from the clinic rarely reach you when you are involved in your other duties.. in the lab. In the lab: If feasible. Focus your research program on what you are uniquely qualified to do. A good lab manager can help keep the lab on track while you are on clinical duties. Try to schedule times when you can meet with your technicians. In the clinic: If appropriate. Remember. Avoid overextending yourself with work that you could delegate to a worker with less training than you yourself have. Learn to tell patients when you are running out of time to spend with them or must turn their care over to another clinical worker. Make colleagues aware of your dual roles. consider hiring a lab manager. but what they can add to your productivity can be well worth the money. if clinical duties keep you from being in the lab until late in the evening). use them effectively. as well as the follow-up. 78 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . in the clinic. An even split between the lab and clinic is increasingly rare. responsible. CLASS. Educate nurses or other staff to do as much of the preparation as possible before your appointments. Establish a system where you can review the lab members’ notebooks and data even if they are not there (e. The following are some tips for working in both the lab and the clinic. medical residents. but this varies considerably from person to person and by nature of the work. Explain to your lab members that you will not be around much when you are on clinical duty. tell patients and clinic staff how you want to be contacted during times when you are not in the clinic. when research-related activities will call you away from the clinic for several days during their course of treatment). it can be as much as 80% lab and 20% clinic. postdocs. and other trainees to keep yourself apprised of their research and educational progress. students. and tell patients about your divided schedule when it is relevant to them (for example. If you have access to support staff (many junior faculty do not). seasoned researcher who can help move things along when you cannot commit your time to being in the lab yourself.THE TRIPLE LOAD OF THE PHYSICIAN-SCIENTIST: LAB. AND CLINIC Physician-scientists may have some teaching duties. Such a person may be relatively expensive compared to other kinds of workers you could hire. or training a strong worker to assume that role—a welltrained. but the larger challenge for a physician who is running a research lab is balancing lab and clinical time. and at home—the most important thing you need to learn is to be flexible with your time so that you can serve all of your priorities well.g.

Schedule activities with your family and keep those commitments Turn business travel into a vacation. cousins. To avoid the resentments of unspoken and unmet expectations. In addition to sharing your long-term goals. where peer group discussions are the biggest pastime activities. If it has always been a tradition that you will go home to family to help prepare for a holiday or a change of seasons or to help with a harvest. it is probably true that if your family understands what you are doing. in-laws. meetings. uncles. is not easy. siblings. People do not believe in innocent relationships between men and women and working at night is always suspicious. ” HOME AND WORK: CAN YOU HAVE IT ALL? This question applies to many professionals in high-pressure careers. things at home will go better than if everyone is kept in the dark about things. In some families. Although these demands matter and these relationships are centrally important. But you can try to separate the practical aspects of the situation (for example. I have learnt that once your family trusts your relationship with your workmates and students. or to come in only for the feast and leave the work to others. institutional. and neighbors will all have an opinion and will likely express it! This is a matter that is very specific to your own life. Have your partner or family join you after a scientific meeting and take a few days together to unwind. what work requires one more set of hands. It is even harder when you consider that your parents. government. be as explicit as possible about your aspirations with those who are important to you. I treat my lab staff and their families as one big extended family. deciding to make another use of your time.FAMILY MATTERS Many scientists face great demands from their extended families and communities. including both male and female scientists pursuing academic. other family issues will be easy to manage. both spouses may have professional MANAGING YOUR TIME 79 . Selection criteria for international meetings and other perceived privileges are made clear to everybody. and can you provide some help without providing your own hands?) from the emotional ones such as the perception that you care more about your career and what it gives you than about the people who love you. but it is also universal. keep your family aware of your short-term plans and projects. aunts. It helps to start with a supportive partner and family. and international travel. Here are some ways to keep your family informed of your schedule. Letting them know in advance about an impending grant deadline can buy some understanding. or that you have gotten “above yourself. To ensure a happy home life and avoid confusion regarding after-hours lab work. Attending meetings/workshops in hotels with staff members easily creates stories. Have clear discussions about career and personal goals—yours and those of your family— early on. Moses Bockarie. including family members. Whatever your situation. to be successful at any profession one may need to find ways to contain and manage the time involved. Papua New Guinea needs to fulfill. and how it will improve the family’s future. why it matters. The issues can be practical—how can you be in two places at one time? But they can also be very emotional. and keep you involved with your family: Post a calendar at home with your travel dates and big deadlines. They are educated about the need for working late at night and attending meetings. and industrial career tracks. In Sierra Leone and Papua New Guinea. Shared goals for work and family make compromises easier. your career will be a primary driver of your family’s future. Spouses are encouraged to attend seminars. For others. There are no perfect solutions. rumors are rife.” or that you look down on those who make your life possible.

2003. 10th ed. those interested in science might also enjoy being given a chance to read your work. The One Minute Manager. Harvard Business Review. New York NY: Berkeley Books.. personal satisfaction. Penguin. and grammatical errors is so important that having “more eyes” on a document is very valuable. the answer is a qualified yes. The key is to identify what matters most to you and then to apportion your activities throughout the day and week to address your true priorities. The Origin of Virtue. make the best child care arrangements you can. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. consider taking advantage of options for assistance in cooking. Drucker. March-April 1999. children complicate the equation. especially if you are having trouble personally living up to your own standards for good meals and cleanliness. Kenneth H. spelling mistakes..Having papers and grants that are free of typos. Barker. Jeremy M. 1983. Matt. New York. and Spencer Johnson. Eckert. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. and motivation to make you a more focused and efficient scientist. BALANCING WORK AND CHILDREN Unquestionably. Ridley. Peter. Seek out the help of family members if they are nearby. David. NY. 1996. Simon & Schuster. Stephen R. If you and your spouse both work outside the home. Blanchard. If your spouse is interested in your work and familiar with your field’s jargon. Managing Oneself. RESOURCES Allen. and other domestic chores that take your time and energy. As children advance in their education. Covey. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. 2003. E Rutherford. NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. At the Helm: A Laboratory Navigator. Academic Scientists at Work: Navigating the Biomedical Research Career. 1990. and Susan H. Teach your children to take appropriate pride in being “self-starters” at their schoolwork and home chores. If you are away from your family all day. Here are some tips for balancing work and family life: If they are available to you and affordable. but they can also provide the sanity. 2002. Kathy. it is especially important to carve out and protect family time on evenings or weekends. Cold Spring Harbor. Boss. New York: Fireside. Is it possible for ambitious scientists to have it all? For those who learn to balance competing demands. New Jersey: Penguin USA. 80 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . cleaning. he or she may be a helpful reader for you.

WE MUST BELIEVE THAT WE ARE GIFTED FOR SOMETHING AND THAT THIS THING MUST BE ATTAINED. you can either increase resources by somehow obtaining more money. completing a set of experiments. The approach itself is heavily used in the pharmaceutical industry. Often it is not easy or possible to get more resources. “I live in an unpredictable place!” project management can help overcome some of life’s unpredictability. as well as in software. It means allocating. obtaining a research grant. using. While keeping creativity intact. In a scientific setting. If you need more detailed information. construction. refer to the resources listed at the end of this chapter. project management can help reduce wasted effort or inefficient use of reagents. It can track progress (or lack of it). There is a set of terms and a group of planning tools strongly associated with the project management approach. and other industries because of its usefulness in helping managers coordinate complex operations and bring scarce resources into place exactly when they are needed. MARIE CURIE ” To increase the output of your laboratory. and tracking resources to achieve a goal in a desired time frame. Project management is a formal approach to better managing the resources that you do have. even if you are only making promises to yourself. It can be tempting to over-promise when you plan. PROJECT MANAGEMENT 81 . “Project management” is a term that has come to mean something beyond simply being in charge of a project. or even getting promoted. goals may include publishing a paper. particularly by laying out which tasks can go forward when other tasks have stalled. which can help ensure that even if multiple delays and scheduling changes occur. and respond quickly to necessary deviations from important aims. or make better use of what you already have. This chapter highlights some of the techniques of project management and how you can use them. your work will still go forward smoothly. Project management’s tools help a manager keep track of resources and worker effort.CHAPTER 6 PROJECT MANAGEMENT “WE MUST HAVE PERSEVERANCE AND ABOVE ALL CONFIDENCE IN OURSELVES. Though one may think. and supplies and finding a way to bring more people to work with you. equipment.

Personnel and transport management and financial administration are major components of project activities involving field surveys. Imagine that you have identified a grant program that seems to fit the work you would like to do. Moses Bockarie. painters and other kinds of workers moving through at the right times and in the proper order. especially in diseaseendemic communities. you can start the process of planning your project. etc. Though finding money is seldom easy. but you see that it is a very competitive program. government. Project management capabilities are increasingly becoming required components of clinical research projects and multisite projects. you should ask yourself the following: What experiments do I need to conduct to write a research paper and submit it for publication before the grant deadline? Do I have enough time to obtain the necessary data? Are there members of my group who could help generate these data. but your resources (i. research funds.e. how to get there. Papua New Guinea ” Once you have defined your overall objectives. and the tools (especially software) that have been developed to keep track of fluctuating resources and active workers can be useful for managing complicated projects in the laboratory. time. you will need to have at least one publication that connects the work you are proposing to do with the new grant money to work you have done in the past. Formal training in project management may be available to you through your institution. number of students and other people working in your lab. and from whom you need buy-in and participation. carpenters. you will need to look for more funding. Formal tools have been developed for complicated time-sensitive efforts such as constructing large buildings with all of the site preparation. working backwards from your stated objective: 82 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . The strategies used in project management can be useful for anyone in any size project. electricians. Deciding which projects to pursue within the limits of your resources and considering your laboratory mission (see chapter 4) will help you get the best use out of what you have.. many emerging science centers in low. building materials.) are limited. Finding funding can itself be a complex project. with specifics as to who will do what and when. or a student or trainee to whom I might delegate the work? It should also be borne in mind that biomedical research in the South. However. The grant deadline is in eleven months.WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT? Project management is a series of flexible and iterative steps that gives you a system for laying out what you want to achieve and a reasonable way to achieve it. So you have two complicated but fairly welldefined tasks in front of you: to get a new paper accepted for publication and to submit a grant proposal by a given deadline. DECIDING ON A PROJECT You may have an endless number of ideas for projects. If you decide to use formal project management tools to organize your efforts as you work toward submitting the proposal. To have a chance of being funded. relies heavily on field surveys involving several people and complicated logistical issues. plumbers.and middle-resource regions do not have sufficient human resources with adequate skills in project management. or international NGOs. you may decide that to accomplish the research or public health goals you would like to achieve.

Project management helps you take stock of resources before you start working.My project is to get a grant funded within a year-and-a-half. Submit a paper for publication (6 months). All projects. materials. If you realize ahead of time that you do not have the resources you need. and “spare hands” you have to follow the idea through. given other demands on your time and resources. One of the most important benefits of project management is that it helps you accurately anticipate how much Think of these questions as tools for your own use. including highly innovative ones. in the next week. Complete the initial set of experiments (1-5 months). you can put down what steps will make that dream a reality. Thinking from the goal backwards. month. or which sub-projects you might delay to free up the resources you need. You are not trying to convince a funder or impress an influential scientist—you are realistically considering what you will be able to get done. you will know you need to get them. QUESTION q&a Do the strict definitions you impose when you set up a project management system limit scientific creativity? ANSWER Not necessarily. you will need to plan each step more carefully to answer the following questions: How long will the project really take? Do we really have the people to do this? Do we really have the funds to do it? Can we get it done in time? The sections below outline the tools that can help you plan each step of this multipart effort. You might say: I will need to: Submit the grant with preliminary data (11 months). rather than leaving them foundering when you run out of some critical resource. year. If a creative idea comes along. time a project will take and what resources you will need. Regardless of the scientific goals of a project. project management helps you determine whether your ideas can be implemented with the resources at hand and how best to approach these ideas. PROJECT MANAGEMENT 83 . and beyond. Even if some back-of-the-envelope thinking convinces you that a project is worth pursuing and that you can generate preliminary data for your grant in five months. Knowing what you have available helps you bring your best ideas to completion. rely on defined resources. you will have a better idea of how much money. Integrate data and start writing a manuscript (5 months).

what happens if it is not done. Project management can also help you conserve some of your resources to use for high-risk projects. This is a brief statement describing the major work to be performed. it just means that one should know the risks involved before starting the project. QUESTION Given the uncertainties in science. you can plan for them. the experiments proposed in your funded grant). When resources are limited—and they almost always are. and what else relates to it. project management encourages you to reconsider which path is best many times during the course of a given project. Once you know the risks involved. who will do it. The more information you have at the outset of a project. Scope of work: What you will do. the better you will be at allocating resources. This does not mean high-risk projects should not be attempted. It should include the following sections: PURPOSE Background: Why the project was initiated and by whom.QUESTION Does project management discourage us from trying high-risk projects? q&a ANSWER Scientists must work within the limits of their resources. For example. is project management feasible? ANSWER Project management is not meant to be rigid or blindly restrictive. By reexamining goals and circumstances in a systematic way.. The better you are at allocating resources for the work that has to get done (e. GETTING STARTED The statement of work is a written document that clearly explains what the project is. the more likely it is that you will be able to save some funds for more speculative projects. you may use up all available funds before you get an additional grant or you may produce one paper in three years rather than one a year. Project management helps define what the risks will be. 84 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Strategy: How you will perform the work. and what funds are available for the work.g. everywhere—this approach helps you achieve your goals by keeping track of factors that could lead you to spread a resource too thin.

or consult with them before changing direction or branching out in a different area. or another high figure (or if you yourself are that high figure and must maintain the trust of your audiences). Although you can do this in your head. Be aware that as your project progresses. both within your institution and outside it. needs. CONSTRAINTS These are the restrictions on the project. For example. or that someone else has gotten very similar work published before your project has come to a conclusion. Early on. or teaching responsibilities that will limit your research time. it is useful to think about those who have interests in your project and how to keep them apprised of and supportive of your work. DEFINING THE AUDIENCE Project management also uses the concept of an “audience. keep those people abreast of how the project is going. and assumptions may change. If you must maintain the good favor of your department chair. For example. you can re-visit the plan and think through how to move forward.OBJECTIVES Objectives are the end results to be achieved by the project. minister of health. Needs: Constraints set by the project team. PROJECT MANAGEMENT 85 . Each objective should include: Statement: A description of the desired outcome when the project is completed. such as limited funds for your laboratory. and then revise the objectives if necessary. or who are needed to support it—can sink the entire enterprise if their needs are not considered. and perform the project. given the delay? No matter how much you have invested in a project. Measures: Indicators to assess how well you have achieved the desired outcome. which fall into two categories: Limitations: Constraints set by others. you should make a list of the project’s audiences. a written list serves as a reminder throughout the project to touch base with these stakeholders as you proceed. the editors of scientific journals (if they are advising you on what experiments should be done in order to get a manuscript published). ASSUMPTIONS These are statements about uncertain information you will take as fact as you conceive. and the scientists or administrators who will be reviewing your application for funding (if their feedback is shaping the course of your research project). You are the main driver for your research. or a key premise was off-base. head of institute. Are there later scheduled steps that you could do sooner while you wait for the delayed material? Should you change the project’s future milestone dates. it is never too late to redirect or stop work altogether if you discover. on page 92. If a reagent has been delayed and a whole project has been stalled as a result. that another route is more promising than the main avenue of research. If possible. your goals. or finishing a field project early enough to avoid problems with seasonal weather. or that no one will leave the project before a certain milestone is reached. to see a real-life example of a statement of work. Specifications: Target values of the measures that define successful results. who are affected by it. you might assume that your clinical or teaching loads will not increase in the next year. if an editor at a scientific journal has requested specific experiments in a revised manuscript but you decide to do different ones that you think are more appropriate or easier to do given the expertise in your lab. Additional drivers may include competitors and collaborators in your field. Build into your planning periodic reviews of results against objectives. for example. plan. such as wanting to complete a project three weeks early because one of the key people will be leaving the lab. defining to some degree what your project will produce and what constitutes success. See Appendix I. contact the editor to make sure that the proposed experiments will satisfy his or her requirements. constraints. Divide your audience list into three categories: Drivers: People who tell you what to do.” Any of your audiences—the people and groups who have an interest in your project.

You probably wouldn’t want to include detailed plans for activities that take less time. so that you can successfully complete some milestone event—for example. in which you revise estimates in more detail as you progress through the project. the level of detail you include in your WBS depends in part on who is doing the work. To decide whether your understanding of a particular part of the project is detailed enough. and potential supporters). When you develop a WBS. as well as the program director for the organization funding the project). start with broad work assignments. break them down into activities.and resource-aware way.to twoweek increments. It can be helpful to your career to inform as many scientists as possible of what you have accomplished. Based on the WBS: Can you determine a reasonable estimate of the resources (including people) required for this work? Can you determine a reasonable estimate of the time required to do this work? Can anyone charged with one of these activities understand it well enough to perform it to your satisfaction? As you work on the project. you can use the WBS to set up the lab and divide big tasks into smaller ones—for example. by having them write out detailed weekly plans or design flow charts for how they intend to work through a difficult technical issue at the bench.g. Categorizing audiences is less difficult than it may look. it is unlikely that you will be able to make a detailed plan very far in advance.. revise the list as necessary. the students and other people in your lab. mentors. on page 94. and control the project. DEFINING WHO DOES WHAT AND WHEN The work breakdown structure (WBS) is an outline of all of the work that will have to be performed for your project.” more detail is necessary. and divide them into discrete steps (see Appendix II. In addition to planning experiments. On your timeline. This can be done by giving presentations at meetings and conferences. 86 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE .Supporters: People who will perform the work or make the work possible (e. Most students just starting in the lab will need more detail than an experienced scientist or technician. and dealing with any regulatory issues. Try a rolling approach. other scientists working in your field. hiring staff. a grant funded. The WBS is one of the most important elements of project management as it will help you schedule the project and its parts. estimate resources. for an example). Make sure these people are motivated to do the work and understand how what they are doing relates to achieving the overall scientific goal (see chapter 4. getting a paper accepted. “Managing Your Many Roles”). If the answer to any of these questions is “no. or a difficult technique reduced to practice.g. Much of the detailed planning will be done “on the fly” as the project proceeds. think in one. ask yourself these three questions. In basic science. such as experiments to be done each day.. It may be useful to teach your trainees to think in this time. However. and you do not have to start from scratch for every activity. you will want to list resources and the people who will carry out the activities. by asking colleagues to review a manuscript you are preparing to submit for publication. or by sending scientists in your field copies of a paper you have published. To develop a WBS. perhaps quite early in their stay in your lab. but they are not telling you what to do or how to do it (e. They are interested in what you are doing. Many of the same people are likely to be on your audience list over time for different activities. assign tasks and responsibilities. ordering equipment. Observers: People who have an interest in your project but are neither drivers nor supporters.

Decide on the order of performance. Project schedules outline the order in which activities are to be performed. C. including people. PROJECT MANAGEMENT 87 . so that you can use your time most productively.QUESTION q&a If I have experiments A. facilities. and D. and other tools used in project management before. on page 95). supplies. TRACKING THE WORK AND THE RESOURCES Complex projects require a series of activities. some of which will need to be performed in sequence and others that can. on page 96). events are milestones signaling the completion of one or more activities. and you could have done some work for B or any of the other experiments without waiting until A was done? Project management tools and software can help you see where timelines may overlap. 2. For each step of the schedule. is universally used. 3. Develop an initial schedule. and information. Gantt chart—a graph consisting of horizontal bars that depict the start date and duration of each activity (see Appendix IV. is it reasonable to do detailed planning only for A first and deal with the others later? ANSWER That may be reasonable. if more than one person will be involved. but what if B is not entirely dependent on A. 6. Program (or Project) Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) chart—a diagram in which activities are represented by lines and events on the nodes (typically depicted as circles or bubbles). you will need to follow these steps: 1. who will be performing them. Determine the durations of different activities and. To effectively schedule your activities and resources. flow charts. The acronym PERT. TOOLS FOR DEVELOPING SCHEDULES You may have seen some of the schedules. Remember. equipment. timelines. and include estimates of how long each activity will take. B. Activities plan—a table showing activities and their planned start and end dates (see Appendix III. Here are some popular ones: Key events schedule—a table showing events and target dates for reaching them. be done at the same time. 4. Identify activities and events (from the WBS). you will need to assign the necessary resources. Identify constraints (from the statement of work). 5. in theory. funds. rather than the full name. Revise your schedule as necessary.

and how other demands on your time will affect what you or your lab can get done. Show the relationship of experiments to each other (e. or give a technician who has to establish a new technique in the lab time for several trials and revisions of the procedure.g. even if there are 500 papers in a pile in front of you. and submit that last paper or grant? Try to be conservative in your estimates. This will help you identify potential bottlenecks that have been created by your starting assumptions. hardest-working. take the time to develop a schedule you have a reasonable chance of meeting. In cases of delays in the schedule. If your plan includes mastering a new subject by reading a vast literature. Collectively. do they need to be done sequentially or can they be done in parallel?) Identify bottlenecks. and limitations of your staff will help you match the right people to each task. divide it up—how many papers do you normally read in a day like today? Just because you can read 15 papers in a day does not mean that you will (or should) bring yourself to read that much each day for a month. How do I plan accordingly? DO I HAVE THE RESOURCES? Once you have made an outline of the activities to be done in a given time frame and who will perform the work. Regardless of which format you use. additional resources. at least you can accurately revise your estimate of how long it will take to finish the project. get feedback on. make figures for. If your team lacks the expertise required to complete a specific goal. on page 96). but failing because of overreaching is not. Identify the order of experiments that will define how long it will take to complete the project. 88 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . edit. time estimates can be replaced with actual times. If you can get those resources. Stretching to accomplish more than before is good. Think realistically and estimate how long each step will take. the Gantt chart and the combined milestone/Gantt chart give a better overview of how long activities will take and where they coincide. you may be able to finish within the time frame you initially planned. you might pair an experienced member of your lab with a new student who is responsible for a step in the protocol. even the best. you may need to find a suitable and willing collaborator. or how much money will be spent. an accurate assessment of the skills. more money. think about similar things you have done before.The key events schedule and the activities plan display dates better. or more helpers may be needed to make up for the time that has been lost. most committed scientist cannot work 37 hours a day! ANSWER The work breakdown structure will help you see where inherent difficulties in experiments or bottlenecks in the procedures are. you may want to know more precisely how much of a given resource the project will use up. For example. For example. how many hours a scientist in your lab will have to work each week to complete his or her activities (see Appendix V. if you use these tools. It sometimes takes longer than I think it will to complete new experiments. But if you cannot get those resources. revise again. experience. To determine how long a very complex process may take. how many uninterrupted hours you have available during the day. these scheduling tools will: Provide ways of tracking the work.. make adjustments to your schedule or the resources needed. revise. you can then add time and resources to address those issues. When it comes to planning bench work. For example. QUESTION q&a As the work progresses. For example. Flip through your notebook or calendar and try to remember—how many hours did it really take you to write.

you may want to make use of one of the many software packages available. and paraphrase what they say. and generate reports. Or. create a WBS. the software reflects the impact of that change throughout the project. a written work plan can also be a useful part of the record. and identify which activities can be delayed to accommodate that problem without jeopardizing the schedule. it also encourages you to consider the big picture. link activities. it can also be a training and communication tool.QUESTION q&a I have done some experiments so many times that I already know how long it will take and the resources I need. Get them to talk about what they are doing. you can probably use a network diagram drawn on a board or in an electronic document. By walking them through the field’s complicated issues and ongoing controversies. Think of a project’s detailed plan as being like a metabolic map—if students can see how their work connects to a greater whole. inexperienced students may focus only on their part of the work. but you should consider whether others need to know what you are doing—the sequence of steps as well as the materials and time required. you could ask them to write a statement of work for their part of the project. If they do. But as the number of projects and responsibilities you juggle grows. which will require them to learn the background on the project as a whole. and project management may be part of the solution. resource conflicts (such as one person assigned to three overlapping activities). identify resources. many of project management’s tools can be produced by hand or with a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel. highlighting the places where their work intersects with other work in the lab. Good software helps you brainstorm the organization of activities on screen. and customary to ask others to explain things. Are there devices to help them get the big picture? ANSWER It is important that they do get the big picture. PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE As you can see from the figures. QUESTION Despite the best explanations. Project management is not just a planning tool. If you are keeping track of a simple project involving only one or two individuals. develop a schedule. Young students may be reluctant to admit what they do not know. maintain information on progress. for example. they may be more motivated to think about their own small projects and to ask bigger questions about the lab’s work and the broader field. PROJECT MANAGEMENT 89 . When you make a change. Although it is true that project management encourages a focus on details. you can convey to them that it is alright not to know everything. Should I add these experiments to my plan? ANSWER Not for your benefit. They can help you spot.

. Other popular choices are the packages Act! (Symantec Corp. and the external collaborators. is a very popular choice. access to essential equipment. Remember that software is merely a tool to help you plan and organize your work. You can also enter cost for each resource and the software will automatically track the spending of the project.). Providing resources such as funds. for example by minimizing other responsibilities for the team members and providing a supportive and comfortable work environment.g. Like other software. Communicating the project vision to keep the team motivated and focused. When it does happen. through seminars and informal updates to supporters) and maintaining their support for the work being done. The software lets you enter any number of tasks and schedule them. It should not become your work. and technical skills.g. it is straightforward to build new plans. bogging you down in complex manipulations or fancy graphs and charts that look impressive but do not improve on simpler presentations of the information..org. stop and assess the impact on your project and determine steps you can take to minimize the effects. The head of a laboratory typically plays this role in addition to the following tasks: Championing the project for the project audience (e. 90 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . CONTROLLING THE PROJECT Effective project management demands that the components of a project be constantly monitored and revised with new information.projectmanagement-software. You can then view the data using multiple formats (e. Several fields. see http://www. Free Open Source packages including Open Workbench and OpenProj are now available. If these programs are in common use in your area.Microsoft Project. especially in engineering or business schools. you may be able to find undergraduate students. QUESTION q&a How do I finish projects when key people are recruited away before our work is finished? ANSWER Project management can help you anticipate and plan for their departure. For information about other products available. Communicating with the head of the institution. Gantt charts or PERT diagrams). Identify who is most likely to leave and the places in the project when loss of key personnel would be especially damaging. After some short training on these software packages. including construction and some areas of business management. make extensive use of this kind of software. who would be eager to polish their skills (and get a line for their resume) by doing the work needed to transfer already established plans onto the computer. project management programs come with bells and whistles you may never need or use. Clearing away obstacles for the project team. journal editors. individuals from funding agencies. a program that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office applications including Outlook and its calendar. Inc.) and Now Up-to-Date (Qualcomm.

Henry.The principles of project management can be applied to many day-to-day tasks. NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. 4th Edition. Philadelphia: W. and identify the range of ramifications and how you would address them. R. Project Management Demystified. 2004. as well as contingency plans for any that occur. Poorly chosen indicators are worse than none at all. Brian Eley. James P. and may cause you to abandon a project when in fact the objective may be sound. At The Helm: A Laboratory Navigator. PROJECT MANAGEMENT 91 . Richard. Create indicators or defined results (such as a completed Western blot or a clearly interpretable experimental finding) that will help you evaluate the project against your stated objectives. South Africa KEEPING YOUR WORK ON TRACK It is hard to predict how the course of a project will run. and Control Techniques. Flexible planning is needed to help you deal with the unexpected and still keep your many projects moving. you want your work to be worthwhile. Planning. even if it does not proceed the way you planned or produce the expected outcome. or a technician who does not aggressively follow up on maintaining equipment or placing orders with supply and reagent companies. Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. Here is a list to help you stay on track: Consider different scenarios to identify what may not unfold as you anticipate.). for example. Principles of Clinical Laboratory Management: A Study Guide and Workbook. 2002. 2003. 2002. Kathy. 2002. Kemp. Upper Saddle River. (Ed. RESOURCES Barker. Protomatec International. Cambridge. Upper Saddle River. I completed a course with the University’s Faculty of Engineering in 2004 and since then have used the principles of project management to complete many small and large projects successfully. Project Management JumpStart.B. Denise M. learn to work through the “what-ifs” by positing multiple possible outcomes and timelines and planning ways to deal with each one. a student who is not familiar with interpreting experimental results and thus may slow progress. NJ: Prentice Hall. Develop strategies to reduce the likelihood of deviations. Managing Projects Large and Small: The Fundamental Skills to Deliver on Cost and on Time. NJ: Prentice Hall. Luecke. Project Management. Harmening. 2003. Fundamentals of Project Management: Developing Core Competencies to Help Outperform the Competition. Select aspects of your project that are most likely to slow things down. Hudson. Lewis. Jane (Ed. Monitor them closely to avoid roadblocks. 2003. MA: Harvard Business School Press. 2004. 2001. Alameda. Laboratory Management: Principles and Processes.). Implement contingency plans and revise your master plan as necessary. Burke. Kim. Monitor the project carefully and consistently to promptly identify detours from course. Cold Spring Harbor. John B. ” As a scientist. Saunders. New York: McGraw-Hill. To get the most out of your investment of project resources. New York: American Management Association. CA: Sybex. Heldman. Sid. The indicators should be clear and should directly relate to your objectives.

2002). thereby opening up new potential avenues for funding through prostate cancer foundations.Martin. 4PM Project Management Certification and Training.org/career_development /previous_issues/articles/1750/project_management_ for_scientists. NJ: Wiley Publishing. Switzerland: World Health Organization. Bristol. a scientist training in the laboratory. These same studies can be applied to prostate cancer. 2003).” ScienceCareers. and David. http://sciencecareers. Current studies in the lab focus on the role of Sumacan in brain tumors. com/articles/work_breakdown_structure. Stanley E. wants to examine the possible role for alterations in the gene Sumacan in prostate cancer.int/tdr/svc/publications/training-guidelinepublications/trainers-project-planning-course. Cambridge. 1996. Robert. Austin. Anna. which encodes a growth factor receptor. NICEF/ UNDP/ World Bank/ WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR). a graduate student.sciencemag. Jim. is elucidating the functional pathways Sumacan is involved in. Dick. Portny. Newtown Square. Portny. “Project Management in an Uncertain Environment. Effective project planning and evaluation in biomedical research.. PA: Open University Press.” ScienceCareers. Vivien.” ScienceCareers. Stanley E. Sindermann. a graduate student.sciencemag. London: Routledge.4pm. Online Austin. Rob.org (September 13. http://www. and Jim Austin.” ScienceCareers. 2003). 2000. Usherwood.who. Tim. org/career_development/previous_issues/articles/1890__1/ management_in_the_lab. http://sciencecareers.sciencemag. is screening drugs that block Sumacan function. Introduction to Project Management in Health Research: A Guide for New Researchers. “Management in the Lab.org (July 12. “Project Management for Scientists. Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. Billows. 2002). Work Breakdown Structure. another scientist training in the laboratory. 2002. Project Management for Dummies. Geneva.org (September 13. 2005.htm. Winning the Games Scientists Play. MA: Perseus Book Group. 2000. Hoboken. 2001. “Project Management and Discovery. maps to a genetic region involved in human prostate cancer. http://sciencecareers.org (August 23. Stanley E.org/career_development/ previous_issues/articles/1890__1/project_management_and_discovery. Portny. http:// sciencecareers.sciencemag. Carl J. She noted that Sumacan. a training manual and step by step guide to project management from WHO/TDR http://www. Effective Project Planning and Evaluation in Biomedical Research (Training Manual).org/career_development /previous_issues/articles/1820/project_management_in_ an_uncertain_environment. 92 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . is performing a mutational analysis of the Sumacan gene. Managing Projects in Health and Social Care. PA: Project Management Institute. Project Management Institute. APPENDIX I: Statement of Work: A Real-Life Example SECTION 1: PURPOSE Background Teresa.

In each case. PROJECT MANAGEMENT 93 . Based on a real-world example provided by Milton W.APPENDIX I continued Scope of Work Examine whether the functional pathway for Sumacan is present in human prostate cancer cells. a geneticist who studies human prostate cancer families. and Kathy. a pathologist who studies human prostate tissues and cancers. the work will be applied to prostate cancer cell lines that we will obtain from Mike. Our lab needs to be able to handle human prostate cancer specimens. and correlate expression levels with clinical outcome in prostate cancer. which means that productivity must be reviewed monthly. Our lab has limited funds to cover the generation of preliminary data. Needs Our lab needs to be able to grow prostate cancer cells. Medical College of Wisconsin. We will present the research results to at least two conferences in one year. Datta. SECTION 2: OBJECTIVE Statement Investigate the possible role of Sumacan in prostate cancer. and accepted by mid-April. Measures Measure #1. This means that the first research manuscript must be submitted for publication by approximately January 1. Specifications We will receive several requests for information about the research. Compare the expression of Sumacan in normal human prostate tissues and prostate cancers. Strategy Each person in the lab is already working on different aspects of Sumacan biology in brain tumors. Identify mutations in Sumacan in patients with prostate cancer. We have identified two additional potential collaborators—Rajiv. SECTION 4: ASSUMPTIONS The current research team will be willing and able to perform prostate cancer studies in addition to their brain tumor studies. We will use funds from our current grant to obtain preliminary findings. We will publish at least two research articles in the scientific literature. SECTION 3: CONSTRAINTS Limitations The grant proposal is due June 1 next year. Our experiments will provide preliminary evidence to either support or deny a role for Sumacan in prostate cancer. We plan to use these findings to obtain another grant to the laboratory. The collaborators we have identified will be willing and able to work with our group or will provide the name of another person who wants to collaborate. a colleague in our department.

or develop a different technique 4. steps 4 and 5 can be done at the same time. Determine whether we can perform a Western blot for Sumacan expression. the type of medium and serum they require. Determine how to grow human prostate cancer cells. Determine where to obtain human prostate cancer cells. but once step 3 is completed. test whether the antibody we use in the brain works in prostate cancer cells and determine what size protein band(s) is identified. ACTIVITY 2: DETERMINE WHETHER SUMACAN IS EXPRESSED IN PROSTATE CANCER CELLS 1. and the optimal conditions for growth 3. 2. In addition. the type of medium and serum they require.APPENDIX II: Example of a Work Breakdown Structure ACTIVITY 1: DETERMINE WHETHER SUMACAN IS EXPRESSED IN THE PROSTATE 1. and identify positive or negative controls for protein quality and Sumacan identification Note: Steps 1 to 3 must be done sequentially. test whether the antibody we use in the brain works in the prostate and determine what size protein band(s) is identified. steps 4 and 5 can be done at the same time. try the same technique we use to isolate RNA from brain cells. Determine how to grow human prostate cells. although this may result in higher resource costs if both tasks fail. try the same technique we use to isolate RNA from brain cells. primers and positive and negative controls 5. Determine whether we can isolate RNA and protein from human prostate cancer cells. Determine whether we can isolate RNA and protein from human prostate cells. but once step 3 is completed. Determine whether we can perform quantitative RT-PCR for Sumacan expression. or develop a different technique 4. and the optimal conditions for growth 3. and identify positive or negative controls for protein quality and Sumacan identification Note: Steps 1 to 3 must be done sequentially. primers and positive and negative controls 5. Determine whether we can perform a Western blot for Sumacan expression. Determine whether we can perform quantitative RT-PCR for Sumacan expression. 94 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . activities 1 and 2 can be done at the same time. 2. Determine where to obtain human prostate cells.

For example. APPENDIX III: Example of an Activities Plan ACTIVITY/PERSON(S) RESPONSIBLE/START DATE/END DATE Identify sources of prostate cells/Teresa/August 1/August 5 Identify sources of prostate cancer cells/Robert/August 1/August 5 Grow prostate cells/Teresa/August 5/August 26 Grow prostate cancer cells/Robert/August 5/August 26 Isolate RNA and protein from prostate cells/Teresa/August 26/September 26 Isolate RNA and protein from prostate cancer cells/Robert/August 26/September 26 Perform RT-PCR from prostate cells/Teresa/September 26/October 26 Perform RT-PCR from prostate cancer cells/Teresa/September 26/October 26 Perform Western blots on prostate cells/Robert/September 26/October 26 Perform Western blots on prostate cancer cells/Robert/September 26/October 26 Compare the levels of Sumacan RNA in the prostate and prostate cancer cells/Teresa and Robert/ October 26/November 5 Compare the levels of Sumacan protein in the prostate and prostate cancer cells/Teresa and Robert/October 26/November 5 Compare the levels of Sumacan RNA and protein to each other/Teresa and Robert/October 26/ November 5 Note: Each of these activities can be broken down further if more detail is needed. you may want to explain the different protocols to use to perform RT-PCR from prostate cancer cells and what controls should be used. if the activities are being performed by a new graduate student. as well as alternative protocols to use in case the first ones do not work. 2. Determine the difference in RNA expression. Determine the difference in protein expression.APPENDIX II continued ACTIVITY 3: DETERMINE WHETHER THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN SUMACAN EXPRESSION BETWEEN NORMAL AND CANCER CELLS 1. Note: Activity 3 involves analysis of the data collected in activities 1 and 2. PROJECT MANAGEMENT 95 . 3. Determine the relationship between RNA and protein expression. and thus cannot be performed until those two activities are completed.

Step 1 (looking for prostate cells) is done in week 1. step 3 (isolating RNA and protein) in weeks 5-8. she will be teaching a microbiology lab course (5 hours/day with monthly exams). In addition. during the time the project is being run.APPENDIX IV: Example of a Gantt Chart PROJECT: ROLE FOR SUMACAN IN PROSTATE CANCER Activity August September October November Person Responsible Sumacan Expression in Prostate Cells Find Cells Grow Cells Isolate RNA and Protein RT-PCR and Western Blots Sumacan Expression Prostate Cancer Find Cells Grow Cells Isolate RNA and Protein RT-PCR and Western Blots Compare Results Data Analysis Teresa and Robert Robert Robert Robert Teresa and Robert Teresa Teresa Teresa Teresa and Robert APPENDIX V: Example of a Loading Chart This chart displays Teresa’s workload. WEEKS RESEARCH HOURS MICROBIOLOGY LAB HOURS TOTAL TIME 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 7 10 10 10 8 8 8 10 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 35 25 25 25 35 25 25 25 35 25 32 35 35 45 32 32 32 45 50 50 50 65 50 96 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . She is responsible for the first three steps in determining Sumacan expression in prostate cells. step 2 (trying to grow the cells) in weeks 2-4. and step 4 (doing RT-PCR on normal and cancer cells) in weeks 9-13.

NIH ” 97 The quote above: Descartes. have put your laboratory in order. and discusses what to do if your application is not funded. since the funding situation is different everywhere and in some places can change quite quickly. no matter what funding body you are approaching. UNDERSTANDING THE REVIEW PROCESS EXAMPLE OF PEER REVIEW: FUNDING A U.S. each major funding body has a system that is distinctly its own. an important next step if you would like to have an international career is to find international funding for your work.S. but there are many ways to disguise a good one. in the second rule of his Method. For this reason. former deputy director. NIH funding process as an example of a two-level peer review system. Not all international funders use the same system—in fact. U. RENÉ DESCARTES ” Once you have started your career as an independent scientist. GETTING FUNDED . says to break each difficulty down into smaller resolvable component parts.S. This chapter also uses the U.CHAPTER 7 GETTING FUNDED “DIVISER C H A C U N E D E S D I F F I C U LT É S Q U E J ’ E X A M I N E R A I E N A U TA N T D E PA R C E L L E S QU’IL SEPOURRAIT ET QU’IL SERAIT REQUIS POUR LES MIEUX LES RÉSOUDRE. William Raub. NIH is sometimes an international funder. it is (as are your own country’s government agencies focused on health) an organization whose mission primarily focuses on the health of its country’s citizens. its spending on many problems of interest in other parts of the world is relatively small.S. and perhaps have hired some people. NIH R01 RESEARCH PROJECT GRANT Though the U. It is beyond the scope of this book to address funding in all of the countries of the South. But the example used here will give you a good idea of the how’s and why’s of peer review. this chapter will concentrate on international funding sources and how best to present your work so that you may tap into these sources. This chapter includes advice on how to turn your concept into a solid research plan. which we hope will give you insight into how to prepare the strongest grant application you can. Instead. There is no grantsmanship that will turn a bad idea into a good one.

Priority score and percentile ranking. provisional approval of the list of applications which are declared uncompetitive and thus not scored. Usually assign three reviewers to very closely review each application. Some have long-term appointments to the study section and others are temporary members. health scientists’ work is called an “R01.BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: WHAT GOES ON IN A PEER REVIEW MEETING Peer review committees: Are managed by a scientific review administrator (SRA). comments on human subjects or animal welfare). Requests for Applications (RFAs).. a professional NIH employee at the M.g. Most members are academics. Study section meetings: Are closed—the discussions are not made part of the public record and spectators are not allowed. Will review as many as 60-100 applications per meeting. Discussion of applications includes: The three reviewers most closely linked to each grant providing discussion of that grant’s strengths. which are often called “pink sheets” because they were once given back to the applicant as the pink layer from a multi-sheet carbon-paper form. weaknesses. are the key to understanding what was said about your grant during the review.” There is no special reason these grants are called R01—it is not an abbreviation for any longer term. the researcher proposes a topic to study rather than the agency indicating what kinds of topics it would like to see. Many funders (including NIH) use Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Include a discussion of general business. Have 12-24 members recruited from active scientists. Other approaches are also common among large funders. level with a scientific background close to the study section’s area of expertise. After each meeting. but all contain: Overall résumé and summary of review discussion (for applications that were discussed and scored).D. or Program 98 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . R01 grant applications are usually investigatorinitiated—that is. Any recommendations for changes in the budgets of individual grants. The major grant that funds most U.D. Summary statements may vary somewhat depending on the SRA. but there are other types of NIH research grants that begin with other letters. though the whole panel should read all of the applications. Administrative notes (e. which are recorded. Reviewers who have a conflict of interest with a given applicant are asked to leave the room when that applicant’s grant is discussed. Budget recommendations. and their preliminary scores.S. the SRA documents the results in a summary statement. generally people who have (or have had) R01s themselves. and discussion of the remaining applications. Essentially unedited critiques by the assigned reviewers. or Ph. which is forwarded both to the appropriate institute or center that would support the grant (if budget is available) and to the principal investigator. These summary statements. The letter R conveys that it is a Research Project Grant. Other members discussing scientific and technical merit. All members stating their scores.

A grant you might write with an American collaborator to fund research on Chagas disease (a parasitic infection with considerable impact on the heart) might make its way to that institute. Applications to NIH are submitted to the agency and then immediately sent to a division that specializes in managing the review of applications —the Center for Scientific Review (CSR). the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. oil companies. or. For example. proposals that the committee members agree are not of high enough quality to be competitive are often not even discussed at the peer review meeting. and will not receive a numerical score. and 500 is the worst. Multinational organizations such as the United Nations and its agencies (for example. National and multinational corporations such as mining companies. the level of review that focuses on scientific and technical merit is carried out by one of many “study sections. Public-Private Partnerships such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. and Malaria. Tuberculosis. The Fogarty Center’s work focuses on global health and international partnerships. After reviewing the proposal as individuals. etc. the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Private foundations such as the Wellcome Trust. the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 100 is the best possible score. and Blood Institute. that is a section called the National Heart.” each of which is organized around a general scientific area. UNICEF). Non-governmental organizations—a very broad group of national and international organizations. a grant that focuses on atherosclerosis would face peer review by a panel of experts in heart disease and. after review by the institutes and centers. etc. Each study section has a specific scientific focus. Lung. Announcements (PAs) to alert researchers to grant opportunities that will fund research around particular topics. or to the NIH institute that focuses on infectious diseases. There the grant is reviewed on two levels: one is a peer review level meant to evaluate the proposal’s scientific and technical merit. Within the overarching agency NIH. At NIH. Individual reviewers who are members of the study section review a grant application for scientific merit. In this system.QUESTION Where do research funds come from? q&a ANSWER National governments. the other is review by staff members from a few of the agency’s many institutes and centers to determine where the grant might best fit into the agency’s interests. a three-digit number. and then the whole committee comes to agreement on the proposal’s final score. if it is a Fogarty International Research Collaboration Award (FIRCA). etc. GETTING FUNDED 99 . which is also a section of NIH. it might be funded by the Fogarty International Center. etc. Each rates it with a numerical score. the World Health Organization. including both that of the country where you will work and those of other nations that have taken an interest in supporting work in your area of science or your geographical region. would likely find its way to the institute that focuses on heart disease.

Communities themselves are interested in research results so that they can understand their population’s health status and the problems associated with it. Absence of an acceptable scientific rationale. Lack of knowledge of published relevant work.WHEN POOR SCORES ARE GIVEN Who might be interested in supporting your work? Disease control programs that require evidence-based information in order to implement appropriate control measures in disease-burdened areas. Information about potential funders is contained in the Resources section of this chapter. If two or more funders agree to support the same application. See page 102 for the sequence of steps that can guide you from your good idea through the submission of an application to the final decision about funding. Lack of sufficient experimental detail. Policymakers who require quality research results for policy formulation. Zimbabwe ” 100 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . including: Lack of original ideas. thus averting epidemics of waterborne diseases. Once you have a good idea. you can get started in two realms: your own institution and an appropriate funder. as well as where they may need to improve it. Construction companies may require assessment of the impact of their projects. Investors also have an interest in some of the research results produced. An unrealistically large amount of work for the given time frame or funding level. Lack of experience in the essential methodology. Questionable reasoning in experimental approach. superficial. the construction of an irrigation scheme in an arid area. Although it may be tempting to keep both. These health care systems should of course be in sync with the health policies of that country. Chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies wanting to know the efficacy of their products against target vectors and diseases. Susan Mutambu. policy guidelines and informed decisions in the control of various diseases. Research funders who will want to know if their funds are being used in the manner in which they are intended and the outcome of the research conducted using these funds. You can send the same application to multiple funding sources. PREPARING A STRONG GRANT APPLICATION GETTING STARTED Successful grant applications begin with a good idea. A diffuse. Uncertainty about future directions. but others will only ask you to propose some new work that will go beyond the original proposal. or unfocused research plan. This may cause some funders to withdraw their support. but you must disclose your multiple applications to each potential funder. for example. you do not want your supporters to find out later to their surprise that they have “bought” the same work as another funder. because they will guide them in what health care systems to adopt if they do decide to invest in an area. Waterworks and sewerage institutions constantly need to monitor the quality of water and sewage in order to keep harmful organisms at minimal levels. you must let them know that the work has already found support. Applications may receive poor priority scores for any number of reasons.

aims. what has been done? What approaches will you use. molecular genetic. set a time to talk with them. Once you have finished. read the grant solicitations that seem to fit you best and choose one on which to focus. a good grant application will answer for a reader: What do you want to do? Why is it important? Why do you think you can do it? Has this area been studied before? If so. and ideas. such as key graphics. and structural approaches will be used to… Do not put anything that is critical for reviewers to read. be brief—try to keep your specific aims to two or three sentences each. but a reviewer may see a lack of detail as a lack of knowledge on your part. Again. Then discuss this limited group of aims with the same small group of experienced colleagues. not length. The specific aims are the hardest part and are the true heart of a grant. you get points for strength. Start working on the writing well ahead of the deadline so that your grant will put your work forward well. Do not feel you must write up to the full page limit. grant ideas. be specific about reagents and quantify whenever possible.Seek input at your own institution. Do not try to evade the page limit by using small type or narrow margins. this conversation or group of conversations should be short—on the order of two hours—because you will have focused on what is important and will not be discussing other topics. In the specific aims. In general. You may be trying to leave your options open. in an appendix. because your reader may be distracted. grumpy. and at this point. you have them well in hand. because reviewers are not required to read GETTING FUNDED 101 . You need to do a very good job of writing and of arguing for your ideas. In some places this may mean approaching people who are across the country from you. about your research goals. biochemical. Keith Yamamoto. and potential funders in approximately two hours— not two days. If no one at your institution has been successful at getting funded. At the same time. Use language and formatting to create signposts for overworked reviewers. typographical and grammatical errors leave a poor impression. but get as much input as you can from people who face the same kinds of funding challenges that you will. List three to five specific aims. a well-known cell biologist. as a group if possible. and why? Why do you think it is feasible? What will you do if your initial approach does not work as planned? What resources and expertise are available to you from your institution? Keep in mind that your reviewer may pick up your proposal after reading tens of others. No matter how strong the science. look for others as close to you as possible who have gotten international grants. recommends this to his younger colleagues: ask three colleagues who have written fundable grants to serve as a “grant committee” to help you get your own work funded. Prepare yourself beforehand—you should be able to brief them on your specific goals. Prepare your application with care— use your computer’s spell check but also read your work over many times and give it to others to get “fresh eyes” looking for simple errors. and explain in writing for yourself why each aim is important. and then refine your aims according to their comments. disinterested. or even in another country in your region. or in a bad mood by the time he or she begins looking at your grant. If you have found a group of colleagues who are willing to help you this way. hungry. you are ready to write a grant. After you have sharpened your thinking by preparing for the conversation and talking with your grant committee. for example: The long-term objectives of this project are… The general strategy of the proposed research is to… The specific aims of the present study are to… Four goals are envisioned:… In these experiments. Colleagues from farther away may be able to give you helpful insight on scientific issues and the overall logic of the work you are proposing.

The particular format of a given grant may vary. send an abstract to the program officer. and the sections on the background and significance of what you propose to do. Write an abstract describing your proposed work in clear language suitable for an educated layperson. Conclude each section in the research plan with a few sentences stating what you will learn and why that information is important—for example.CALL YOUR PROGRAM OFFICER Program officers are generally PhD or MD staff members of funding organizations. This book was conceived and helped along by program officers from different agencies. Before you call. and they will enable us to distinguish between two controversial models that are widely discussed in the field. 102 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Seek input at your own institution. appendixes. Re-read the funder’s instructions very carefully. Their job involves connecting researchers with grants. Then draft the section on your current relevant work. but just like scientific papers.” Reviewers will look for your record of getting related work done. figures. Put them in the body of the text. investigate funding agencies that may support the kind of work you propose. can recommend other funding opportunities that may also fit you or may fit you better. and diagrams (along with legends). If new data become available after you have submitted the application. or using animals. Do include clear tables. how to do so. and can give you some sense of whether your planned application has a good possibility of being supported by the agency. Find a home for your research. not in pages following it as you might when submitting a paper. It is always appropriate to call or write to the program officer who manages a funder’s grants in your area of research interest. you can offer to send one. so if you do not yet have published work showing your success with the required methods. “These experiments are important because nothing is known about X. and if so. But the program officer can be your best advocate and advisor at a funding agency throughout the application process and beyond. contact the appropriate program officer to see whether you will be allowed to submit this additional information. all of whom wanted to provide you with a resource that will help you become an even more successful researcher. and methods section. That job is left to your institutional colleagues and the study section. paying particularly close attention to whether you have done everything the application requires and whether your work matches well with any criteria for selection listed. collecting human samples. Conduct a thorough literature search and cite all relevant literature (omissions here are often a source of criticism). If the conversation is encouraging. do some preliminary work and present a short summary of the results in your grant application. A good program officer will tell you more about a grant program you are considering applying to. The program officer will probably ask for a copy. If not. Be sure to discuss your work in the context of these published results. be sure to have an abstract of your research project ready (see box “Tips on Writing an Abstract”). The Application: From Concept to Submission In the beginning: have a good idea. Contact program officers at the agencies you would like to approach for support. If you will be using human subjects. The program officer will not evaluate the quality of the research idea or the science. make sure to give yourself time to discuss the project with the people who will be responsible for approving the project’s ethics and determining that your use of animals is in accordance with international standards. research design section. scientific grants have predictable structures. Draft an abstract.

address all critical comments thoroughly. your idea is likely not a good fit for the agency. After peer review. and resubmit your application. this feedback may come before funding decisions are made. and write the abstract in language an educated layperson can understand. and then wait expectantly—soon.) Coherence of concepts. Check by email to make sure the application was received. carefully read any feedback given by the review committee. and the significance of the research. contact another program officer and have the same kind of conversation with a different person. At some agencies. Find out when and how the grant will be paid. Prepare your application. If the application is funded. GETTING FUNDED 103 . the methodological approach. Components of a Generic Grant Application Abstract Research Plan Specific Aims Background (like a review article) Significance or Relevance Preliminary Results Research Design and Methods Resources and Facilities Including description of your lab and the equipment in it. Content. and mention your conversation with a supportive program officer. you can begin the proposed work! If the application is not funded. consult the program officer about challenging a review you think is flawed. Be ready to take legitimate risks. (The mission statement of each funding institute or review committee sets forth its areas of emphasis. Reviewers Focus on the Four Cs Clarity. or apply what you have learned to write a new application.If the conversation is discouraging. If you are discouraged a second time. Present a coherent set of ideas predicated on previous work. as well as shared equipment and equipment you have access to at nearby facilities Budget The Application: From Submission through Funding Decision Submit your application on time. If appropriate. Draft a one-page cover letter in which you express why you believe your application fits the agency or the particular solicitation to which you are responding. Organize your ideas around associated aims linked to your central hypothesis. preferably based on preliminary data. especially if the reviewers’ comments seem to miss the point of your proposal. to move the science forward. refer frequently to any instructions on what will determine which grants are funded. Learn from the summary statement and the program officer: negative comments will contain information that could help you write a stronger proposal in the future. Cross-reference current literature in laying out your premises. Cutting edge. celebrate. first. If revision and resubmission are recommended. and if it is a large agency. consult your program officer for guidance and either revise and resubmit the application. Suggest potential reviewers for your work. consult colleagues at your institution and program officer for guidance. Tips on Writing an Abstract The abstract should convey the big picture —the general hypothesis and aims. Try to avoid technical jargon. follow instructions carefully.

it explains staffing and supply/service consumption patterns. equipment and scientific instruments. will negotiate indirect costs with funding organizations that allow these costs. or methods? Does it challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies? Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained to carry out the proposed work? Is the work appropriate to the experience of the principal investigator and collaborators? Environment: Does the institutional environment contribute to the probability of success? Is there evidence of institutional support? THINKING ABOUT A GRANT’S BUDGET The budget is a categorical description of the proposed costs. Some organizations. Here are some questions that reviewers will ask about your proposal: Significance: Does it address an important problem? Will it advance scientific knowledge? Will it affect concepts or methods in this field? Approach: Are the experimental design and methods appropriate to the aims? Does it acknowledge problem areas and consider alternative tactics (in other words. utilities. Generally. consumable supplies such as printer paper and pipettes. Generally. laboratory computers. do not allow indirect costs. and other details such as lists of items that make up the total costs for a category. reagents. an institution’s administrators. These items can add significantly to the cost of doing research. and postage. but often will allow many of the items listed above to be included as direct costs of the grant. security. employee benefits. INDIRECT COSTS Direct costs comprise those expenses that are directly related to conducting a research project. building maintenance. the methods used to estimate/calculate these items. and custodial services. The budget should address each of the major cost categories. They include salaries.DIRECT COSTS VS. on behalf of the investigator. The organization then provides funds for indirect costs to the institution. approaches. These include administration. Indirect costs (informally termed “overhead”) comprise the expenses that are paid to your institution by the funding organization to support your research but cannot easily be charged directly to a specific grant. computer infrastructure. is there a thoughtful backup plan)? Innovation: Does it employ novel concepts. especially foundations. along with funds to cover direct costs charged to the research grants. such as: Personnel Number of positions and level of expertise for each position Percent effort for each position What each member of the proposed research team will be doing Equipment Why you need this piece of equipment What equipment you used to get preliminary data Why the above equipment is not sufficient to support R01-level effort 104 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Criteria for Rating.

Additionally. It does not matter if the applications are not successful. to learn how to apply for grants as early in one’s career as possible. Gilbert Brenes Comacho. and update your publication list if necessary. first. do not waste your time revising and resubmitting the application. mistakes are made during the review process.NOT CHOSEN? Occasionally. consult the program officer about the possibility of appealing the study section’s decision. and estimated cost/trip Justify any foreign travel Other Detailed description of animal per diem costs Categorize other expenses The most important challenge for a scientist in my country is that funding for research is limited. and write a stronger application the next time. Instead. Your revised application now begins its journey through the review process all over again. Provide any additional data that are now available. Cost sharing for new equipment is advisable Supplies Categorize Explain large expenses Travel Describe proposed meetings. If the program officer thinks it is worthwhile for you to revise the application. Always treat review comments respectfully. salaries at universities are relatively low. along with the next batch of new submissions from other applicants. learn as much as you can from the summary statement and discussion with the program officer and your colleagues. Although this action is sometimes appropriate. there are fewer sources of funding than in developed countries. If the reviewers thought your starting hypothesis was seriously flawed. The most important way of facing this challenge is. Be explicit about changes. Although new private foundations and business companies have started to offer grants for scientific research. reconsider your project and approach. even if you do not agree with them. keep these points in mind: Reviewers of amended applications get to see the summary statement from the previous reviews. it is usually better to address review comments and resubmit your application. but starting to learn the process is very valuable. Follow the program officer’s guidance on this matter. Respond to all suggestions and comments. Mark each section of the revised application where you have addressed reviewer critiques. or think the review was flawed for other reasons. travelers. Costa Rica ” 105 GETTING FUNDED . Resubmit the revised application by the due date. If you believe that the reviewers criticized you for information they overlooked in your application.

which lists international funding opportunities from all over the world.fedbizopps.RESOURCES Allen. 1960. federal government granting programs of more than $25.nih.gov/ncn/grants/app/. It can be found at www.gov.nih. is a well-maintained database of funding opportunities worldwide. “Why are research grant applications disapproved?” Science 132:1532-1534. 106 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . an evolving database of all U. Ernest M. maintained by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Other Sources of Funding Information: FedBizOpps.fic. GrantsNet (http://www.org).000: http://www.gov.grantsnet. Major Sources Of International Funding: The Fogarty International Center produces and updates its Directory of Grants and Fellowships in the Global Health Sciences. Online Example of a Funded RO1: Annotated RO1 Research Plan and Summary Statement (NIAID): http://www.niaid.S.

and making you rethink the most foundational ideas that underlie your field. When you prepare your lectures and when students ask you naïve questions. This chapter focuses on teaching undergraduates at large research universities and students at medical schools. It also offers advice for revising and designing courses. Thus. not a teacher. Gaining the varied skills required to become a good teacher will benefit you professionally by enhancing your communication skills.” By experimenting with different teaching methods. The chapter suggests ways to improve your current teaching style by assessing your strengths and weaknesses and learning from colleagues and other professionals.” you have no choice but to learn as you go. teaching can bring new energy to your lab investigations. you will look in new ways at your assumptions about how things work. but the methods described can easily be adapted to other settings. including “active learning. creating a “teaching portfolio” —a coherent presentation of your experience with teaching and your ideas about your work in the classroom—and balancing your teaching and research responsibilities. or medical school. you can become a “scientific teacher” who is as rigorous at teaching as you are at research. ” HENRY ADAMS If you are associated with a university. helping graduate students and other trainees who may someday find themselves in charge of a classroom learn how to teach. “What am I doing here? I am a scientist.” If you have done little or no teaching before. You will also contribute to the greater good of society by educating TEACHING AND COURSE DESIGN 107 .CHAPTER 8 TEACHING AND COURSE DESIGN “A TEACHER AFFECTS ETERNITY. but now find yourself cast in the role of “The Professor. HE CAN NEVER TELL WHERE HIS INFLUENCE STOPS. and modifying them based on feedback from students and other teachers. college. continually assessing their effectiveness. WHY TEACH WELL? Science is about learning—both learning what is already known and learning from the questions your experiments ask of the natural world. teaching may be an important part of your work. You may find yourself staring out at a sea of faces and thinking. This chapter focuses on some strategies for becoming a more effective teacher by using a variety of methods. You might have mixed feelings about taking your place in front of a class. adding a whole new range of activities to your resume.

It is often a much more sociable and direct experience than your progress through laboratory science. the fact that you are knowledgeable about teaching will help you advance in your environment. insights. Alberto Kornblihtt. and at times you may become frustrated with the pace of research in your lab. Intellectual Growth.the next generation of students (those who become scientists as well as those who go into other fields). By adopting a teaching style that engages students. and creates in their imaginations the possibility of a rewarding life in science. Teaching can provide muchneeded balance that re-energizes you and can give you a sense of accomplishment. you may influence future policymakers. so that you yourself can extend your experimental reach. Taking on your fair share of the institution’s teaching load will help establish your reputation as a valuable peer and colleague. Get to Know Potential Students for Your Lab. Argentina ” 108 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Teaching an important class extremely well will help spread your reputation among the best and most serious students. Increasingly. by teaching students who will choose many ” It is important to tell the history of certain experiments and talk about the personal knowledge one has of some of the “actors” who made important contributions to. give individual students a chance for better lives. embryonic stem cell research. corporate decisionmakers and others. Their questions may push you to acquire new skills and improve on existing ones. A Strong Teaching Record Can Help Your Research Career. or preservation of scarce resources. the best thing of being a scientist is that one is capable of understanding information that might seem complex to others. I usually say that I cannot teach any subject that does not interest or fascinate me. and increase the community’s knowledge. and enthusiasm they need to succeed as well-educated members of society. If you are at a university that values teaching. Delivering class-room instruction will improve your communication skills. Also. When I am fascinated by the subject I am teaching. Thus you will increase science literacy and the general perception of science among those who affect how things move forward. and then one is also capable of translating this information to others to spread the knowledge. Increase Science Literacy. for instance. careers beyond science. molecular biology. you will excite many more students about pursuing scientific careers. Science and other Technical Fields Need to Retain Excellent Students. Teaching will likely give you access to students who may want to join your lab. Teaching completes the learning cycle. Increased Job Satisfaction. Costa Rica REASONS TO TEACH Love of Learning. When you teach. Your scientific experiments and other aspects of laboratory work are not always going to go according to plan. helps them become excited about the discovery process. For me. Ongoing interactions with new students will prompt you to rethink “the basics” in ways that give you a deeper understanding of your work. I manage to get fascination in the audience. business leaders. It is a logical extension of your own studentship. Gilbert Brenes Comacho. scientists are called upon to communicate effectively with the public about complex and practical issues ranging from health policy to the philosophical and real-world quandaries of crop engineering. and you should take great personal satisfaction from giving students the knowledge. Foster enthusiasm. These reasons are explored in greater depth below. you build the future. Make the science we teach alive.

Since good teaching is part art. and TEACHING AND COURSE DESIGN 109 . BECOMING AN EFFECTIVE TEACHER Teaching the lecture component of a basic science curriculum for medical school students or a course for undergraduates can be daunting. If you are a less gregarious person. and show enthusiasm. and subject matter and instruction. and others at your institution as well as from feedback provided by your students. Observe a Senior Colleague. and part personality. teaching behaviors. ASSESS YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES Research has shown that the best teachers are not only knowledgeable about their subject matter. ask your colleague to provide a frank assessment of your teaching skills. and possibly serve as a guide for you as you learn this skill. if you are an outgoing person who takes great joy in sharing what you know. such as structure and goals of the class. OBSERVE AND BE OBSERVED Just as you learn to improve your scientific work based on the critiques that editors give to your submitted manuscripts or comments that reviewers make about your grant applications. you will need to find techniques that will both fit your own personality and will address your students’ varied learning styles. in turn. If you are given a choice of how to organize your course. He or she can give you information and advice informally or by completing a written checklist that contains specific categories. but also show a concern for students and know how to stimulate interest. and ask them if you can attend their classes to see what they do that is effective. Seek out senior colleagues who are reputed to be good teachers. You want to be well-prepared for this new responsibility. When you are being observed. or sharing a new skill with a friend. If you would like a faculty member to observe your teaching. instead give them more time to pose questions and reflect upon solutions. But your enthusiasm may be overwhelming. part technique. encourage discussion. choose someone who seems enthusiastic and knowledgeable about teaching and who has a reputation among students as a good teacher (not just as a giver of high marks). explain topics clearly. The type of course you are asked to teach may not mesh with your scientific interests. Think back to any previous teaching experiences you may have had. Teaching allows you to give something important back to your country. Experienced colleagues can offer suggestions for dealing with particular topics and can give you additional ways to clarify and enliven the material. For example. stimulating discussion around the subject matter might become easier for you. Whether you are bold. as well—you transmit the knowledge that you have attained to new generations of students who may. you might find teaching in a large lecture to be so intimidating that you retreat behind your lecture notes and have difficulty interacting with students. nervously giving talks in your own student days. Ask a Peer for Feedback.Giving Back. they may give you some insights into what teaching skills you could improve. but you should take the time to assess your strengths and weaknesses and take those into account when planning your classes. You might need to avoid presenting students with a tidal wave of complex ideas. after you have established some rapport with students. rapport with students. have a role in moving science and the country forward. staying in the back and just watching the lesson and how students respond to it. you can build your confidence by starting with a topic you know well and feel passionate about. senior colleagues. How do you become a capable and effective teacher whose students really learn the material you are presenting? There are several steps you should take before you even set foot in the classroom. conveying your enthusiasm for science to students should be easy for you. or somewhere in between. You might want to consider a reciprocal arrangement with another junior professor in which you visit each other’s classes. Even if they are only presenting at lab meetings. you can also learn about teaching from peers. shy.

graduate students. assess. may not provide enough specific information. but if you emphasize that this is a practical evaluation meant to improve their classroom experience. ACTIVE LEARNING IN SMALL AND LARGE SETTINGS Active learning presents opportunities and challenges for the teacher. there are ways to get students thinking and asking questions.Seek Feedback through a Formal Peer Review Project. Student evaluations of teaching effectiveness can offer valuable clues as to what you are—and are not—doing well. as well as some encouraging acclaim for the things you are doing right. As you become a more experienced teacher. If you have small classes and frequent. you can introduce inquiry-based experiments in your lectures from the start. question. apply their knowledge and consolidate what they have learned. Upper-level courses and other small-sized classes are excellent opportunities for departures from straight lectures. such as students forming small study groups or frequent quizzes to check student understanding. Bear in mind. and technicians will contribute substantially to your research agenda. (See the box “Active Learning in Small and Large Settings”) WHAT IS ACTIVE LEARNING? Active learning uses a variety of problem-solving techniques to help students become active participants in the learning process. THE PRINCIPLES OF ACTIVE LEARNING Whether you teach at a large research university. many standard assessments. You might want to create an informal survey. that will make some approaches easier to employ. and spirit of discovery of science at its best. and retain the knowledge they have gained in the course. who actively integrates new knowledge into an existing conceptual framework. you can aim to create a classroom that reflects the process of science and captures the rigor. how would you rate the quality of the instructor’s teaching?”). that student ratings for your first course might be low. but related ideas. giving them the chance to clarify. “Overall. you might want to participate in more formal peer review of teaching projects. which aims to engage faculty in capturing the intellectual work of teaching by helping instructors document. In the instances where you teach labs in connection with your science courses. some active learning approaches may be very difficult to apply. A growing body of research supports that supplementing (or replacing) lectures with active-learning techniques and engaging students in discovery and scientific process can improve their abilities to understand concepts. They should quickly improve as you gain experience and confidence as a teacher.g. The students’ critiques can help you make any necessary course corrections. Some students may use an anonymous evaluation as an opportunity to make cruel remarks. think critically.. 110 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . and reflect upon ways to improve student learning and performance. iterative nature. may be useful. Ask your Students for Feedback. which contain quantitative questions designed to be analyzed by computer (e. relatively informal contact with the students both in and out of class. Even in courses where you expect to stand at the front of the room and lecture. However. with plenty of room for comments. though. Because undergraduates. At a larger or more formal institution. or a smaller school. a philosopher of education who contended that learning must be built upon the experience of the learner. a medical school. The concept was originated by John Dewey. from speaking too softly to asking unclear examination questions. the time you spend training them and helping them organize their projects will present many opportunities for experimenting with active learning approaches in the lab. there should be useful feedback on what you are doing wrong.

keep the following pointers in mind: Do Not Try to Cover Too Many Topics at Once. the principal tools of active learning are: Cooperative learning. While you might find a lecture on metabolic pathways exciting.” The teacher uses the feedback to make revisions as the course progresses so that students spend adequate time on ideas that are critical for their understanding of the material. and then resume the lecture by solving the problem at the board in the front of the room. Similarly. by doing laboratory exercises. If you use active learning in your classroom. you could start by stopping your lecture for a few moments to ask students questions (which you can formulate in advance) about the content you are teaching: Description: What do you see? What happened? Common purpose: What is the purpose or function of…? Procedures: How was this done? What will have to be done? Possibilities: What else could…? How could we…? Prediction: What will happen next? Justification: How can you tell? What evidence led you to…? Rationale: Why? What is the reason? Generalization: What is the same about…and…? What could you generalize from these events? Definition: What does…mean? IMPLEMENTING ACTIVE LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM Most scientists will have experienced learning as undergraduates or even graduate students via the “sage on the stage” approach of lecture classes. TEACHING AND COURSE DESIGN 111 . To make active learning work well. your students might learn even more if you present an absorbing case problem to which an understanding of the metabolic pathway will hold a key. for example. Start Gradually and Then Add More. especially within the large lecture format. helping each other understand the material they are grappling with. Some active learning approaches integrate well into lectures and can make the material more engaging for your students. of what the next step would be. pare down each lecture to the core concepts you want or are required to introduce. in which the teacher very regularly assesses what students are learning and what parts have gone “over their heads. For example. asking students to jot down questions. Assessment. Inquiry-based learning.In the classroom. For example. in which students work in groups. If you are comfortable with an informal style and it is acceptable at your institution. in which students ask and answer questions and engage in the process of science. you might try introducing active learning components slowly. Provide an Appealing Context for the Concepts you Highlight. and then answering them at the beginning of the next class session. Delivering a lecture may be the teaching style that will be most natural for you. Asking the students to write on a note card the most important concept they learned in the day’s lecture and hand it in as they leave can let you quickly gauge whether the class is struggling with the material. can help ensure that most students are keeping up with the material. experimenting with different ways of teaching the material to engage students. ask students to work in small groups on a problem or equation. You might lecture for 10-15 minutes and then carry out an activity. You might present the results of a scientific study and ask students to make a prediction. based on their understanding of the material. and organize the concepts in a meaningful sequence.

but develop the patience to deal with at least 10-15 seconds of silence when you ask a question. Use Real-World Examples Use current newspaper and magazine articles to show the relevance of the topics students are studying. You can also ask a question that can be answered by those who read the material for the next class. Assign student groups to investigate various aspects of the project. If students are very reticent to ask and answer questions. Provide some historical background to key discoveries in biology by showing films or news clips of early. you might try framing an opening question in the form of “Choose one of these answers. Even if you feel frustrated when no one speaks up. One of the problems with asking questions in class is that it can become a private conversation with just a few students who volunteer answers. Instead. 112 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . refrain from answering the question yourself. If you have access to a computer or to the Internet during your class. there are ways to use technology to make classes more engaging. you might try asking students to write the answers individually. ideas. “Any questions so far?” Rather. Involve the class in assessing the biological implications of a real or planned community project. and present evidence-based recommendations to the class.Encouraging Student Questions Do not ask. For example. groundbreaking experiments. answer a question with a question to encourage students to define concepts in their own words. or you will set the wrong tone for the rest of the course. ask students to write down two good questions or test problems related to the material you presented. and theories by using examples from your own research or research important in your scientific field to explain how the scientific process is carried out. If home internet use is common for your students. if a student asks.” Call for a vote by show of hands. QUESTION q&a How do I get students to respond to my questions and not be met with silence? ANSWER Make it clear that you expect participation. “What is polymerase chain reaction (PCR)?” answer the question. consider using web-based resources such as a discussion board to encourage students to ask and answer each other’s questions. but then ask a related question that will test the student’s ability to apply the knowledge that you just gave them. For example. and then ask any student to present his or her answer at the beginning of the next session. At the end of a class. then ask one of the students who knew the answer to explain to the others why that answer was correct. collect data. Use Technology to Enhance Teaching. “Can anyone think of why a researcher would want to use PCR?” Encourage students to question concepts. if you are teaching about DNA sequencing. bring in articles about genomics and post-genomics or ask students to bring in relevant articles they may have seen. such as a plan to control communicable diseases or an animal population. and start your next lecture with a reference to those questions. or to work on the answers in a group.

In this kind of learning. Students research the topic. offer a hypothesis. Most inquiry-based labs begin with a question— either one generated by the teacher or by the students—that provides students with a specific issue or topic to explore. photos. Your goal should be to assist the student groups to function smoothly so that students can learn from one another. by exploring the kinds of issues they might actually confront as scientists or as physicians or engineers in practice. which you can study while students are working on in-class exercises. present any new information they may have. For each case. such as discussion leader. You should not take over and begin lecturing the small groups. In addition. They are then assigned roles. who acts as a facilitator. Set the Stage for Active Learning Set the pattern for active participation from the very first day. to test the hypothesis. scribe. As students start to understand and apply the scientific method. they can begin to experience the rewarding pleasure of discovery. consider taking a different approach by either designing or adapting existing inquiry-based experiments. labs can provide rich learning experiences for students and can help them develop a variety of professional and technical skills. The exercises are designed to integrate previously learned classroom material. your role is likely to be that of a facilitator. learn to make your presentations visually dynamic and engaging to students. Students meet in small groups with a faculty member or a more advanced student. Students can be given mock data from which they can do the relevant analysis and think through results. Reading a lecture aloud from a series of slides is painfully dull for both the teacher and the students. Or show maps. they receive a list of objectives. tell students to choose their seats for the semester and then make a seating chart. gathering and analyzing data. If you want your students to experience the thrill of science. ACTIVE LEARNING IN THE LAB The teaching laboratory associated with a course is a perfect place for students to actually practice science by designing experiments. CASE-BASED LEARNING Case-based learning allows students to learn science in a very practical way. collect and analyze the data. and determine if their hypothesis was confirmed. reader. students are encouraged to pose hypotheses. The whole process can be done in an hour. When they are properly designed as discovery-based learning activities. Remind students of the value of active learning. but you should correct any misinformation that might arise during student discussions. The students then present and explain their findings to the class as a whole. and evaluate the exercise. photographs. Use interactive demonstrations and simulations to illustrate concepts. phenomenon. From inquirybased labs.Integrate new media technology such as animations or virtual labs to make the subject more vivid. or diagrams and ask students to make their own observations and interpretations. If you decide to use PowerPoint slides in your class. or scientific advance. At the first class. and get students talking several times during the first session or in separate discussions later. reach conclusions as a group. and presenting their findings. a narrative description of an issue. design an experiment TEACHING AND COURSE DESIGN 113 . Learn the names of as many of your students as you can. and film clips will also get your students’ attention and may open familiar material to surprising new questions. so students are expected to refer to material they have studied before attempting to answer the questions. and a list of questions to address and problems posed by the narrative. even if it is impossible to give them a chance to collect the data themselves. students can also develop better communication and critical thinking skills and learn to work together as part of a problem-solving team. Slides. This can be useful even when facilities and resources for doing experiments are not available. or timekeeper. ask questions that call for genuine discussion. which they will have read and thought about ahead of time.

constructive feedback to help the groups analyze what went well and what went astray in their discussions. These questions can be used both in written and oral exams. In some places oral exams are common. DEVELOPING EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Remember that writing exam questions takes time. Although the questions are relatively easy to write. The advantage is that the tests allow you to see the quality and depth of each student’s thinking. However. True/False Questions. can also be useful. Before you start. Short Answer Questions. Provide timely. Model respectful and professional behavior by showing respect and support to all students while making the rules of small-group discussion very clear. you should use a variety of questions to evaluate what the students have learned. BMS6204: Medical Biochemistry and Genetics. but are easy to score. Your school will have its own customs and requirements for testing students’ knowledge. These questions are used primarily in written exams.Here are some ways you can help them learn without delivering the material yourself: Encourage the group to recognize and formulate problems by asking students to brainstorm and make a list of possible causes of the problem being discussed. rather than on specific facts or details. In a written exam. they are harder to score because students are free to answer the question in any way they choose. and you might tend to give students a better grade if they have strong writing skills. These present a question and ask students to choose from a list of answers. make sure you ask if your institution has any established formats to which your exam questions must conform. and to make sure that at the end the groups have not come to illogical or incorrect conclusions. Encourage the groups to critically evaluate ideas by asking probing questions and suggesting other avenues to explore. students fill in a blank or complete a sentence. “True or make true” questions. They present a statement and ask the student to decide whether the statement is true or false. in others written ones are used nearly exclusively. Multiple Choice Questions. The questions can be more challenging to answer (if they require both one correct answer and several false answers that distract the student by being nearly true or by playing on a common misunderstanding of the concept). general concepts. These are “constructed response” or open-ended questions that ask students to create a short answer (one sentence or several sentences). Regardless of 114 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . which ask the student to recognize and correct false statements. They allow students to focus on broad issues. they are limited in the kinds of student mastery they assess and have a relatively high probability of students guessing the right answer. while encouraging quieter students to participate. (Adapted from Guide to Small Group CBL Exercises. These questions lend themselves to written exams. they can be difficult and very time-consuming to score. involve them in writing the exam or in reviewing a draft of it to make sure that your instructions are clear and that the test can be completed in the time allowed.) the type of exam. do not try to “throw it together” at the last minute. Give group members opportunities to demonstrate their outside reading by asking them to describe new information they might consider from other sources. Essay Questions. Florida State University College of Medicine. Questions can be simple statements or complex cases or scenarios that require careful consideration on the part of students. While the tests are among the easiest to write and score. If you have students or other trainees helping you teach the class. and interrelationships. Ensure that all group members have a chance to contribute by preventing the “talkers” from answering too quickly. because the answers vary in length and variety.

ask the faculty member who has been teaching the course to describe his or her impressions of what worked and what did not. Decide what to Teach. and whether your new course—especially if it is a significant departure from a well-loved predecessor’s course—will generate potentially damaging turbulence for you from your teaching and research colleagues. spend some time editing the lectures to make them your own. you should begin planning your course several months ahead of the term to give yourself time to order textbooks and request other resources and to prepare your course handouts. DESIGNING A NEW COURSE Creating a new course is more difficult and time-consuming than revising an existing one.COURSE DESIGN You may be asked to design a new course from scratch. or you may want to redesign an existing course to better suit your teaching style and knowledge or advances in your field. But even if you are asked to develop a new course at the last minute. and make sure you are covering that material well. and how to ensure that students are learning what is being taught. lecture notes. If possible. Determine what Changes to Make. you might want to invest minimal time and effort. you can still use many of the planning guidelines described below. Before starting. how to teach it. If you are teaching a course for only one year and must hand it back to your colleague when he returns from a sabbatical. so before starting down this path. then it may be useful to start from the beginning and design a completely new course. Are your predecessor’s lecture notes written in a style that is similar to your own way of presenting material? If not. give considerable thought to how you will find the time to build the new course. Course design is a complex and time-consuming undertaking. If you can get a commitment to teach the course for several years. Is course content basically good. and other materials the faculty member who previously taught the course will make available to you. you can focus more on your presentation. Determine how the course relates to other courses in the department’s curriculum by asking these questions: Will the course be required before students can register for higher-level courses? If so. how many times (if any) you will be able to substantially re-teach the same course. but is it presented primarily in lecture form with few activities that press the students to think? TEACHING AND COURSE DESIGN 115 . assessment questions. Review and evaluate the course syllabus. skim a few years’ worth of students’ course evaluations. Is it an advanced course? If so. If the content of the course seems satisfactory overall. If they are available. Ideally. textbooks and other assigned readings. But if you think it is necessary to introduce a substantial amount of new content or make major structural changes. figure out what and how much you want to change. Clarify your department’s expectations for this course. ask yourself why you want to design a new course. Review students’ final exams to learn where the course was strong or weak in teaching key concepts. If you do decide to make changes to the course. or observe this person teaching a class and jot down your thoughts about what you would keep or change. Has your department or school requested that you fill a gap in the existing curriculum? Will you earn good will and be viewed as a team player if you take it on? Do you have a special research interest that is not currently represented in the curriculum? You will face three critical decisions—what to teach. talk to the instructors who are teaching the basic courses that students will have taken before yours so that you can better understand what skills and knowledge students will have when entering your course. revising it will make more sense. talk to the instructors of the advanced courses to see what kinds of knowledge and skills they expect from students who will have taken your course.

movies. Do you want to. or be prepared to tell students how to make the best use of the reading resources. or virtual labs. investigate the use of technology enhancements such as animations. You can use active assessments. Find out what you must to ensure that all of the needed items. or laboratory work. and balance material that emphasizes practical problem-solving with material that emphasizes fundamental understanding. group projects. perhaps punctuated by examinations if having several examinations per course is customary at your institution. For example. in-class or at-home examinations. Determine what other resources you need. in-class presentations. Divide the course into manageable pieces. If you will be able to use a computer in your presentations to the class. people. Based on the goals of the course. one objective might be that students will be able to propose tests of evolutionary hypotheses or critique arguments pertaining to evolutionary evidence. Use letterhead to contact publishers for review copies (some publishers will send you a free sample of their textbook on request if you are teaching at an established institution). and energy and resources. Choose textbooks and journal articles. Such definitions will help structure the content of each lesson Determine How to Teach It. a year-long course in introductory biology might involve three broad themes: information and evolution in living systems. including student presentations. or are you required to include other faculty presenters? Will any class sessions be filled by field trips. 116 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . and will call for discussions with other faculty and perhaps a collaborative or interdisciplinary approach. and student textbooks if those are provided by the institution. and journal club do you want to use? What will be the balance of faculty lecture and other teaching methods. or other non-speaker events? Establish content goals. teaching laboratory space. development and homeostasis. Identify major course themes. Define the objectives of individual units or lessons. such as students or trainees to help you teach student labs or grade homework and examinations. These principles or fundamental postulates lend continuity to and provide perspective on the entire course. and resources are in place. for example. If you plan to have a Web site for your course. Ask yourself these kinds of questions: What combination of lecture and homework assignments. and projects. Divide the larger units into individual class sessions with objectives.. Make sure the textbooks match your idea of the course’s goals and objectives. If you include non-content goals (such as “work conducted collaboratively with other students”). supplies. Identify core concepts within your major themes.Are there curriculum changes underway that might affect your course? If. Determine the general structure of your course. simulations. seminars. Think about guest speakers or faculty members who might be appropriate and willing to teach several classes. problem sets. determine how you will assess student learning for each goal. Identify three to five general goals (e. as well as more traditional quizzes. in the course? Select resources. library resources. Pay attention to major holidays: if most students will go home for a few days. papers. familiarize yourself with your institution’s procedures for placing material online. labs. your school is considering new approaches—such as doing away with introductory biology and chemistry and replacing them with a multidisciplinary life sciences course—you will want to keep that long-term plan in mind. think about whether your planned schedule will lead to poor performance by students who may be rushing to go home or may return unprepared. “understanding the concept basics of metabolism”) for the course that will explain what you want your students to know and be able to do when the course is over. Choose activities for each class and create a table or grid for each class to plan those elements. methods. Knowing how your course fits into the entire structure of the students’ education is important. videos.g. and evaluations for each. Try to provide a balance of concrete information and abstract concepts. keep in mind that they are harder to assess. For example.

) Once you have taught your course. late work. You might also want to have an informal consultation with a trusted senior teacher who you have recruited to help you as you start your own teaching career. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. “Preparing or Revising a Course. Manju. such as encountering students with obvious behavior or psychological problems. classroom meeting place and time. make small adjustments over time. and from evaluations from your peers. demonstrate the teaching techniques you expect them to use. You may spend only an hour running through a few examples. circulate a sample of papers and have each assistant grade them independently using a rubric developed in advance. even after years in the classroom. A statement of assessment techniques. TEACHING AND COURSE DESIGN 117 . “Course Planning and Teaching. Be sure to brief your teaching assistants on professional standards of behavior. in some places it is common for students and teachers to meet only in offices with the doors open and other people around. Help teaching assistants understand that teaching is an experimental situation. having your assistants standing in for the students for the purpose of the demonstration. A schedule of due dates for papers. all together if possible. group projects. from student evaluations. Barbara Gross. 1993. is dating allowed between students and their graders? It may also be important to give them some guidance on conducting meetings with students. If they will be presenting lectures or speaking during laboratory sessions. But resist the urge to change or correct everything all at once. so that there can be no claims of inappropriate behavior. from informal consultations with students. These often include standards regarding fairness and confidentiality. holidays. For example. particularly if it is a new one. (Sources: Hingorani. Try to avoid having sessions that cover related material span major holidays. make-up assignments. A brief statement of objectives.Check your college or university’s calendar. A description of course format. Look for exam dates. They may typically include: Name of the course. A schedule of class dates and topics. and semester and year the course is to be given. do not expect them to be comfortable using teaching techniques they have never experienced as students. TEACHING OTHERS TO TEACH If you are teaching a large course with assistants who will handle laboratory instruction or grading. Visit sections led by teaching assistants often. tests. Before allowing others to grade papers for you. and grading. to discuss the answers and talk about how to resolve differences in how the graders may be viewing the questions. Feedback can be obtained by reviewing student performance. For example. Pertinent information about academic policies and procedures such as class attendance. and projects. you will probably want to revise it based on your sense of whether the objectives were met and on feedback from students and colleagues. Determine if Students are Learning. Look at existing syllabi (course agendas) to get an idea of the appropriate format at your school. Meet with the graders. A brief course description and statement of overall course goals. and emphasize that they do not have to be perfect teachers. Name and contact information for you and any other faculty involved. and offer useful feedback in private soon after your visit. Tell your assistants to come to you when serious problems arise. which may vary from place to place. Course Web site. but it could make the difference between your teaching assistants shying away from your methods and being willing to use them. and other events that might affect class schedules.” Tools for Teaching.” Davis. as well as policies regarding acceptable levels of socializing between teachers (including assistants) and students. if there is one. It might be useful to conduct such evaluations periodically during the course. Instead. Teachers can continue to experiment and revise their courses. number of credits.

Ask a member of the lab to select an original peer-reviewed journal article. (See chapter 4. Volunteer to teach the courses your department or institute particularly needs but are not as difficult to teach—that way you can legitimately say. you should not permit your teaching obligations to undercut your commitment to research. More advice on creating a culture of teaching in your lab can be found in chapter 10. you will often want to avoid lecturing and giving trainees answers too quickly. At the very least. If you have a large group. While your students are learning about experimental design and other research issues. and by encouraging members of your lab group to learn from each other. In the lab. You can create a culture of learning in your lab for all trainees by using some of the teaching strategies described above. Even if you cannot reduce the number of hours. Journal clubs are a great way to examine current literature and to let those just starting in the lab know that there are many questions left to be answered. one good way to keep everyone up on current literature is to ask each member of the group to present briefly the abstract of at least one paper at the beginning of weekly lab meetings.education. distribute it in advance to the group. and provide any relevant or background information.gov/cinema. Start a Journal Club. you should try to clarify your teaching load. You might also ask to teach multiple sections of the same course to reduce your preparation time.nih.S. keep in mind that although you will want to be the best teacher you can in the time allowed. “Expanding Your Influence: Training the Next Generation of Scientists.A RELAXED FORMAT FOR TALKING ABOUT SCIENCE Start a monthly film club. Invite your laboratory group to watch and discuss a science-related movie. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has run a “Science in the Cinema” activity for those who live near its Bethesda. you might be able to make trade-offs that help you manage your teaching load more effectively. this works even better with an entertaining cinematic movie. If your institution considers research its top priority. as in the classroom. 118 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . and has a long list of movies— mostly box office hits—and resource materials that will add to a lively discussion. The list can be found at http://science. “Sorry. they will also be learning to collaborate and communicate. your laboratory is also a classroom—one in which the scientific process often results in something new. prepare an introduction to the paper.” CREATING A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN YOUR LAB In a very real sense.) TIME MANAGEMENT WHEN BALANCING TEACHING AND RESEARCH The amount of time you devote to developing or teaching a course will depend in part on the priority your institution places on teaching. or unexpected. exciting. and will instead prefer to emphasize questions and encourage reflection. and request graduate assistants to help you grade exams. Maryland campus since 1994. I am already committed” when you are asked to teach a course that would be more time-consuming to develop or teach. Ideally. but if that is not possible. Though there are many wonderful educational films. page 58. The U. How many classes will you have each term? What are typical enrollments in each class? How much time will you be expected to spend advising students or supervising theses or dissertations? Does supervising undergraduate research count as teaching? How much credit do you receive for teaching the lab sections of a course? Armed with such knowledge. then reconvene and share their thoughts with the group as a whole. lab members can break up into smaller groups to discuss research-related issues (How good is the data? Should more experiments have been done?). perhaps you could stack your teaching load so that you teach all of your classes in one semester and arrange to have a term with no teaching. journal club should be held on a weekly basis.

Mexican and Colombian universities. While there are many ways to compile a teaching portfolio and many items you might include. and supporting materials. Consider your personal rhythms. and any honors or other recognition you received for teaching. Unlike your scientific CV.ocwconsortium. materials from several Spanish. confidence. a loose-leaf notebook. so that you can continue to analyze and improve it. Products of Teaching: Student scores on class.Borrow. samples of student work. Set realistic limits on your own class preparation and do not be a perfectionist. and your teaching can inform your research. departmental. http://www. Becoming a good teacher may seem like a lot of work with little reward. Teach a course previously taught by someone who is willing to lend you copies of his or her notes. it is manageable if you take it in steps. The time you TEACHING AND COURSE DESIGN 119 . exams. Teach the same course several times. Compiling your portfolio will force you to reflect on your teaching. The most important thing is to start collecting and organizing information related to your teaching philosophy and accomplishments and to start compiling those materials in a box. Materials from Others: Student and course evaluation data from present and former classes. Your research can inform your teaching.or another format that can easily be updated and supplemented. but also for your own professional development. This document is an important asset—not only for your career. and steps you have taken to enhance your teaching skills or background knowledge. One way to do this is to develop a teaching portfolio. representative course syllabi. THE TEACHING PORTFOLIO You want to make sure that your teaching successes are favorably considered as part of your promotion review. the teaching portfolio is more selective and has been compared to an artist’s portfolio—a sampling of the breadth and depth of your work. choose a class that does not completely disrupt your day. you could teach two back-to-back classes or schedule days without classes to help you find time for your research. statements from teaching assistants (TAs) you have supervised. Know Yourself. and technical courses from 11 universities in Paris. and national certification exams. and testimonials from alumni or employers of former students. Learning to be an effective teacher is worth the time and effort. but you will also enhance your own skills. Curricula and sometimes lectures from courses from universities worldwide are collected at the Open Courseware Consortium’s Web site. evidence of your teaching. which lists all publications you have ever written. While the list might seem overwhelming at first and could take years to develop to the fullest. If you have any influence over scheduling. and homework assignments. Sample Teaching Portfolio A teaching portfolio includes these items: Personal Material: A short statement of your teaching philosophy. typical portfolios include a personal statement about your teaching philosophy. Adapt and Recycle. too. Not only will you be instrumental in inspiring and educating a new generation of scientists. and creativity. Borrow or adapt high-quality curricula that are already available. the courses of the UK’s Open University. statements from colleagues who have observed your classroom teaching. a translation project rendering materials into Portuguese. that teaching can be a stabilizing force in your life. For example. but remember that your research and teaching careers can work hand in hand.org. Remember. a broader statement of your teaching responsibilities. Links include the more than 1800 courses now online from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. especially if your research becomes discouraging or you lose ground in the laboratory. so that you are just making adjustments to it rather than starting from scratch every year.

and Theory for College and University Teachers. New York. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.org.umn. 1993. Hannelore B.pdf. animations.buffalo. Barbara Gross.html.html.html Curran-Everett. Jo. www. University of Texas at Austin Center for Teaching Effectiveness. as your students demonstrate their knowledge on a test or tell you that for the first time they really understand DNA structure and function. harvard. Richard M. Wilbert J.org/career_magazine/previous_ issues/articles/1999_11_12/noDOI. “Preparing or Revising a Course” chapter.edu/bgd/prepare. productive.org. Davis. “Course Planning and Teaching.brown. RESOURCES Brinkley. Douglas. McKeachie.htm. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Careers. Rodriguez-Farrar.edu/eceprogram/bestprac.northseattle. http://nsdl. and other resources. and other resources developed by accomplished research scientists (who are also gifted teachers) through grants from HHMI’s Professors Program. “Suggestions for Effective Lecture Preparation and Delivery” http://www1. 1999. http://www. Barbara Gross. Research. 1993. Tests and Exams” chapter.edu/ohr/teachlearn/resources/guides/ effective/index.berkeley. edu/administration/sheridan_center/docs/teach_port.” http://webshare. Richard M.edu/bgd/largelecture. “Preparing or Revising a Course.biointeractive. “Learning How to Teach: How to Do It and Why You Want To. Freeman.” Harriet W. et al. http://chronicle. Manju. http://brighamrad. University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learning. Reis. Piscataway.berkeley. technology.org. Tara. “How to Get All-Important Teaching Experience. http:// www. Drummond.active-learningsite. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. University of North Carolina.org/research/ professors/ for an array of courses. Barbara Gross. 120 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . http:// sciencecareers. National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. Center for Faculty Excellence.html. Brown University. Sheridan Center. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Kuther. http://www. 1993.org/career_development/ previous_issues/articles/2240/teaching_101. Tools for Teaching.utexas.edu/education/online/tcd/tcd.sciencemag.. http://teaching.sciencemag. National Science Digital Library.edu/about/publications.edu/libraries/projects/cases/case.edu/bgd/quizzes. “The Teaching Portfolio. a free online resource for education and research in science. Scientific Teaching: A Guide to Transforming Undergraduate Biology Education. hightech tools.” Davis. http://teaching. Tomorrow’s Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering. NY: W.spend in preparing an effective course with activelearning activities can give great personal rewards. http://ublib.com/bib1. Barbara Gross. Reis. Preparing a Teaching Portfolio. http://cfe. Davis.com/jobs/2000/07/2000072102c. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.org/resources_ for/university_faculty/index. 2002.htm.html. “Quizzes. mathematics and engineering. Hingorani. McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. et al. A Guidebook. http://bioquest. Biointeractive. Tom. NJ: IEEE Press. Handelsman. 1993.org. A comprehensive bibliography of articles about active learning. Davis. your success in teaching and course design will only improve your chances of having a long.” Chronicle of Higher Education’s Career Network. The Chicago Handbook for Teachers: A Practical Guide to the College Classroom. 2006. “A Brief Summary of the Best Practices in Teaching.H. http://sciencecareers. Harvard Medical School Case Studies. Virtual labs. Online BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium.edu/academic/cte/teachfolio. 11th ed. Sarah Miller Lauffer.” chapter.html. Resources for Undergraduate Biology Go to http://www.htm.4933230686003237261. 1997. Tools for Teaching. “Teaching 101” Science. The Active Learning Site. “Preparing to Teach the Large Lecture Course. Alan. Since teaching is one of the three pillars on which decisions about tenure and certain grants are made.html. Howard Hughes Medical Institute. and well-funded career in academia.php.berkeley. and Christine Pfund.” ScienceCareers. http://teaching.html. Tools for Teaching.” Tools for Teaching.unc.hhmi.






Having an internationally recognized role in advancing science requires that you make your name familiar to people far from your own backyard. Science is not an exclusive club, but as in most human activities, people will be more open to you and your work when they know you. The published literature is the major route by which other scientists will come to have that critical sense of familiarity that will make you a “known factor” and a welcomed colleague to other researchers around the world. Your scientific success hinges on several factors. Your ability to produce a body of publications that your colleagues will notice and respect is the key to your success. Granting agencies, other journals, and your peers around the world look at your publication record as proof of your research accomplishments. The importance of publishing excellent work in well-regarded international journals cannot be overstated. No other way of becoming well known matters as much. For your career to really flow well, you must also develop into a recognized local, regional and national authority. If your work is known in London, Washington, Paris and Geneva, but utterly

unfamiliar to those who make decisions about the course of science at your own institution or in your own country, your career progress will likely stall. At the same time, the people you train, the work they do with you, and the work they may someday do on their own extend your ideas and your influence in the scientific community at home and far away.

Once you have completed several years of graduate school or medical school and postdoctoral research, you should be familiar with writing scientific papers and the peer review process for scientific publishing. But you may not yet have been able to publish in the high-impact, mostly international journals that will build your reputation. To call a journal “high impact” is a description not only of its prestige and quality, but also of how far into the consciousness of scientists around the world ideas published in it go. This chapter provides some tips on planning for publication, and some tricks of the trade to help you get your work out in front of other scientists.



Types of Journals. Within the broad category of peer-reviewed journals, individual journals vary in the audience they try to reach and the scope of coverage they provide. Local journals are often not “indexed”, which means that they are not entered into the searchable mainstream of the scientific literature where other researchers can discover them. Publishing in un-indexed journals thus does little to advance your career outside your own country. However, there are efforts underway to strengthen the peer review infrastructure of the best un-indexed journals—many of them in the southern hemisphere—so that they can become indexed. Within indexed journals, there is a range of types. Some journals—for example, the top-tier journals Science and Nature—focus on a broad scientific audience. Others are deliberately narrower in scope, publishing research within a scientific specialty. Most journals are published in English and have a broader readership, but many are published in other languages and are primarily read within a single field or subfield of science. Within each group of journals there is a hierarchy in terms of how highly regarded each journal is. One of the crude measures of a journal’s value is its impact factor—a measure of how frequently papers published in that journal are cited in other journals (see “A Word About Impact Factors,” page 124). The more prestigious and high-impact the journal, the more competitive its publication process is. Though there is great prestige in Science, Nature, or other top-tier journals, not every paper belongs there. Science and Nature are both weekly magazines that not only transmit science but also carry news each week. Their content is meant to be science that is especially interesting to a broad audience, and throughout the year they often have thematic issues highlighting some particular scientific topic. Much of any scientist’s work is not broadly interesting as a piece of news, but rather represents advancement of an ongoing story, and is not appropriate for these publications. Even exciting, unexpected results may be turned down
The most important advice I would like to share with researchers just beginning their independent careers is that the phrase ‘publish or perish’ is not just an overused cliché. The only way that people will know about your work is to have it published. Publishing first-authored papers in high-impact medical journals like Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine contributed tremendously to my reputation as an established independent researcher. In publishing, think more about quality than quantity of publications.

Moses Bockarie, Papua New Guinea

if the magazines have recently run a paper on a similar topic. Getting an excellent review but not an acceptance from one of these publications is good news, not a cause for disappointment. And getting an acceptance is even better. Work that can be published in an indexed journal should be, because that is the best way for it to be read by other scientists. But unindexed local and regional journals should not necessarily be ignored. Your work may be important for researchers and clinicians in your region to know about, and should

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The Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI), a partnership between WHO and scientific publishers, makes free access to biomedical literature available to low-income countries. More than 2000 journals from more than 70 scientific publishers, including very high impact groups like Elsevier, Springer-Verlag, and John Wiley, are available through this program. More information is available at www.who.int/hinari



be published in the journals that they read. If your work is published in an indexed journal, you should discuss with the editor the possibility of reporting the results in local journals by re-publishing data from the papers. If you get permission to republish the data, you must make clear to local journal editors and readers that the data has already appeared in print, or you may be viewed as unethical. Communication Formats. In scientific journals, primary research holds center stage, although significant space is often allocated to news, reviews, and commentaries. Depending on how complete the study is and how big a story the work to be published tells, original research can be published in a variety of formats, including full-length articles, brief communications, technical comments, or even letters to the editor. As a beginning investigator, you should concentrate on getting your research published as peer-reviewed, full-length articles whenever possible. Technical comments and letters to the editor count for very little in most fields. A well-written and useful review may be worth the investment of your time, particularly if you have already collected all of the relevant literature that should be summarized. However, a review does not carry the weight of original research, and is not as valuable to you in the long run as a paper that reports original research. Generally, a journal editor will invite you to submit a review. The invitations are based in large part on the potential author’s reputation in the relevant field. You may also contact editors yourself and propose writing a review on the strength of your unique perspective on a field. Again, your reputation will be a major selling point to the journal’s editor in considering your proposal of a review. Good reviews tend to get cited frequently by other scientists, which would increase your citation index (a measure of how many researchers cite your work). It is a “which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” situation. How can you get known if becoming better known requires being known?

If you have a colleague or collaborator who has gotten a foot in the door and established himself or herself in the literature, you might approach that person with the idea of writing a review together should the opportunity arise. This could benefit both of you. Reviews are extremely laborintensive, so many authors who do get invited to write them are happy to have a willing partner who wants to do some of the hard work. To write a good review, you need the breadth and depth of knowledge that generally come only with long experience and from knowing a lot of scientists working in a field who will share unpublished data with you. Partnering with a better-established scientist can help you gain connections to those other researchers and their unpublished data. It can be a great opportunity for becoming better known to a broad group of the people whose work is moving science forward. But be careful —a review that reveals your lack of expertise or shows that your collaborator was not careful in his or own review of the field could be embarrassing and career-damaging. You should only take on a task like this when you know you have the time and energy to do it well. As your career progresses, you may want to consider other opportunities to express your views —in letters, comments, and discussions of scientific trends. Many readers of the good journals peruse this “front matter,” and contributing to it gives you quick and wide visibility. In the very highest of the top-tier journals, however, front matter tends to be commissioned by the editors, leaving the letters to the editor section the only place where you have a chance to get your name in print if you have not yet established a reputation. The Editors. Some journal editors are professional editors who trained as scientists but no longer work in a lab, or who trained as writers or editors and have chosen to become specialists in scientific publication. Others are scientists who have their own research programs but also serve as editors for a period of time. Journals such as Cell, Science, Nature, and PLoS Biology are staffed by professional editors. When speaking to a professional



the inclusion of review articles in a journal will increase its impact factor. Or publication may be a rare event where you work. and also that you understand what the “goal line” is. Thompson Reuters publishes the Science Citation Index. because they often serve as surrogates for earlier literature. it has been highly cited. This bias occurs because the window through which the impact factor looks—a period of two years—can miss the slower evolution of citations in journals where papers are considerably delayed. It is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations by the number of citable items published in that journal during the previous two years. as a rubric for gauging the visibility and influence of a published work. especially in journals that discourage extensive bibliographies. which is published in the “Journal Citation Report” issued by Thompson Reuters. be sure to take the time to highlight the general interest of your paper and explain the nuances of the science. and Google has developed its own calculation. For example. this section focuses on submitting and publishing these types of papers. and how much publishing matters with regard to whether you are judged to be successful by your own organization. editor about your work. At an ambitious new institute.org/abs/cs. Make sure you understand what your institution expects your rate of publication to be. Though the order of journals in these indexes may vary. perhaps predictably. PLANNING FOR PUBLICATION Because publishing original research papers is critical to your career.uksg.” which ranks researchers by a combination of number of papers and how often the papers are cited. There is a strong bias against publications—many of them outside the axis of strong science-producing countries—that take several years to publish papers. The impact factor.A WORD ABOUT IMPACT FACTORS The impact factor. including Google Scholar and the scholarly publishers group CrossRef. The United Kingdom Serials Group is promoting the “usage factor” (http://www. which is updated annually. The Science Citation Index is still produced. Other methods of measuring citations are used by other indexing efforts. At a well-established research institute. is a calculated number that reflects how frequently the “average article” in a given journal gets cited. is one of several types of data regarding the communications of scientists. Therefore. The “h-index.org/usagefactors). An editor who is also an active researcher is more likely to already know these things. Knowing when to Publish your Research.DL/0601030). was developed by theoretical physicist Jorge Hirsch to rank researchers in that field and was published in the prestigious journal PNAS. the thick. the “Y factor” (http://arxiv. but is now more likely to be found in electronic form (either as DVDs or as the online resource SciSearch) than as a row of thick books. but short introductions to your work and why it matters are always helpful. cross-referenced directories of all of the science published in a given field in a given year. Your institution may have some guidelines about how many papers you are expected to publish in a given number of years. the standard may be seeing some number of articles in print. many other factors can influence a journal’s impact and ranking. Although the impact factor is often used to provide a gross approximation of the prestige and intellectual reach of a journal. where. they all illustrate that some journals will show off your work better than others. review articles are generally cited more frequently than research articles. submitting papers may be the current benchmark—actually seeing them in print at some given rate may be the rule 124 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . once commonly found in scientific and technical libraries.

Even worse. you run the risk of being “scooped. but if you are the senior author. To obtain research positions of their own in the near future. but if you wait to tell the whole story in a single publication. in your institution and elsewhere. and having written it will have been an inefficient use of your time. if you are at an institution that does not value publishing or does not push researchers to publish. as you are. and then work on your publishing on top of that. or it may be seen as a distraction that takes you away from activities that those who will judge your success value more. publishing incorrect results or shoddy analysis will damage your reputation among your colleagues. solid. and even more modest journals may view a great paper on an out-of-date topic as being derivative or a footnote to a story that has already passed by. If you encourage them and help them toward that goal. A paper that is incomplete or carelessly put together is less likely to be accepted for publication. especially if there are other groups working on the problem and a rejection from a high-profile journal would leave you behind in the race to get your results into print. at worst may find yourself unable to publish it at all. you may get scooped and/or you may publish at a rate that will disappoint your institution. All authors typically want to publish in the most prestigious journal that is likely to accept their paper. you are generally the one who makes the final decision. You may want to take into consideration the suggestions of students and scientists training in your lab. You will need to balance several considerations in deciding when to publish. If you have scientists training in your lab who want to pursue research careers. but for today.” In the top-tier journals. If there is competition in your field and you wait to publish. Here are some questions that can help guide your decision: Are my results sufficiently groundbreaking. to establish a strong publication record. Decisions about where to publish may become even more complex when two or more laboratories have contributed to the work. you must publish. but if you have a choice. Remember. CHOOSING A JOURNAL Most scientific papers published today have multiple authors. make sure that you are excelling at doing the things that the institution expects you to do. making the findings interesting to scientists in several fields and therefore appropriate for a general journal? INCREASING YOUR IMPACT: GETTING PUBLISHED 125 . it is a good idea to resist the temptation to rush into print.in a few years. or when one author is more tolerant of the risk of being scooped than the others are. but views on which journal is best will differ. At an institution that is focused almost entirely on teaching. have I taken an interdisciplinary approach. and do they have enough general appeal. it will enhance your own publication record and multiply your success. A topic that is very interesting to much of the world this year may be virtually unpublishable two years from now. each of them is under similar pressure to publish. you risk the rest of science passing you by. simply because the topic has been “overdone.” When you are scooped—when someone else publishes the story before you can—you will at best be able to place your work in a journal that is not as prestigious as the one you had initially envisioned. If you delay publishing until you obtain the complete set of results needed to dissect an entire phenomenon. the quality of your publications is what matters most in the long run. there are definite fashions. just sending more of them out is what is expected. to be considered by one of the top-tier scientific journals? Do I have a larger story that makes my results really exciting? Even if my results are not earth-shattering. Research projects usually have natural points when it makes sense to publish (see “Creating an Integrated Research and Publication Plan. You want to publish good. However. they themselves will need to be working.” page 126). If you want to have an internationally respected career. you may want to write up your results before you reach that point. complete stories. work toward publishing may be valued. However.

It helps to ask trusted colleagues where they think your paper should appear. the results of which you should also express graphically. One way to find this balance is to integrate your plans for publication into your research plans. they will have a good idea of what the standards are for each journal. Making Your Pitch. As you write. The top-tier journals receive far more submissions than they can publish. This abstract can be slightly longer than the abstract of a typical research paper and may include citations of relevant journal literature. Nature rejects about 95% of the biomedical papers it receives. Most journals have guidelines for submitting so-called presubmission inquiries. or table.CREATING AN INTEGRATED RESEARCH AND PUBLICATION PLAN There is a balance to be struck between trying to produce a “dream paper” that may never get done and sending out a set of fragmentary observations. sketching out the hypotheses you want to pursue. which journals reach the members of that specialty? Within this group. The questions you generate as you analyze and write up the results of each experiment should suggest additional clarifying experiments. pursue their own special interests over time. If the journal does not provide guidelines. you may want to submit an initial query to your target journal to gauge its interest in your work. and some editors. who are usually listed near the front of the journal and frequently can be found in the electronic version of English language journals by searching for the word “masthead” (the name for the box that contains such information) at the journal’s Web site. To make sure you write your paper for the right journal. you should be able to decide that you have a set of results that warrants publication. Try to find out the name of the editor who handles papers in your area of interest. which journal or journals have included articles on my particular subject area in the past couple of years? Would any journal be particularly interested in my subject because it fits into a theme it has been pursuing? Some journals. In her book At the Helm: A Laboratory Navigator. methods. graph. the development of graphic images of your data. and the work of interpretive writing. you force yourself to focus your energy in a way that will move your project forward. Make sure that the abstract is clear to non-specialists and that they will be able to understand what the scientific advance is. send an email to one of the editors. Put your ideas in writing at the outset. A pre-submission inquiry usually includes: An abstract stating the purpose of the project. For example. imagine how each set of results will be displayed in a figure. Barker suggests that you envision these experiments or calculations as components of a published manuscript or series of manuscripts. and the results you hope to get. You will lose precious time submitting your paper to the wrong journal. As you decide on the long-term goals of your research and on the series of experiments or calculations you want to undertake. This information can often be found on the journal’s Web site. If my results are primarily of interest to my particular scientific specialty. the methods you intend to use. Think graphically. If they are frequent reviewers for several journals in your field. 126 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . you will uncover gaps in information and shaky conclusions and will be able to do experiments that make the work stronger. and main findings and conclusions. Be realistic about your chances. By integrating research planning. Eventually. Kathy Barker suggests strategies for doing this.

Are you singing a quick. write the paper’s first draft yourself. review the journal’s editorial guidelines (available from the journal’s Web site or directly from the editor) and follow them carefully. Their services are expensive. how your findings advance the field. Which fits your data more comfortably? You might think of each figure as a distinctive verse in a song. take advantage of the offer.” A positive response to a pre-submission inquiry is not a guarantee that the manuscript will be sent out for formal peer review. print or make copies of a few different examples of that kind of paper from the journal and analyze them. You can expect a reply of either “we’re not interested” or “send the full manuscript. make sure the abstract and cover letter are clearly written and that there are no grammatical errors. or a lengthy historical ballad? Either size of paper is good. For example. and why they are of special interest to that journal’s readers. Limit the cover letter to no more than 500 words. it is fine to email the journal’s editor to ask about the expected time frame for reviewing the manuscript and accepting or declining the submission. The editor will want to see the actual paper before making that decision. use the opportunity to make your pitch a second time using the same kind of persuasive arguments you used in your cover letter. but having the input of people with good command of a language you may not know perfectly can make the difference between a paper being read or not read by the editors. There are many companies that specialize in editing English manuscripts written by authors who are strongest in other languages. If someone senior to you at your institution will be senior author. When that time has elapsed. light tune. Remember to thank him or her in the acknowledgements section of the paper. If you have a colleague who is a good writer. In the life sciences. a “note” might be described by a journal as a 1000-word paper with no more than three figures. follow up with a telephone call or email to the editor. INCREASING YOUR IMPACT: GETTING PUBLISHED 127 . what you did. Do not let your manuscript look like a compilation of lab data. this is usually the last name among the authors listed. When making your submission. you might assign the task of writing the first draft of the paper to the student or scientist in your lab who did the work. Be sure to allude to the larger context of your research—the big picture that makes your particular effort meaningful. make sure the reader can understand how you have advanced the field of research. and is willing to help you. why you think your findings or methodology are significant. WRITING YOUR PAPER Once you have decided where you want to submit your manuscript.A cover letter briefly describing what questions led you to your research project. But if the data has been generated by a student or scientist working under you. has English as a first language. you If English is not your first language and you are pitching your manuscript to an English language journal. If you are the primary scientifically trained person involved in generating the data. but consideration times can vary widely from journal to journal. but you want to choose the right size before you proceed. Once you have decided what kind of paper to write. while a “report” might be one of 5000 words and up to twelve figures. That person should be the first author and you should take the role of senior author. The main consideration when writing a paper is to clearly describe your most important findings and their impact in your field. If you make this second contact by phone. Pick the type of paper that is most appropriate for the story you want to tell. Pre-submission inquiries are typically considered within a few days at the top-tier English language journals. But do not overdo it—claiming that your work is more important than it really is earns little more than contempt from reviewers. How much room does each devote to the introduction? Is the methods and materials section finely detailed or nearly perfunctory? Is the discussion mixed in with the results or does it stand by itself? Summarize your analysis of the examples and use the summary as a guide for outlining your own paper.

in multi-author papers the first and final names on the list are the ones the reader will remember. Argentina In terms of other principles I would comment that because thesis research is by definition the original research of the student. it is a good idea to ask a friend or colleague who is a native or near-native speaker of the language for help. As your own career advances and your reputation becomes solid. he or she writes the first draft. Alberto Kornblihtt. over time it will be very hard for your students to advance. tables. if the journal is not in your first language. hard feelings. and legends first. The “who writes the manuscript” problem is not trivial. it may be dangerous for you to argue against this situation. because a scientific paper is best written with the final form of the data in front of the writer. If your speaking skills in that language are truly excellent but you struggle with the rules of its grammar. and who need the benefits that come from taking one of these positions. you may be able to move yourself to second-to-last authorship. Generally. ” ” Nancy Gore Saravia. If the student is unable to draft the manuscript within a reasonable and. Sometimes it is more difficult to edit or change a draft written by someone else than writing the draft directly oneself. As mentioned in the section above. pre-established period of time. Once you have a good first draft. Over time your international colleagues. This is true for native speakers as well. The last thing you want to do is to appear careless. can diminish the worry. send it to colleagues in your field and in your department for review. doing so will raise suspicions about the quality of all of your work. It will be important for the people you train to get first authorships themselves. especially if you are early in your career and building your reputation. Have it proofread by someone in your lab with access to your data and the documents you have cited. the student should have the opportunity to be the first author of the publication of this work.) The author who has actually done the hands-on work should be the person to prepare the figures. But as a young researcher. Colombia 128 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . pages 63-65. Postdocs always write their first drafts. (See chapter 4. which is a fundamentally important and greatly coveted form of recognition. and sense of inequality that can come when distributing authorship. funders. This is a sticky problem. since often among the multiple authors there are more than two people who have worked hard to generate the data and the thinking necessary to tell the story. If someone above you at your institute always takes one of the prestige spots and you need to take the other one. It is also a good idea to give the paper to someone outside your field to see whether they understand its importance. and journal editors should come to view you as senior. in which the roles of participants and the principles for determining order of authorship are stated. Then work with the author to get the paper into shape. ideally.may need to take the first author position yourself. reading the paper aloud can make any written errors more obvious. then first authorship may correspond to the investigator who assumes the writing of the paper. Compliance with the authorship criteria of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the implementation of a memorandum of initiation for each project. For [the student’s] second paper. Although this may not be the most efficient way to write a paper—there will be times when you could do it yourself much faster—it is important for people you have trained to gain experience and feedback on writing papers. so that your trainees can shine. I personally like to write the draft of every graduate student’s first paper. for more discussion of authorship.

” You may also include a list of colleagues who have reviewed the paper and any information necessary to ensure a fair review process. who will take into account any names you have suggested. read the letter slowly and carefully to see what it is saying. A few hours later. SUBMITTING YOUR PAPER Most major journals now require that manuscripts be submitted electronically through the journal’s Web site. his or her own knowledge of the field. Title and Abstract. you should follow up with an email to the editor enquiring whether the attachments arrived intact. Receiving the Reviewers’ Comments. methods in the abstract should be limited to a sentence or a few words. it may be a good idea to burn the paper to a CD or copy it onto a flash drive and take it to a place where the connection is more reliable. If the paper is rejected. Each journal has its own requirements. the main results. The abstract should briefly summarize the paper and should stand on its own. and the conclusion.Three particularly difficult parts of a paper to write are the title. the reviewers will be chosen by the journal’s editor. you will have to decide how to proceed. You may want to cite other papers the journal has published in this field. abstract. The cover letter should explain why the paper is significant and why you think it is appropriate for the journal to which you are submitting it. Describe the experimental question. NAVIGATING THE REVIEW PROCESS If you submit your manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Consult the journal’s Web site for specific instructions and be sure to follow them. Create these two elements after the manuscript is complete. they could be induced to read your article rather than passing on to the next abstract. Keep in mind that the abstract will announce the existence of your work to people who may not have time to read your paper. When you receive the editorial decision and the reviewers’ comments. The title should summarize the take-home message of your paper. The letter should cite a major question in your field and describe how your work helps answer it. the comments about the science and look instead for the editor’s signals about what you should do next. If the abstract attracts their attention. If you have poor internet connectivity. A paper is rarely accepted after the first round of review. If your available internet connections are very unreliable. Some are listed in “Resources” at the end of this chapter. Unless the main point of the paper is description of a new technique. Many books and articles that explain how to write scientific papers are available in print and online. most journal editors will let you know that they have received your manuscript and how long you can expect the review process to be. Rejection is never easy. if you can. and cover letter. print the rejection notice and set it aside. or provide other reasons why the journal’s readership would find your work of interest. after you have had a chance to adjust your thinking to the inevitable need to clear a new hurdle. The letter of introduction is the place to mention whether there is competition in the field that could lead to your being “scooped. the methods. Also note that your title and abstract will be used as the basic tools for the retrieval of your paper from electronic and paper libraries. Regardless of whether they receive a paper manuscript or an electronic version. such as preferred file formats for text and figures and the procedures for uploading files. Cover Letter. INCREASING YOUR IMPACT: GETTING PUBLISHED 129 . Ignore for a moment. Most journals will give you an opportunity to suggest people who are qualified to comment on your work and to exclude one or two particular individuals who may be competitors and should not be reading about your work before it is published. and a literature search.

You can make the process easier by repeating each comment. Read the reviews carefully. including Science and Nature. most images are obtained digitally and programs such as Adobe Photoshop make it very simple to modify them. 2004. because it is either not sufficiently novel or it does not fit the scope of the journal. And still other times—not frequently. or that it has significant flaws that preclude its publication. Sometimes the editors will indicate that they would like to publish your work.” For more information. it is important to remain unemotional during such conversations. Since 2002. the editors will say that the work is potentially interesting but too preliminary. But sometimes by adjusting an image you can make inappropriate changes to your data. 166(1):11–15.” J. Here is what The Journal of Cell Biology says constitutes inappropriate manipulation of images: “No specific feature within an image may be enhanced. and indicating explicitly where in your paper you are making a recommended change. routine checks of every image of all accepted manuscripts to look for signs of manipulation. In other cases. Responding to Reviews. Other prominent journals. see Rossner. “What is in a Picture? The Temptation of Image Manipulation. Do not react defensively. The grouping of images from different parts of the same gel. Let a couple of days go by.. M. changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend. obscured. It is a good idea not to respond as soon as you hear from the editor. Many times you will be clearly and absolutely turned down. and Yamada K. contrast. or introduced. but also not rarely—you will see that the editor will accept the paper if you only respond to a few quibbles over language. Do not be sarcastic and do not speculate on who the reviewer might be or why he or she might be trying to thwart your work. may take similar steps.. carry them out and send your response to the editor. Value good advice wherever you find it. But other times—quite often—you will see that the editor is giving you a short to-do list of experiments based on the reviewers’ comments. and in a few cases. Cell Biol. or color balance are acceptable if they are applied to the whole image and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. or from different gels. Adjustments of brightness. stating your response.g. Another possibility is that the reviewers will advise the editors not to publish the work even if it is revised. If the reviews include a request for additional information that will require a few more experiments. A hastily written and emotional response will hurt your chances for resubmission. removed. which could be classified as scientific misconduct. and communicate your responses in writing to the editor. or exposures must be made explicit by the arrangement of the figure (e. Most editors are happy to talk to you by telephone to help you assess whether you should revise and resubmit your paper or try another journal. In any event. provided you make a few minor revisions or do a few additional experiments. this step has caused editors to withdraw the acceptance of a paper. Nonlinear adjustments (e. Focus instead on the substance of each editorial comment. using dividing lines) and in the text of the figure legend. fields.g. In some cases.SUBMITTING IMAGE FILES Today. moved. The Journal of Cell Biology has been doing simple. 130 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE .. and that the journal will be glad to consider the revised paper. M. to notify relevant institutions.

Be a discerning reviewer. If a paper arrives and upon reading it you see it is beyond your expertise. You will be asked not to reveal the contents of any article reviewed and will be reminded that you should not use your knowledge of the pre-published results to further your own research. Not only will you learn about others’ research. you will have to do a cost-benefit analysis. and be frank about how the author might remedy them. sometimes work under unrealistic time pressures. keep your emotions in check. Whatever the case. Your own future papers will be taken more seriously if you do good reviews. but instead of doing experiment C. You should never demean the reviewers. For example. but do not frame your comments so harshly that the investigator will see no way forward with his or her work. If you believe that satisfying all the reviewers’ concerns would bog down your research program in unnecessary experiments. If you think a referee’s comments are completely off the mark. Be polite. not demeaning. Not every paper merits publication. you should ask. This is good not only for moving the science forward but also for building a good relationship with the journal. Occasionally. let the editor know quickly. the reviewer selected may not have the expertise to judge a paper competently.g. Take the task seriously. write a rebuttal letter explaining why the experiment cannot be done or why it will not help strengthen the conclusions of your paper. IF YOU ARE ASKED TO REVIEW A PAPER As your relationships with journal editors develop. or even two out of three. again. Regardless of how you proceed. could hurt your reputation with the editors. you may be asked to review manuscripts submitted by other scientists. The reality is that reviewers. You might want to check with the editor first to make sure this is an appropriate course of action. write a rebuttal letter explaining your concerns. INCREASING YOUR IMPACT: GETTING PUBLISHED 131 . you are directly competing with the author of the article you are reviewing or the author is one of your former trainees). however. you may have no choice but to take your paper elsewhere. “If I do revisions A and B. Do the reviews thoroughly and promptly. If you have a conflict of interest that precludes you from reviewing an article (e. Be specific about the paper’s shortcomings. it may be difficult to convince the editor that the referees missed the point. you will improve your own critical skills and confirm your standing as a knowledgeable scientist in the eyes of the editors. especially those who manage their own laboratories. The benefits of serving as a reviewer are potentially great.If you think a requested additional experiment is unreasonable. They will not be pleased if they find out about a conflict of interest after you have reviewed the paper. Once you have accepted a paper to be reviewed. but review others as you would like to be reviewed yourself.. They will not hold this against you. If all three referees. let the editors know right away. stop reading the paper and let the editors know immediately. do your work on it quickly so as not to delay the review process. had serious misgivings. who has the option of identifying additional reviewers for your paper if doing so seems warranted. will you still consider a revised manuscript?” Remember that you are the person best acquainted with the details of your work and the limitations of your research tools. Take this admonition seriously—it is essential that you respect the confidentiality of the review process. you may want to rewrite it and add more data. politely tell your editor. If the main problem is that the manuscript does not convey the importance of the work. do not question a reviewer’s expertise. You may discuss your concerns with the editor before working on a revised manuscript. If you do not have time or do not think you have the right expertise. D. A late or weak review. If you think a reviewer missed an important point. In the end. I do a different but related experiment.

an honest. and tell the second editor that your paper has already been reviewed. which may well happen if they are especially well-suited to consider the work. The second review process may be expedited. WHAT IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE? Corrections are a normal and acceptable part of science. not to re-publish material from it. may lead other researchers to view you as a weak scientist. and present it as a digested whole.g. In some cases. except in studies where the older data is clearly built and expanded with new work. Retractions are embarrassing.. they will be annoyed to see that you have completely ignored their comments. you may not want to inform editors of the second journal that the manuscript was submitted elsewhere and rejected—it might prejudice the process. with researchers who publish more viewed as superior. digest it. the norm in research papers is usually to cite an earlier paper. Review articles. PUBLISHING HONESTLY The number of publications is often used as a way to keep score. are different in this way from research publications. Publishing the same data as more than one paper is not generally acceptable. If the same reviewers receive it from the second editor. careful researcher can recover from having had a paper retracted. If you are advised that your paper is not appropriate for the journal to which you have initially submitted it (e. Even in cases where new work makes substantial use of old data.Submitting your Paper to Another Journal. but over time. But publishing papers that are too similar. the best course is usually to select another journal. which openly gather information from other papers. These journals compete for the best papers and do not want to publish each other’s rejects. For example. Regardless of your course of action. it is not sufficiently novel or does not have the right focus). While the increasing number of publications in the world makes it easier to cheat. if your paper was rejected by Nature and you resubmit it to Science (or vice versa). never send a rejected manuscript without changes to a second journal. Ask the first journal’s editor to support the resubmission. While cheating by republishing is a significant offense. claiming the work of others as your own is a moral and professional disaster which can and should end one’s career. Errata—notes published to alert others to mistakes in the literature—-cover everything from small printing errors such as an out-of-place table to technical errors that skewed results but did not change the overall message of the paper. increased use of electronic formats has made duplications easier to detect. Retractions are more serious: they withdraw a paper from the literature because of a gross failure that renders the paper’s contents invalid or seriously tainted. do not let the editors of the second journal know. Substantially re-publishing an entire paper under a new title or in a different language is a form of scientific misconduct. If. or that show your work moving only a fraction of a step forward. your paper was reviewed by Nature or Science and the reviews were generally positive but the editor did not feel the paper had a sufficiently high impact value for a top-tier journal. you may be able to use the reviewers’ comments as leverage for your next submission to a field-specific journal that is not seen as a competitor to those two broader publications. however. 132 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE .

ask reporters to give you a copy of the story before it is published so that you can check for accuracy. It is in the university’s interest to have the good work of its scientists publicized. Once you have an invitation. most news reporters will turn down this request. If possible. if that is acceptable to the journal. If your research was supported by an outside funder. You want to become known to your scientific colleagues nationwide. Now you can use your newly minted publication as a tool in a legitimate effort at self-promotion. INCREASING YOUR IMPACT: GETTING PUBLISHED 133 .PROMOTING YOUR WORK Your patience and persistence have paid off. Keep in mind that many reporters are not scientists and you will need to give them sufficient background to understand the importance of your work. Give a workshop at your own institution on the research described in your article and your future research plans. if there is one. Consider going public. However. It never hurts to ask. While some feature writers will respond positively. If a reporter contacts you. do not invite yourself to a meeting by writing to the organizers if you do not know them. You might come across as arrogant and put people in the awkward position of having to turn you down. Here are some things you can do to promote your work: Announce the publication on your personal Web site and in email correspondence with your friends. for help contacting the media. Your university’s public relations office can help you prepare for the interview. Contact your institution’s public relations office. make an effort to speak with him or her. take it seriously. Consider making it available in PDF format on your Web site. Call your friends at universities around the country or region and offer to give a talk on your research at their institutions or at conferences they are organizing. Prepare and rehearse your talk. though. let the appropriate staff at the funding organization know about the publication as soon as possible. and your article has been accepted by a good journal. Many journals now also allow you to distribute PDF copies of papers to interested individual readers as you once would have done with paper reprints. Doing so is relatively easy and is good practice.

. Robert A. The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (http://www. 2000. “The Thrill of the Paper. Robert A.” ScienceCareers.sciencemag.org (September 10.org (March 15. Dee. 2002). “An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output. Curran-Everett.org/career_development/ previous_issues/articles/1400/your_first_first_author_ paper_part_one_the_writing. and Robert W. 1999). W. “The Thrill of the Paper. org/career_development/previous_issues/articles/0210/the_ thrill_of_the_paper_the_agony_of_the_review_part_one. “Me Write Pretty One Day: How to Write a Good Scientific Paper. provides connections to resources and senior scientists who will help researchers in developing countries publish and otherwise communicate their work. 5th ed.” ScienceCareers.sciencemag.The Act of Submission and Peering at the Review Process. San Diego: Academic Press. Matthews. and Gastel. One of their programs.” ScienceCareers. Phil. 2008. Organización Panamericana de la Salud. Matthews. B. http://sciencecareers. http:// sciencecareers.inasp. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1997. Cell Biol. Successful Scientific Writing: A Step-By-Step Guide for the Biological and Medical Sciences. Dee. 1998. 2002).” ScienceCareers.The Writing.org (February 15. John M. How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper.org (September 24. 165:757–758. E. http://www. org/career_development/previous_issues/articles/0210/the_ thrill_of_the_paper_the_agony_of_the_review_part_two. the Agony of the Review: Part One. 134 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Hirsch. “Your First ‘First-Author’ Paper: Part Two -. the Agony of the Review: Part Two. AuthorAID (http://www. http://sciencecareers. Douglas.pnas. Janice R. 4ta. Phoenix. 1999). Cómo escribir y publicar trabajos cientificos. Martha. Scientific Papers and Presentations. 2004. Douglas. Online Curran-Everett. sciencemag.info/) focuses on communications for scientists in the developing world. J. Bowen. Ed.authoraid. AZ: Oryx Press. Day.full.” J. “Your First ‘First-Author’ Paper: Part One -. http://sciencecareers.RESOURCES Davis. Day.org/content/102/46/16569.” PNAS 102 (46): 16569–16572.org/career_development/previous_issues/ articles/1470/your_first_first_author_paper_part_2_the_act_ of_submission_and_peering_at_the_review_process. 2nd ed. Phil.sciencemag. Wells.info/). (2005).

accelerating. The word “mentor” is often sloppily used in place of verbs such as “teach” or “supervise” or nouns such as “boss” or “professor.CHAPTER 10 EXPANDING YOUR INFLUENCE: TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS “ALL WHO HAVE MEDITATED ON THE ART OF GOVERNING MANKIND HAVE BEEN CONVINCED THAT THE FATE OF EMPIRES DEPENDS ON THE EDUCATION OF YOUTH. Mentoring and training also helps you EXPANDING YOUR INFLUENCE: TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS 135 . Taking significant responsibility for seeing to that student’s growth. A mentor is someone who takes a singular and particular interest in a protégé and helps in many different ways to advance the protégé’s career. One need not have just one mentor—there may be several people who take a significant interest in developing.” However. So a mentor. everyone in whose training you take an interest will not become a protégé. or even teaching a student to understand the fundamentals of a field. ARISTOTLE ” Teaching someone how to perform a task. Although the word is seemingly everywhere in conversations about educating scientists. TRAINING OTHERS If you mentor a student or another scientist. is most importantly like a good parent or doting uncle or aunt who takes a serious interest in a protégé’s career and advancement through life. when used properly. many will simply be your students. and those who are truly mentored are lucky and advantaged over those who must go it alone in advancing their careers. and career advancement is another. seasoning. is one thing. or advancing a researcher’s career. whether it is someone training in your lab or someone who grew up in the place where you were raised. Likewise. true mentorship is rare. you will be helping get their career off the ground. How can you look for relationships that will advance your own career? And why will taking on this demanding role to help others help you in both the short and the long run? What is expected of you in relation to the students who do not become your own protégés? And how can you help those students find appropriate mentors of their own? Those are the subjects of this chapter. although sometimes also a boss or supervisor. it means more than to train or to be in charge of.

or between peers or near peers. a graduate student whose background is in biology may take a mentoring role for a graduate student whose background is in mathematics. or a graduate student may become a mentor to an undergraduate who shares his or her scientific interests. This chapter describes the process of providing the very hands-on training of an individual scientist. and not everyone you train will become a protégé. It is also possible that young scientists outside your lab may begin knocking on your door. At the same time. curiosity. establish independent careers of their own. The depth of a senior scientist’s involvement and interest in a trainee’s career and work may be limited.g. and ideas. and take on a few scientists who want to train in your lab. As the head of a laboratory. and the trainee receives the guidance and encouragement necessary for professional development. (Note: In this chapter.increase your impact as a scientist. because those who are further removed from the student’s interest may ask questions that will help the trainee move along better than those who share most of the student’s assumptions. you will naturally be kept abreast of the latest scientific developments in the areas that interest them. oneon-one relationship between a more experienced scientist and a junior scientist or a scientist-inthe-making. you are ensuring the success of your own research program. or even outside the trainee’s primary area of interest. you may have a few of them in your lab as well. but also can be established between junior and senior students. you will probably hire technicians. you will increasingly be seen as the expert in your area of interest. Mentoring and training relationships commonly form across broad experience gaps—e. advisors. one of whom is entering a new field and another who knows that field well. the people you train are referred to as “trainees. such as the head of a laboratory or a formal advisor (in some places such formal heads are referred to as mentors no matter how deep their commitment to training a given individual). The trainer is exposed to the trainee’s energy. If you are at a university where undergraduate students are expected to do laboratory research. the people you train and encourage will become potential collaborators and colleagues who may continue to confide in you and bring you into their own growing spheres. with a focus on preparing the people working in your lab. It also suggests desirable personal qualities and plans of action for trainers. That will come about both informally and formally as they invite you to give talks at their institutions and participate in the conferences they will someday organize. As the people you are training and encouraging embark upon new projects of their own.. you will continue to be in need of guidance for your own continuing professional development. and trainers who are outside the direct line of authority. it is also important to have mentors. Mentors sometimes include those who are officially responsible for the work of junior scientists or students. you will be looking to more experienced people for insight and advice. mentors and trainees. Also. perhaps assume responsibility for the direction of graduate students. and like those who seek your help. by motivating them to be productive. Mentors who have some distance—and therefore good perspective—can be especially helpful in providing guidance when 136 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . especially if you have expertise in an area most people are not familiar with. But it can also be between peers. However.) WHAT IS MENTORING? Scientific training is most often a personal. or others with whom you have this special relationship. Within your research community and your geographic region. It is natural that people will come to you for insight and advice about their own scientific interests. For example. By helping those around you succeed. And when people in your lab. professor to student.” although not everyone you encourage or educate may be receiving training in your lab. their achievements as independent scientists will reflect positively on you. by ensuring that people in your laboratory and in your larger circle feel competent and included. especially when there are many people being trained or in cultures where there are strict limits on personal contact between professors and those whom they teach.

Others will show promise. or when the personal or professional interests of the trainee differ from those of the formal mentor. but will be needy in some respect. their skills may not be fully developed or they may need help focusing their efforts. Choosing Whom to Mentor and to Teach. You will have to make case-by-case judgments about which training relationships you can afford to enter into and how intensive each one should be. revelations about their personal relationships and financial situations. But you will not go the extra mile for every person who comes into your lab or even for all of the students who take your courses. Honesty: Ability to communicate the hard truths about the world “out there” and about the trainee’s chances. With people outside your lab who ask for your help. Open-mindedness: Respect for each trainee’s individuality and for working styles and career goals different from your own. Empathy: Personal insight into what the trainee is experiencing. from their past professional accomplishments and failures to. emotions. personal obligations and financial realities are frequently major factors in individuals’ progress through life and science— especially for those considering major upheavals such as going abroad for further training or job opportunities. Your “pull” will accomplish things that a lessestablished trainee’s own influence cannot. Traits of a Good Mentor and a Good Teacher. Savvy: Attention to the pragmatic aspects of career development. Some people are more promising than others. may come to you for advice. you need to avoid overextending yourself or setting up expectations you cannot fulfill. and you will want to nurture their talents. with younger scientists who trust your judgment. There are some people for whom you are clearly responsible as a teacher and advisor. or boss. supervisor. Some students will have interests closely related to yours. you are taking on significant responsibilities. Others. you may find that some of the following personal qualities are useful in forming bonds with someone who is just learning the things you have already learned: Accessibility: An open door and an approachable attitude. At the same time. and especially as a mentor. As you establish yourself as a scientist. You should treat all information as confidential. sometimes. such as the people working in your lab. Patience: Awareness that people make mistakes and that each person matures at his or her own rate. As a trainer. Confidentiality in Advising. whether or not you are looking at the trainee in terms of the special responsibility implicit in the mentoring relationship. But that is also true for trainees you are not mentoring. for example. RESPONSIBILITIES Mentoring entails commitments of time. or money is just not done. Even in places where discussing family matters. the important thing is to be fair and avoid anointing some trainees with your favor while letting others struggle. outside your lab or courses.formal advising relationships become strained. energy. You should also use your experience and contacts to help the trainee establish a professional network. Consistency: Acting on your stated principles on a regular basis. or when a young person’s best interests are not those of his or her advisor. With the people in your lab. The students in your courses also have legitimate expectations of you. and you must be prepared to obtain the resources the trainee needs. Perspective becomes even more important as careers advance and ranges of conflicting opportunities come into play. A significant portion of your time must be allocated to each trainee. you may be privy to a lot of information about your trainees. and good will that can sometimes be substantial. you want to be fair—when you agree to teach. Do not pick a few favorites and let other trainees fend for themselves. and it is natural for you to want to work closely with them. Your advice can be very helpful if you can bring yourself to discuss these taboo areas EXPANDING YOUR INFLUENCE: TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS 137 .

but check first with other potential advisors before your enthusiastically recommend them as potential advisors. 138 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . If you would like to do far more to help a trainee’s prospects in the long term. but a good mentor. be clear and firm. give advice about the political aspects of science. like a good friend. especially cases where that commitment is limited? ANSWER It is always a good idea to lay out for trainees a clear picture of what they can expect from you. Being an advisor is one of them. suggests that mentors come from many roles. Good students should be able to expect training from you. support for their work. However. QUESTION How do I say no to being someone’s advisor? ANSWER Be kind. Mentor Versus Advisor. Do not invite misunderstanding. and you can offer moral support. mentors have multiple responsibilities. In theory. emotional issues are relevant to one’s capacity to do good work. Often. but you should probably not offer advice on personal matters except in major decisions about career choices as described above. You can help clarify what is possible. Actions will speak louder than words. Masters: Employers to whom one is apprenticed. but is not necessarily a friend. you do not need to say so. Supporters: People who give emotional and moral encouragement.QUESTION q&a How do I communicate the level of my commitment. You should offer to teach technical skills. Listen intently and give reasons related to your own limitations. an American body concerned with graduate education (http://www. Tutors: People who give specific feedback on one’s performance.org/). a research advisor provides whatever is needed to further a trainee’s professional development. The Council of Graduate Schools. Defining your Role as an Advisor. If you are only able to commit to some of those things. Generally. should tread carefully around family matters and emotional conflicts. and suggest networking opportunities. access to resources necessary for them to succeed at the work they are doing in your lab. and help with someday moving on to their next training position or to a job. including: Advisors: People with career experience willing to share their knowledge. Models of identity: The kind of person one should be to be an academic or a professional scientist. make it clear from the outset. Sponsors: Sources of information about opportunities and aid in obtaining them.cgsnet. Imagine yourself in your requestor’s shoes. Suggest alternative sources of help.

Encourage Strategic Thinking and Creativity. Set high standards for yourself and your workers. and what resources can be allocated to any particular effort. Uphold Professional Standards. and offer whatever educational EXPANDING YOUR INFLUENCE: TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS 139 . Give them time to learn and the opportunity to take courses or seek help from others. At the same time. It is also important to give people enough space to be creative. For this reason. Work with each individual— when you meet formally to discuss the person’s progress. As the person steering the larger scope of the work. you might want to establish a publishing goal. If you can. using new equipment or software). education. In some cases. many argue that the term mentor should be used broadly to mean an individual who helps another with one or more aspects of his or her personal and/or professional development. For a more experienced scientist training in your lab. how long a given project should be pursued. you may have to push people a bit to set their goals. “Managing Your Time. Let your staff take the first stab. Those new to research are still forming their professional standards and habits.” Have technicians identify new skills they need (e. and networking opportunities you can afford. people’s goals may be well-defined. Let people know when they are not meeting them. or technical advice he or she needs to do good science. and on other occasions when his or her work is under review—to set specific goals and measures of accomplishment. Set Specific Goals and Measures of Accomplishment. it is unlikely that any one individual can fulfill all possible mentoring roles. Then we can talk about developing your job talk. By doing this. you should communicate the basis and significance of your decisions to your trainees.”) Clearly state your expectations. For example: For a student. It helps to think of serving as a trainee’s advisor as a highly individualized mode of teaching (see chapter 8 for more information about teaching).. STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE TRAINING Make Everything a Learning Opportunity. give me your list of places you want to apply to. they are not whimsical or unfair. As the boss. and that may be true. give them room to explore options.g. In this sense. “By next month. You might say. But when you have made your decision. In this way. Establishing a “culture of teaching” in your lab can help ensure that each individual feels empowered to seek whatever information. It should include deadlines. They will be working with you for months or years and will learn your lab’s way of doing things. trainees are encouraged to seek out various faculty members who can provide some of those components. (See chapter 5.In reality. you give concrete examples of strategic thinking and prepare your trainees for the day when they may be in charge of their own research programs and face similar decisions. in the course of lab meetings. you must decide what projects are most important. It gives your trainees a better understanding that although the decisions are yours. Do not rush in too quickly with interpretations of data or solutions to problems. informing people why can be educational and helpful to morale. respect individual patterns of work. Be thoughtful and ask probing and guiding questions that help them learn to be thinkers. Trainees in your lab. Then ask them to demonstrate what they have learned at a staff meeting. and make sure your lab offers an encouraging and disciplined environment. They will be much happier and more productive while they are with you if they feel you are looking out for them and their future well-being. especially newcomers. In other cases. You may feel that you need not explain yourself to anyone. Experienced lab leaders list these essentials: Encourage good time management techniques. you prepare your trainees to work through projects independently. but may not exactly fit your lab’s overall goals. may not have the experience to judge how long to struggle with an experiment or a project that is not working. job-hunting goals might be important. while at the same time you will benefit from their insights and creativity.

Take their interests and their work seriously. a clinician. One of the most important benefits you confer upon the people you train is entrée into the network of scientists in your field. Provide Networking Opportunities. everyone will gain invaluable experience and get a chance to see the big picture of the lab’s activities. Allowing trainees to meet with seminar speakers invited to your institution. have the first author write the first draft. you have an interest in helping to solve it and will do everything you can to do so. and then have everyone review successive drafts of the whole package. When possible. DIFFERENT NEEDS AT DIFFERENT STAGES Each type of individual who may ask you for advice —for example. Give the people in your lab managerial responsibilities.” Encourage trainees to make presentations at meetings when they are ready. as by emailing “I am a student in Dr. you must be supportive and honest. and the connections are not likely to be made without your involvement. but you should maintain a strong role in overseeing their training and the overall flow of their work within the lab. Encourage trainees to approach your colleagues about scientific matters. ’s lab. This habit will serve them well later on. Do these things to encourage your lab workers to learn new skills: Involve everyone in the scientific publishing and grant-writing process. The seeds of a scientific career are planted in the undergraduate years or even earlier. a student. take trainees with you to meetings and introduce them to your colleagues. Impart Skills. using your name. have each person write a piece of the proposal. Try to convey to each of your trainees that you have a commitment to him or her and that when a problem surfaces. So take steps to facilitate the introductions. Educating Undergraduate Students. or a cousin who hopes to go to medical school some day—is on a different professional trajectory. You can help the people you train and mentor estimate their own potential and chart their life course.Offer criticism and correction in a way that conveys your message but does not shame or discourage people. you need to know the skill sets of each member of your lab. and set high standards for them. you also guard against falsification of data. or ask them to draw up a list of routine lab jobs to be rotated among lab members. you are also responsible for seeing that your people keep meticulous records documenting their work and meeting regulatory requirements. For proposals. If only one person in the lab can perform a particular technique. including: 140 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Teach lab management explicitly. As the person responsible for the work being done. As you work with them. By reviewing lab notebooks frequently. Keep in mind that these beginning researchers may need extra encouragement when their experiments are not going smoothly. for their benefit and yours. a technician. and wonder if I might ask you some questions about your recent work on hemoglobin transport. To do so. you are risking your future on an assumption that this person will not leave. have them coordinate among themselves the sharing of equipment in the lab. Undergraduate students can be invited to take part in research through an academic program at your institution or at a nearby university. a more experienced scientist training in your laboratory. Keep abreast of laboratory record-keeping. By doing this. As a manager. and then send the paper around the lab for review. Part of your job is to teach your trainees how to write publishable scientific papers and successful grant proposals. For example. you need to keep in mind their path and their location on that path. This is a key management responsibility and an aspect of mentoring. They may be eager to find paid work during the school year or during school breaks. Your reputation opens doors for those associated with you. Provide Moral Support. For papers. and make sure that each important skill is passed on to several people in the laboratory. at least within the confines of the lab space. Impart technical skills. You might place them under the day-to-day guidance of a welltrained person in your lab.

The scientists training in your laboratory are probably young. Abdoulaye Djimdé. and often comprehensive exams taken. The student is preparing to move on. Encourage these individuals and give them the help they need in setting research and career goals. You must strike a delicate balance in directing their work. whereas graduate students are expected to begin to make their own contributions. If a promising person has come into your lab but is not achieving what you both had hoped. find ways to have them help one another or obtain assistance from other sources. Things often do not work as planned. Basic techniques must be learned. Your task as an educator and potential mentor of new scientists is complex. Mali Training Graduate Students. This training may be a stepping stone to an academic position. The thesis should be near completion. As the head of the laboratory. A typical graduate student follows this trajectory: First year(s). The student’s success depends on your effective communication of expectations and help with clearing certain formal hurdles. You may help the student out of a slump by offering moral support and suggesting ways to tackle a scientific problem. You may be asked for letters of reference ” and perhaps more active job-hunting assistance. Be prepared to steer them away from projects that might result in conflict with researchers who are already working on similar projects and who might publish results before them. the student will have learned a lot and should be sharing information and techniques with colleagues. encourage him or her to make a change. politically inexperienced. In addition. you may need to put some effort into helping him or her find opportunities. it is appropriate to treat him or her something like a collaborator. By the middle part of training. graduate education is vastly different from the undergraduate experience. If the student wants to go abroad for further training. This will help keep the student’s inquiries to these labs from being overlooked or discarded. but the most important person for a student’s success is the head of the laboratory where the student is working. A graduate student may have several mentors. and vulnerable. Perhaps the most important difference is that undergraduates are expected to be primarily engaged in absorbing knowledge. and at least should help the student by sending introductory emails to colleagues abroad who know your work. and the search for a more advanced position should be under way. EXPANDING YOUR INFLUENCE: TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS 141 . An advisor helps new graduate students make this transition. In science as in other fields. whether to another project or to another lab entirely. but give them sufficient independence for them to take considerable responsibility for the progress of their projects. You may have highly trained professional scientists working in your lab for a limited time to conduct research within the general parameters of your shared interests. The principal investigator keeps tabs on the student’s progress. and the uncertainty and slow tempo may frustrate even very good students. You do have a protective function when it comes to the politics of the larger academic world. younger students. the student may be struggling with his or her experimental work. The student faces a steep learning curve. Although the scientist training in your lab may be working on your projects. and postdocs.One of the best ways of hiring good and dedicated researchers is to screen students in your lab during rotations and thesis dissertations and retain the best ones. and a thesis topic chosen. Middle year(s). rather than just as an employee or student who requires close supervision. your main task is to provide a coherent plan of study for the student. You may be able to help this individual find a more suitable project or position. Final year. so use that time efficiently. At some time during these years. Keep in mind that the amount of time you can spend helping these scientists will be limited. Teaching others is a good way to learn. Working with Scientists who are Furthering Their Training in your Lab.

Insist that the individual inform his or her direct supervisor that you two are speaking. For example. perhaps he or she is dissatisfied with relationships in the home lab. Working with Technicians. they may not be able to spend as much uninterrupted time in the lab as their Ph. What are the person’s expectations? You need to be clear about whether you are being asked for occasional advice or for long-term assistance. A technician is an employee who has been hired to get work done. especially those more advanced in their research careers. On the other hand. make sure you are not offending the individual’s supervisor. As someone involved in their training. If it is the latter. or bringing clinical observations back to the bench come up in formal and informal discussions in the lab. if you are able.D. counsel them about the process. and by taking on a new relationship you might open up the possibility of future collaborations and increase the impact of your work. Advancing the Careers of Physician-Scientists. help them develop a project that will teach them many things and that produces ideas. However. As a result. or even in another university. You may find. as well as collect relevant serum or tissue samples. You should understand and encourage their aspirations. think carefully before you agree. In the case of a postdoc. when the search does not go smoothly. In addition. involving scheduled contacts and expectations of a particular amount of your time. they might enroll patients from their clinic or practice following a simple protocol. Do not enter into such a relationship secretly. the request says something positive about your standing in the research community. On the one hand. keep in touch with them. colleagues.) Clinical work sometimes allows physicianscientists to see connections that someone with a basic science background training may miss. you should take advantage of this perspective by making sure that questions about moving research results into the clinic. and give them the best letters of recommendation you can. at least—if not whole projects—that they can use as seeds when they leave your lab and begin to establish their own labs. the strength of physician-scientists is that they have a clinical base. determine whether your role as an advisor will be formal.It is important to discuss career goals with your trainees. Make it clear to them that they are valued contributors to your projects. but sometimes their well-trained hands can be of considerable use to you and it may be to your benefit for them to stay. That being said. Keep alert to job openings. or obtain data on clinical presentation. you should understand the unique challenges physician-scientists face. you may need to keep them in your lab a little longer than you expected to. that the supervisor welcomes your help as an extra resource. If this is the case. You have a role to play facilitating your trainees’ job hunts. not to advance his or her career. Not all will be interested in a long-term competitive career in science. and you should value the insights their clinical perspective can bring into the lab. many technicians are a distinct type of professional scientist. HELPING THOSE OUTSIDE YOUR LAB When you receive a request for significant career help from a young scientist in another lab. After they have gone. If they are interested. you may want to give them research projects of their own. For those who are. progression and response to therapy. Ask yourself the following questions: Why is this person asking me for help? There may be a negative reason. Physician-scientists have an especially complicated balancing act: caring for patients and carrying out experiments at the bench. They might collect answers to a questionnaire with demographics. (Adequate ethical permission should be attained first. Keep up the words of encouragement during this difficult period. If you are not a clinician yourself. however. They will be an increasingly important part of your professional network. encourage physician-scientists in your lab to use their clinical base. 142 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . If their aspirations are purely technical. Sometimes. you might put them in touch with someone who can help them with these competencies as they apply to the clinical side of their responsibilities. there may be problems you are not aware of. As a researcher. Lack of continued funding for them may make this impossible. or informal and confined to occasional conversations as the trainee’s work moves forward. Help physician-scientists in your lab to establish priorities and develop effective time management skills. coach them on their interview presentations. encourage them to gain new skills.

do so. combined with their general understanding of the world of science. and you can extend yourself. Find out about the experiences of others with this potential mentor. HOW TO GET THE CAREER HELP AND ADVICE THAT YOU NEED Finding people who will be your own advisors. Make and keep appointments. Stay focused. so cultivate them carefully and treat them with respect. Or you may find a group that puts you in close touch with colleagues whose situations are similar to yours. you do not want to vent your frustrations or confide your uncertainties and weaknesses to such a group. Gratitude: Everyone likes to be thanked. usually experienced scientists within your department or elsewhere who can give you a broader perspective on science and scientific politics. It is especially important to do this if your institution has not officially given you any contacts to serve as guides during your early days. How to be Well-Advised. EXPANDING YOUR INFLUENCE: TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS 143 . Even a quick email to let them know that you published a paper or received a research grant or an award will help them support your career. and mentors is another way of making your achievements and contributions known at your university and other institutions. thus increasing your impact and helping you advance in your career. Respect: Be polite. Do not overstay your welcome. Reciprocation: Repay your mentor indirectly by helping others. especially if your institution assigns you to contacts with certain senior scientists who are meant to help you “learn the ropes. Seek out informal advisors. Keep meetings professional. But if the person fits. and capable? Is this someone I want to advise and work with? The people in your lab deserve priority. Do not avoid them if things are going badly— address the problems directly and unemotionally. These are people with whom you can openly share information about politically sensitive issues. You may be more comfortable limiting your confidants to one-on-one relationships. Although they may not be familiar with your new environment. You could easily be overlooked in the competitive world of science. Humility: Be willing to accept critical feedback so that you are open to learning new ways of thinking about and doing science. knowing how to accept the professional advice you receive. and enlist their help.” These individuals may also evaluate your job performance. Here are some qualities to cultivate in yourself as you seek an informal education in how to move forward to whatever goals you hope to achieve: Foresight: Start early to think about your future. Generally. Probing: Ask tough questions. Proactiveness: Do not expect to be taken care of. Also. you never know when you will need to ask them for a reference or other professional help. Stay in close touch with all of your past advisors. Establish a set of work-based friends and confidants. Finding help requires knowing whom to ask for what. Keep them apprised of your progress. Choose them carefully.Do I really have the time and energy to commit to this relationship? Is this someone who is smart. Be prepared and specific about what you need from them and what you are asking them to do for you. their distance from it. teachers. can help you put your current environment in perspective. Establish a relationship with a set of official advisors. even those with whom you only worked for a short time or in a limited way. These suggestions may be useful: Do not let go of those who have taken an interest in your career. and maintaining long-term personal and professional relationships. honest. Respect others’ time constraints.

sciencemag.WHEN MENTORING. NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. RESOURCES Association for Women in Science.pdf. do so. 2002. OR SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT WORKING OUT What you view as a problem may simply be a matter of personal style or a different understanding of the mentor’s role. 1997. undervalues your abilities.edu/ downloads/publications/Fmentoring.gov/oir/sourcebook/ ethic-conduct/TrainingMentoringGuide_7. A Conversation About Mentoring: Trends and Models. However. on the other hand.od. and Millet. M. At the Helm: A Laboratory Navigator. New York: IEEE Press.org. and Public Policy.). 2003.org/cosepup. Ann Arbor.02. http://www.edu/catalog. DC: Association for Women in Science. and you can just allow it to fade away.pdf. Engineering. If your feelings get hurt now and then. How to Mentor Graduate Students: A Guide for Faculty at a Diverse University. MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. http://opa. Cold Spring Harbor. MI: University of Michigan. Bethesda. 2005.nap. Washington. and Institute of Medicine. and Public Policy. Stephanie J.rackham. If that does not help solve the problem. If the relationship is official. Teacher. consider finding an additional guide if yours is clearly and consistently uninterested in you. Mentoring Means Future Scientists: A Guide to Developing Mentoring Programs Based on the AWIS Mentoring Program. and Catherine J.org/pdf/idp. Reis. Nyquist. http://sciencecareers. ending it will require explicit action and will most probably generate bad feelings. Council of Graduate Schools. by not sending letters of reference or by not reviewing your grants and papers.” Even if the relationship is not going well. and Donald H. Have a conversation about getting the advice and help you need. University of Michigan. Washington. A Guide to Training and Mentoring in the Intramural Research Program at NIH. Office of the Director. Kathy.T. CA: Sage Publications. Baltimore. DC: Council of Graduate Schools. Feature articles on mentoring. you may need to think about finding others to help you as you navigate your career. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Three Magic Letters: Getting to Ph. National Academy of Sciences. 1993. Engineering. C. Fort. Committee on Science. Science’s Science. Online American Association for the Advancement of Science. Nettles. Thousand Oaks. Bird. DC: Council of Graduate Schools. Role Model. Adviser. A Hand Up: Women Mentoring Women in Science. 1997. But think carefully—someone who helps you see your shortcomings is actually helping you. 144 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE .Careers. 2006. Washington. Horace H. National Institutes of Health. Barker. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.faseb. http://www1. be very careful about severing old relationships—even ones that were “forced marriages. you do not want to offend someone unnecessarily. If. Didion (Eds. If the relationship is informal. Friend: On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering. 2002.nih.umich. On the Right Track: A Manual for Research Mentors. Working Effectively with Graduate Assistants. it is not necessarily a sign that your trusted advisor has turned against you. National Academy of Engineering. http://www7. Washington DC: National Academy Press. Catherine C. especially if there are formal advising relationships set up.org. 1995.. Reports from the Committee on Science. Wulff..nationalacademies. Jody D. 1996.D. Finding additional trusted advisors can always be helpful.pdf. National Academy of Sciences. DC: Association for Women in Science. Tomorrow’s Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering. php?record_id=5789. Within your institution. Richard M. ADVISORY. National Research Council.3. accept the decision with good grace. But find others to advise you if the people from whom you have been taking advice behave inappropriately by violating workplace rules or failing to fulfill essential responsibilities to you— for example. 2nd ed. It will be better for both of you. MD: National Institutes of Health. or displays any other signs of undermining your work and your career.M. Council of Graduate Schools. an un-productive advisor wants to terminate the relationship. http://www. Tough criticism or a discouraging word may be exactly what you need at a given moment. Individual Development Plan for Postdoctoral Fellows.

COLLABORATION 145 . how “things that come up” will be managed. This chapter summarizes some of the questions you should ask yourself before embarking on a collaborative project and provides some guidelines to help ensure that your work and your interactions with valued colleagues proceed smoothly. who is to do it. or another’s curious result seems in line with yours (or utterly contradicts it in an interesting way). down the hall. and how. As a beginning investigator. or even when someone working on a completely different kind of problem has a technique you would like to apply to your own. how any unexpected benefits will be apportioned. Finding ways to be scientifically productive with people you enjoy is one of its great pleasures. but the basic benefits of being a good collaborator become apparent as soon as you explore shared interests with the scientist at the next bench. and where credit will be shared. in another department. THE COLLABORATIVE EFFORT Twenty-first century science is often a collaborative effort. or in a city that is an easy drive away. MAIS À FRAPPER JUSTE. when. it is important that you and your collaborators share the same understanding of what is to be done. When someone’s clever work delights you. you will need to sharpen your managerial and political skills to be a successful collaborator. you have fertile ground for potential collaboration. at another institute. International collaboration is important and will be the subject of much of this chapter. but in striking well.CHAPTER 11 COLLABORATION “LA P U I S S A N C E N E C O N S I S T E PA S À F R A P P E R F O R T O U S O U V E N T. you may want or need to work with scientists in other labs who can offer resources or technical expertise to complement your own. The scientific world is a very social one. The quote above: Balzac says that power is not in striking hard or often. HONORÉ DE BALZAC ” One of the best ways to move your science into a higher league is to collaborate. Because a scientific collaboration is a complex exchange. Whether you are working with friends or with people who are nearly (or completely) strangers.

If you have this interest. after a long period of waiting for you to follow through. Without added intellectual contributions beyond what is normally required for their job. Brian Eley. and the nurturing of relationships. strengthening laboratory capacity. for example. Before you start a collaboration. Sharing reagents or materials that have been described in a publication does not in itself constitute collaboration. the medical laboratory scientist who regularly processes blood in the hospital. or worse. not service providers or customers. as long as you understand what you are getting into. Depending on its complexity. Be sure you have the time you will need to be a good collaborator. Such core service facilities exist to perform specific tasks for other laboratories. they will have done nothing special that would make it reasonable for them to demand credit as a collaborator. Think of how often good friends will say “We must get together sometime!” Unless they pause to schedule a date or time. and degree of formality. you may not be treated as a collaborator. to find out years later that the other person. or may involve complex negotiations and a legally binding document. several scientists or laboratories might join together to establish a permanent consortium or center for the pursuit of a particular line of research. It is better to be a bit awkward and ask for some particulars than to misunderstand and find yourself waiting for your potential collaborator to follow through. you will be expected to follow through on your commitments. the more complicated it may be to fulfill your obligations. working with you to invent a new technique or bringing to your attention an unusual phenomenon that you then go on to investigate together. a service rendered by a scientist in a core service facility within his or her own institution—for example. a collaboration can be launched by an informal agreement sealed with a handshake or an email. 146 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Scientists are expected to make published materials available to others.SHOULD YOU COLLABORATE? For researchers in developing countries. and your scientific reputation will be at stake. South Africa THE VARIETIES OF COLLABORATION Scientific collaborators are researchers who share an interest in the outcome of a project. ” Collaboration is a major responsibility—one that should not be taken on lightly. and that a given opportunity is right for you. it is important that you nail down some details in an early conversation to make clear on both sides that you are actually planning to accomplish something together and not exchanging optimistic social pleasantries. but the other party assumes that you do not. but rather as a service provider. scientists in such facilities may interact with you in ways that are truly collaborative. It may seem awkward at first. It will take time. Similarly. they often drift away until chance again brings them together. has concluded that you cannot be taken at your word. The essential ingredient of collaboration is mutual interest in the research outcome. If someone simply wants your technical expertise or the opportunity to run his or her experiments on your equipment. A limited collaboration might entail only a series of consultations about a technique or the provision of samples to be tested. he or she may not consider you a collaborator at all. but if you would like to set up a collaboration. Once you have signed on. The larger the collaboration. Of course. Collaborations can vary greatly in scope. duration. or the scientist in charge of running an institution’s shared DNA sequencing capacity—is usually not considered a collaboration. collaboration is an important route to establishing an international track record. At the other extreme. This may be acceptable. through technology transfer and building human capacity. effort. you should know for sure that you can see it through.

or someone in a place where border crossings are difficult. restrictions imposed by my institution. cultural differences or possible legal and political complications? Is there funding for the work envisioned? If not. in the case of international collaborations. Can I afford the time? How much will it take away from my other responsibilities? Is the project close enough to my central interests to warrant the necessary time expenditure? Is this person someone with whom I want to collaborate? What is his or her track record? Can someone I trust tell me whether this potential collaborator is honest and reliable? Are our professional and scientific interests compatible? Does what each of us has to lose if things go wrong seem comparable? Will this person be accessible to me and consistently interested in the project? If I will collaborate with a larger group. and you should also take some time to consider these very frankly. accommodations. someone who is relatively near you but beyond easy travel distance. and time away from the lab? Are there sources of funding to support travel? Is a visa required for travel? If so. only propose activities that you can independently carry out as a senior investigator. In collaborative grants. or are thinking of approaching someone to collaborate with you. Moses Bockarie. finding yourselves unable to get together or communicate can be a very big problem for healthy collaborations. and it may be a bad idea to collaborate with someone who has a major collaboration with an institution that is openly hostile to your own. will there be a reliable “point person” on my collaborator’s end who is responsible for handling day-to-day issues and small matters? Can I rule out potential conflicts. how difficult is the process of visa application and how long does it usually take a visa to come through? COLLABORATION 147 .Scientists working in resource-constrained environments should not let the temptation of allocating large budgets for their laboratory get them into committing to doing things that are not doable. Papua New Guinea ASSESSING A COLLABORATIVE OPPORTUNITY ” Whether you are approached by another scientist to collaborate. either personal or institutional? For example. Whether you are considering collaborating with someone overseas. given such factors as distance. tariffs on materials that must be moved between sites. and. are there funding sources available through this collaboration that will allow me to get those things? Can I afford to be involved? Will my potential partner bring resources (including funding) that will make my group’s investment in the project possible? Can this collaboration be conducted efficiently. here are some questions you should ask yourself before embarking on the project: What exactly is being asked of me? Do I need this collaboration to move my own work forward? Is there a missing piece—a technique or resource—that I must have. Ask yourself these questions: How much travel will be required? What will be the costs of each trip in terms of transportation costs. will interacting with the proposed collaborators enable me to contribute something significant to science and perhaps generate new opportunities? Do I really have the expertise or other resources being sought by the other collaborator? If not. it is often a bad idea to collaborate with a rival of the person who signs your paycheck. can it be obtained? There can be other practical challenges to collaborating with people who are not close by. A less famous person who will give you his attention is a better collaborator than a more famous one who will not. and which this other person can provide? Even if collaboration is not strictly necessary to my current work.

stable collaboration: a shared understanding of potential funding so that your partnership can survive the perhaps inevitable ups and downs in support. and at least one individual in the other lab who is as committed to the project as you are and is willing to help push past roadblocks that may arise. suggest other people with similar expertise who may be good collaborators. or access to required sites or populations) brought into the collaboration by each partner. if your collaborators depend on you for access to a population group. or will each trip involve logistical headaches and considerable uncertainty? How good are the channels of communication? Will you be able to talk by phone (or internet phone) easily? Is email between you quick and reliable? Do I know the language of my potential collaborators? Do they know mine? Will we be able to communicate effectively both about science and about the more subtle human factors that will be involved in a good collaboration—for example. Being aware of these imbalances and trying to maintain your own sense of good will can be very useful in keeping things running smoothly. how can I vouch for the translation? How can I be sure my group is involved properly in the writing and in authorship credit? Do my collaborator and I start with the same assumptions about credit. Offer instead to provide input and suggestions into the research and. Two key ingredients should be in place at the outset of a long. Before making a decision about a collaboration. it is the human dimension that most often makes or breaks a collaboration. Although physical and technical factors are important.” SETTING UP A COLLABORATION Someone may eventually ask you to collaborate. money. how do I politely decline? ANSWER Explain that you do not have the resources at the moment to enter a collaborative project. A bad one can waste your energy and demoralize you. if possible. like many QUESTION q&a If a powerful person asks me to collaborate but the proposed partnership does not suit me. your partners may grow to resent you for how you control this “doorway.g. Be especially sensitive to emotions that may be in play under the surface. you may grow to resent your partners for taking liberties with your generosity and taking more of your resources than they need. especially if there is an imbalance of resources (e. knowing when to “push” and when to let the other person have some time to respond? Will scientific papers be published in a language in which I am not fluent? If so. publishing. it is more likely that you will need to approach a potential collaborator yourself.Is travel safe and convenient. and authorship? and you may grow to resent them for regarding you as a door! If you are in a large institute with good access to reagents and equipment and your collaboration is with a very small. but if you are a beginning investigator. A collaboration. 148 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . reagents.. consider all factors. A good collaboration can take your research in a completely unexpected direction. For example. under-funded facility.

The plan should spell out: The purpose of the collaboration. there are some guidelines you can follow to ensure that the collaboration starts off on the right foot and proceeds smoothly (see “Personal Qualities of a Good Collaborator. Send a short email describing your research in general terms and asking for the opportunity for a conversation. Some countries have become so associated with dishonest money-raising scams that it may be difficult to get people to read any email or paper notes coming from them. Remember to include your email address in any paper letters you may send. with whom you want to work. You must convince your potential collaborator that: You have the expertise you claim. These filters rarely give you any notice that your message has not gone to the intended reader. and you should both look for opportunities to get together. Before you actually start the work. develop an outline of your proposal for the joint project. An exchange of emails is usually sufficient to get a project under way. In your email. and in what format raw data will be shared. or is typed on lightweight airmail paper.other types of interpersonal relationships. when. The scope of work. APPROACHING A POTENTIAL COLLABORATOR Once you have identified a potential collaborator and decided that you want to go forward. Send an Email. However. …is more likely to be read than one that begins with elaborate flattery. you can enhance your note’s chances of being read if you get to the point quickly. has no fixed rules. To make your pitch effective. it is best to develop and agree on a detailed written summary of your joint research plan. and you do want to give him or her a chance to find out more about you through personal contacts or your scientific publications.com and other popular free web mail services. How. If you are in one of those places. rather than an empty subject line or one that could be mistaken for a scam. a trip to your collaborator’s lab for a face-to-face meeting is often worthwhile. you need to be familiar with your potential collaborator’s work. Your email should lead to telephone conversations. focus on the big picture and convey your enthusiasm. Be Informed. A letter. printed on university letterhead. THE COLLABORATION AGREEMENT Using an Informal Agreement. Sometimes people will not acknowledge unwanted emails. You believe that he or she is the best possible collaborator for the project at hand. Be sure to read the lab’s published papers. however. or comes in a handwritten envelope. Do not call on the telephone first—you do not want to put the person on the spot. Many people have set up their spam filters to delete mail coming from hotmail. After that.” page 153). If that happens. You will also need to have a clear idea of what you want to do and the respective role each of you will play. following up with a paper letter may encourage your potential collaborator to respond. The whole is indeed greater than the sum of the parts. so you may not hear back from a researcher COLLABORATION 149 . that begins… Dear Dr. Make your initial contact with an inquiry designed to whet the other person’s appetite. Your recent papers on the evolution of virulence in African trypanosomes suggest an interesting parallel with a phenomenon I have observed in my laboratory’s work on seasonal occurrences of leishmaniasis. such as Help a young professor. for example Understanding drug resistance in vivax malaria. Both of you stand to benefit from the collaboration. Define in detail how you think you can complement each other’s efforts. Jones. It is a good idea to use an informative email subject header.

legally binding written agreement is probably necessary if the collaboration involves a commercial entity such as a pharmaceutical company. Expectations about authorship. but it is very important that on both sides all key participants explicitly signal that you have concluded these negotiations and have reached a clear agreement. It prevents misunderstandings and it helps keep the project on track. and that you do not release more of your (or your institution’s. Milestones. Collaborations that involve provision of materials such as biological samples such as DNA. If the collaboration is an important 150 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . a general Letter of Agreement or Letter of Intent spelling out the interest in collaboration between institutions can provide a framework for a range of collaborative activities. Make sure that such documents spell out the time period of the collaboration or provide a mechanism by which you can terminate your involvement. the collaboration agreement can simply be emailed back and forth until both parties are satisfied. Financial responsibilities of each collaborator. or if you are working toward a commercial application in which a patent is an expected outcome (Chapter 12 will discuss patents). that funding agreement may contain restrictions that apply to the collaborative project. It may be that there are not yet laws within your country related to this kind of agreement. Be aware that if your collaborator has financial support from a company for his or her share of the work.The expected contribution of each collaborator. or your country’s) rights than you mean to or have the authority to. because you may be so accustomed to your own assumptions that you will have neglected to write them down. you should make sure you have the power to promise the things you have promised. An explicit plan offers several advantages. Using a Formal Agreement. It can be very useful to have someone who has not been part of your discussions read what you have written down. Written and agreed-upon work plans for specific activities or projects developed together can then provide the explicit terms of the collaboration. Look for other researchers who have made such agreements. if you expect to apply together for funding for the project. the purpose for which the material will be used. this plan can be expanded into a grant proposal. microbial isolates. In a collaboration between two academic labs. or have someone at your institution who does have the power to promise get involved. In a large institution. but someone with legal training can at least help alert you to language in the proposed documents that seems to commit you to more than you would like. For collaborations that do not involve a commercial entity. the company may have the right to delay publication and to license the results of the collaboration. A formal. Reporting obligations to funders or other stakeholders. you and your collaborator will want to consult with appropriate offices at your respective institutions to help you draft this agreement. Negotiations are expected in these kinds of agreements—the most important thing is that you know what rights you may be signing away. Furthermore. and their staff may also arrange for legal review by the institution’s attorneys. the conditions under which the material was provided and instructions for acknowledgement of the contribution and restriction of distribution to others. this may be a technology transfer office. If your institution does not have an office that helps make this kind of agreement. How and when papers will be written. you should find people with appropriate authority to review and sign the proposed contract. indicating the material provided. Even if it is not intended to be a legally binding document. genetically modified organisms or reagents developed by you or your research team may include a “Materials Transfer Agreement. For example. and discuss the restrictions with legally trained people in your own country. Obtaining signatures could seem overly formal. In an institution without such an office.” This document is to be signed by the recipient.

delegating some part of the work to a reliable helper may help you get through an immediate time crunch.Learn how to propose and organize collaborative projects with researchers from both developed and developing countries. be sure to ask in advance whether your collaborator will use company funding for his or her work on your joint project. Make fulfilling your promises to collaborators a significant priority. or may even try to block your collaboration in favor of pushing you to work with a different researcher. you may be seen as selfabsorbed. so proceed carefully. You do not want to undermine your position at your institution. If you are unable to offer explanations. as soon as you get a chance. If you put off local issues. In a good collaboration. though. however. you may need to consider what you will do with your time if your collaborative work and your regular responsibilities make simultaneous demands. Costa Rica one for your laboratory. participants stay in close touch and are accessible to one another. you can ask your institution’s technology transfer office or a person knowledgeable in law and contracts to help you determine whether there are restrictions that apply to your share of the work. “Office politics” and over-reaching administrators exist all over the world. Being direct and honest about what is delaying you. unserious. you may be seen as unreliable. untrue to your roots. But be sure to follow up with personal attention. given that comparative projects generate more information than single-country projects. why it must be attended to first. Make it a practice to return your collaborator’s calls and emails as quickly as you can. or not good at following through. by spreading the fixed costs across participants. If so. It may be possible to negotiate an agreement that limits the effect your collaborator’s funding arrangements have on you (see chapter 12 on intellectual property for more information about company-sponsored research). or as a careless power-seeker. THE INGREDIENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL COLLABORATION Once your agreement is in place and your expectations are clear. trusting relationship is essential if you want to be able to discuss problems candidly and give and receive critical feedback. whether to your local colleagues or those at other sites. KEEPING THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN An open. and how you plan to fulfill your obligations is often the best way to negotiate this difficult balance. and funding agencies. Collaborative projects have the advantage of: of funding. ” COLLABORATION 151 . and understanding the situation may help keep your potential collaborator from giving up in frustration. you and your collaborator can focus on keeping your lines of communication open and maintaining attitudes of mutual consideration and respect. Someone above you at your institution may try to abuse the potential collaboration by pressuring your collaborator to provide resources or make payments beyond what is needed to do the project. even if only to set a more convenient time for a conversation. If you put off your collaborators’ interests. there are risks. It may be very useful to be open with trusted collaborators about the source of the delay. Having a student from one lab go spend time in the other may help build connections between the two research groups and get the work flowing. Whichever way you divide your energies. Gilbert Brenes Comacho. When you are involved in a high-stakes collaboration.

In simple terms. Trainees—graduate students and postdocs—often feel possessive of work they have been involved in. Do not hide from your collaborators if your work goes off track. Alberto Kornblihtt. It is best to discuss expectations for authorship before a collaboration begins. Set up systems to ensure that regular communication takes place. and may not see their role in proper perspective. You and other senior people involved in the collaboration should openly discuss the practical needs of all of the trainees involved in the work. you need to pay attention to how credit will be distributed in a collaboration. and it will help prevent misunderstandings later. and as good trainers you and your colleagues should help them work toward publication. Do not be the “rate-limiting step” that holds things up. Graduate students and postdocs need first author papers. When unavoidable conflicts emerge and you cannot meet a deadline. Nature or Cell. let that fact be known right away so that the deadline can be reset. Once the project is underway. and send out email summaries of the meetings to all participants afterwards. and scientific independence. progress on their degrees. It is better for starting scientist to publish three JBC papers as last (corresponding) author than ten papers in Science.” This can create hard feelings and misunderstandings. not just toward achieving the project’s goals. is crucial to your scientific career. A fixed schedule of face-to-face meetings or conference calls or times when you will be available by email can be very useful for staying on track. There are cases where a writer who synthesizes others’ work deserves credit for a significant intellectual contribution. Also consider setting up occasional videoconferences if your institution and your collaborator’s have that capability and enough internet bandwidth. No matter what type of interaction you choose. Try to negotiate a new strategy with your partners for accomplishing the collaboration’s goals. the collaboration must help your scientific career and not be a burden. Often the person who writes the first draft of a paper will become firmly attached to the idea that the paper is “his. Remember that obstacles and interruptions come up for everyone. it becomes more important not only to look out for your own authorship interests. Because credit for your work. including who will be first author and last author (or other author positions that may indicate relative importance in some fields) on major publications and how authorship and ownership of new work 152 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Include in the summaries “action items” for each collaborator. Argentina developed along the way will be shared. Keeping Up. across all of the involved laboratories. This is especially important for any trainees in your laboratory whose career progress depends on producing work that gives them clearly high ” DEALING WITH AUTHORSHIP AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ISSUES Expectations for Authorship. but to also bear in mind the interests of the people you will train in your laboratory. and do not be quick to abandon a partnership if circumstances change and you have trouble keeping up with the originally intended pace of the work.Meetings. take notes during the discussions. especially in cases where a student with especially good writing skills helpfully becomes involved in writing up another student’s data. stay with it. plan the matters to be covered ahead of time. being in all of them the fifth of the ten authors. and look for better ways to get the planned work done. As you advance your own career. It is not a lot of work to follow up in these small ways. expressed as authorship of publications. Send out agendas by email. Part of your role in training them is to keep them from over-reaching or under-reaching when it comes to getting credit for their work. but it is generally out of bounds to claim priority for the writer over the researcher who drove the intellectual development of the data. even if the time frame or scope of the work must be changed.

” Joint intellectual property is that created jointly by collaborating researchers. COLLABORATION 153 . so that any royalties can be shared according to an agreed-upon formula. agree to revisit authorship as publication nears. Reliability Deliver what you have promised. which may include some with people who are in conflict with one another. Each party in the collaboration will retain its own “background” intellectual property. and the institutions will hold the patent jointly. Respect Appreciate your collaborator’s contributions. that is. be willing to “cut through the nonsense” and offer constructive criticism. the institutions will need to reach an agreement on management and licensing of the intellectual property. Try to resolve problems with your collaborator directly. do not wait until a manuscript draft is prepared. ask yourself these questions before you begin the collaboration: What aspects of the proposed project are so interactive that any potential discoveries will be owned jointly? What aspects of shared work are the property of one laboratory? When and how will you discuss patents and publications with workers in your laboratories? Who will take responsibility for and incur the expense of filing joint patent applications? Who will maintain the patents once received? See chapter 12 for more information about the patent process. Openness Stay in touch with your collaborator throughout the project. Pursuing Patents. rights will be lost. otherwise. If your collaboration produces patentable discoveries. Once the collaboration is underway. Carry your fair share of the labor and financial outlays. Honesty Disclose anything that might affect someone’s decision to collaborate. Once you have a sense of whether the data from your experiments can be published.priority among a paper’s authors. the intellectual property it owned before undertaking the project. especially when there are problems or delays. Be clear and open about other relationships. applications should be filed before the work is presented publicly or published. and your collaborator must do the same at his or her institution. Each party will also retain the intellectual property rights to discoveries created solely by its own researchers in the course of the project. Never assume that your contributions are more important than those of your collaborator. Often. The collaborators’ institutions may file a joint patent application that names inventors from both institutions. If patents are sought. The relative contributions of different participants often changes from what was originally envisioned. Effort Put your full effort into the project. discuss plans for publication immediately. Generally. you will undoubtedly need to deal with the legal concept of “joint intellectual property. Do not jeopardize your own or the other party’s intellectual property rights by disclosing your results prematurely. including the effect disclosures can have on the ability to obtain patent rights. you will have to assign your ownership in intellectual property to your institution or employer. on time. Personal Qualities of a Good Collaborator Fairness Be sure to give credit where it is due. However. If you think a joint patent application is a likely outcome of your collaboration.

researchers not familiar with your work may undervalue your role in the effort and view you as being under the wing of your more famous colleague. make sure you arrange the collaboration so that the relative contributions of each scientist are made clear in publications and other communications. they may conclude you are subservient and never think to open doors for you! Understanding how the two sides of the coin may be seen. well-known scientists. even if you are first author on a paper. Alberto Kornblihtt. whose efforts and work do not put at risk the success of the main subject in my group. you should not be shy about pressing for these opportunities. You cannot afford to let your advancement be impeded by collaborations that do not yield good results and appropriate credit. In the first case. they may open doors for you.” I would classify collaborations in two groups: those established with scientists in the North (well-known or not-so-well-known scientists) and those established with scientists in your own country or region or other scientifically lagging regions. On the other hand. that will not end in the only publications I will have in the period. the Minister of Health has asked me to reserve my time for another project” than by saying “I do not have time to work with you. You need to keep the following facts of scientific life firmly in mind as you decide about specific collaborations: If you collaborate with established.SPECIAL CHALLENGES FOR THE BEGINNING INVESTIGATOR In the early stages of your career. especially by colleagues at your own institution. In simple terms. collaboration can present particular challenges. is important. especially your career at home. and if I can contribute with original ideas and work that guarantee that I will be the corresponding author of at least 50% of the papers resulting from the collaboration. if necessary. It will not always be the case that a collaborator will be interested in advancing your career. ask those above you to offer you some protection for your time. People may assume that you played a minor role. On the other hand. one has to be very careful in order to make clear to your local colleagues and evaluators that it is a real collaboration. the harder it will be to negotiate first or last authorship. Even if you are the head of the institute. you may be inundated by requests to collaborate from nearby researchers and people around the world. There are benefits and drawbacks to this—if others see you as your colleague’s protégé. but your local colleagues may not view your collaboration as important compared to a collaboration with someone more famous. The larger the collaborator’s lab and the more complex the collaboration. If you do collaborate with established scientists or with researchers involved in your own training. Argentina 154 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE ” . Do not allow your time to become so fragmented that your central research projects are neglected. the collaboration must help your scientific career and not to be a burden. the local evaluator will certainly realize that your role is completely secondary. if your name is diluted in the middle of the author’s list of the publications resulting from the collaboration. Smaller projects may offer a better chance of getting credit. If you have special technical expertise or access to a limited resource that is in demand. I would tend to establish collaborations with “big shots” in the North only if I am really interested in the subject. rather than as an emerging scientific force in your own right. If you collaborate with a senior scientist and he does not propose that you speak for the team at international meetings or take the lead on some publications. You are under pressure to get your own research program up and running. Learn to say no gracefully and. For example. which are important to moving your career forward and gaining international visibility for you. I can establish collaborations with people in the North on subjects that are not my main subject. In that case I would not mind appearing in the middle of the author’s list. it can be easier to turn things down by saying “I am sorry. for example. Collaborating with someone close to your own career level avoids this problem.

finances. Honest disagreements arise about the plan. It is worth your while to try to fix a situation that looks like it could derail your collaboration. authorship and other aspects of the collaboration. Again. the best thing might be to back out. Phoning or meeting face to face is better than emailing in such cases. Susan Mutambu. If. Zimbabwe ” COLLABORATION 155 . Both are surely aware that your work is of interest to the other. but deadlines are allowed to slip. They may have no idea of the politics involved or the extent of the commitments they are making.. steal credit. especially if you have invested significant time and resources in the project. Especially in these early years. When such situations arise. or disparage the other collaborator to others). Scientific results are not forthcoming. You can start them off by assigning them joint projects within your lab and by guiding them in establishing their expectations of each other and in monitoring the fulfillment of promises. If you decide that your colleague is failing to fulfill the original agreements. as well. the other party has lost all interest or you really do not get along. they do not honor some aspect of the agreement. Possible scenarios include: One party loses interest or develops other priorities. especially if one correspondent is expecting a fight and the other does not realize that anything is wrong at all. The worst thing you can do is to allow a bad situation to fester. you will have to decide how to protect yourself. get on the phone and have a straightforward discussion. funding. proceed carefully and honestly. you should be prepared to referee. WHEN YOUR TRAINEES COLLABORATE Your graduate students and postdocs need to learn to collaborate. Although you may be tempted to let your colleagues know about the failure. since it is very easy to misread the tone of an email. One or both parties behave badly (e. Geopolitics throws up new roadblocks. Just think carefully before getting between them. or existing roadblocks prove more problematic than anticipated. Encourage your trainees to look broadly for help and resources. and intentionally or inadvertently puts the project on the back burner.If you engage in multiple collaborations. There is no intent to renege. Often people or institutions in conflict with one another may approach you to collaborate. Keep in mind that just as you can have friends who do not get along. you can also have collaborators whose interests collide. or authorship. and especially if you are just beginning your career. and the project simply stalls. Do not burn bridges. the probability increases that you will find yourself with a conflict of interest at some point in your career.g. but insist on your prerogative to approve all trainees’ outside commitments in advance. It is quite another matter when your students and postdocs approach scientists outside your lab or are themselves approached as potential collaborators. especially when it is necessary to contain the ambitions of inappropriately aggressive members of your group. however. remember that such a retaliation can harm your own reputation as much as that of your collaborator. Do what you can to leave your former collaborator thinking well of you—he or she may Some strong collaborators may use a junior scientist to involve your institute in a collaboration and get them to sign a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU). Key personnel move on or become uninvolved. Illness or family problems hinder someone’s progress. WHEN A COLLABORATION IS NOT WORKING Collaborations can fail for various reasons. However. it is better to keep things simple so that you know all of the actors and can identify potential conflicts. It is thus important to impress upon junior scientists that they need to make sure that this MOU benefits both collaborators in terms of capacity strengthening (human and institutional).

sciencemag.org (October 6. “Underrepresented Minorities in Science: Collaborations -.” ScienceCareers. 156 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Although collaborations can be a lot of work and at times frustrating. 2000). Anthony. It is better to leave a collaboration with all parties thinking that it was the situation—not the people involved—that was “not right. “Mutual Benefit: Building a Successful Collaboration.” ScienceCareers. and they might send graduate students or postdocs to work in your lab.sciencemag. you will gain much from working with others. Your research can take unexpected turns and expand into new and exciting areas.” If a collaboration does not succeed.Critical to Research Success at Minority Institutions.org (March 2. Phil. Your collaborators can help increase your visibility by inviting you to give seminars at their institutes. De Pass. Michael J.” ScienceCareers. http://sciencecareers. “Yours Transferably: Going Global 2—Making Contact. http://sciencecareers.org/career_ development/previous_issues/articles/0840/ underrepresented_minorities_in_science_collaborations_ critical_to_research_success_at_minority_institutions.sciencemag.be an important connection to future collaborators. RESOURCES Online Adams.org (February 16.org/career_development/ previous_issues/articles/0840/yours_transferably_going_ global_2_making_contact. Dee. 2001). You will form professional relationships with scientists outside your department who may be willing to write letters of recommendation when it is time to apply for tenure. http://sciencecareers. 2001).org/career_development/ previous_issues/articles/0630/mutual_benefit_building_a_ successful_collaboration. try not to become discouraged.

Without protection. including scientific papers. profit and the right to determine how inventions are used are major driving forces behind commercialization of ideas and products created by scientists. industrial design (the visual designs of objects with aesthetic or commercial value). The protection of an invention under patent law does not require that it be a physical thing.CHAPTER 12 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY “LAS GRANDES IDEAS SON AQUELLAS DE LAS QUE LO ÚNICO QUE NOS SORPRENDE ES QUE NO SE NOS HAYAN OCURRIDO ANTES. trade secrets (things only the maker of a product knows—information not available to the public). for example. allowing them to protect their ownership of an invention by excluding other people. ideas. government or company. Inventions are. novels. The creation of a new cell line is an example of a product invention. Because discovering and developing new things is more difficult and expensive than copying others’ work. within the country where the patent is granted. companies. and other things). etc. using or selling) their innovation for a set period of time. and geographical indication (marking products with their place of origin. whether those creations are the result of a Eureka! moment in the bath. in essence. the traditional knowledge of a community. art. imitators can quickly erode the profit available to the inventor. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 157 . “Made in Brazil”). from commercially exploiting (making. usually 20 years. Intellectual property (IP) rights include patents and copyrights (which protect authored works. or the collective efforts of hundreds of scientists in a university. A patent is a right given to inventors of intellectual property. NOEL CLARASÓ SERRAT ” UNDERSTANDING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS Intellectual property rights protect the interests of creators by giving them property rights over their creations. governments. music.. and investors will be discouraged from spending the money needed for more research and development. The quote above: Serrat says that big ideas are the ones where the only thing that surprises us about them is that no one has thought of them before. trademarks and brands (unique identifiers of products and services). But it is customary to distinguish between inventions that are products and those that are processes.

Coca-Cola jealously guards the recipes for its soft drinks. figures. Required descriptions of the ways the invention is practiced or implemented. will include: 1. Moses Bockarie. or specification. Non-obviousness and Inventive Step. will be rejected. The differences between prior art and the invention highlight its advantages. an inventor must go through a long application process. but require input from the inventor. Novelty. That is not so for trade secrets—for example. Jurisdictions vary in the rules for an application.The invention of a new method or process of making the cell line is a process invention. or individual written statements about the invention that are presented one after another in the application. then it cannot be claimed as new. The invention must be the inventor’s own work. They must also explain why this particular invention is different from others like it. called embodiments. may take months or years to complete. biological and cultural property rights. Often some of the application’s claims. which is called prosecution. Patent applications are prepared by patent lawyers. 3. also called the field of the invention. using or selling their invention and rules that require them to reveal the method behind the invention so others may understand and learn from it. the officials who determine whether the invention is truly something new and deserving of protection. 4. then non-obviousness prevails. first as broadly as possible. 6. Clearly labeled graphs. In order to receive a patent. examiners put the application through a battery of tests. If others tried and failed to develop the invention. A non-obvious invention will identify a problem and provide a solution. Sources of prior art can include publications. This description is commonly called prior art. The claims draw the boundaries of the invention using legal terms. pictures and drawings to aid the descriptions. more narrowly. Decisions about patenting must be based on local laws and policies. Issues relating to informed consent and intellectual property rights can easily result in controversy. These terms reflect the “Aha!” of an invention and the surprise of an unexpected result. In order to be patentable. For ease in cataloguing and searching in databases. A brief description of the area to which the invention pertains. Utility and Industrial Application. It is also extremely important to know the policies governing intellectual. A thorough disclosure and description of past work done by others in the field. Claims are essential for patent protection—making or using the invention or its equivalent under its claims and without the inventor’s permission is considered infringement. The claims describe the essence of an invention. and later. If an invention was known before the date a patent application was filed or the priority date claimed on the patent application (see “Timing is Everything” on page 159). a patent examination is an orderly argument between an inventor and a country’s patent examiners. tables. the patent application must express some credible usefulness or benefit. Patents are based on a trade-off between the rights granted to inventors to exclude others from making. 2. 1. and patent protection does not start until the patent is actually issued. conference abstracts. A patent application will usually 158 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . 3. Patent examiners are subject matter experts who rule on how broad or narrow the inventor’s claims to property rights will be. along with the shortcomings of the prior art. 2. but in general the patent application document. Novelty also has much to do with timing. issued patents or other printed materials. A progression of steps leading to the invention. European patent law asks if the invention shows an industrial application. must be detailed enough to allow someone skilled in the art to reconstruct and use the invention. Papua New Guinea THE PATENT EXAMINATION At its core. or if it is not apparent to someone skilled in the art. 5. In contrast. ” The examination process. In the US. Title and abstract. and what prompted the invention.

If you believe that you will generate patentable inventions. or to you. it cannot be patented. or to the government. including the US. Once a patent has been awarded in one country. and advertising brochures. To complicate matters. once an idea or invention is made public. Patent laws that grant rights to the first inventor to file a patent use a simple. Therefore.” can be converted into monetary value—hence the term “intellectual capital. oral presentation or poster session can qualify as publication. Asking others at your institution or in your area who have patented work will help you understand what will become of any intellectual property associated with your work. patent law defines the word “publication” very broadly. which are returns on future profits. Each situation is different. and then will narrow successive claims until it is extremely specific. depending on the policies and customs of the place where you are working. Who benefits from these arrangements? An invention that you make as part of your scientific work may belong to your institution. In others. willing to buy it. a patent is merely the starting point for a financial arrangement between parties. On the other hand. begin by making very broad claims. Once an invention is patented.” Intellectual capital is quite worthless unless there is someone. for example. Whether your thoughts and the work you do with your hands belong to you or someone else varies considerably from institution to institution. laws that grant rights to the first to make an invention favor the individual with few resources. the application may eventually be abandoned. and anyone planning to file a domestic or foreign patent must be aware of the kinds of information generated by their organization. The trick becomes how to efficiently transfer the technology from the inventor to the marketplace. be aware that publication of the application by the patent office for all to see will occur some months after the filing—irrespective of whether the patent is ever issued. may be accepted.TIMING IS EVERYTHING In some countries. but critics say it favors big corporations who can pay for each filing. A license. objective measure to determine priority. a new bicycle gearing system. an inventor is out of luck if the invention was known publicly or published in a journal even one day before the filing date. you do not have to be the one who uses your rights to it. In countries without this grace period. can be sold or lent to someone else. your major funders. funder to funder. such as the narrower claim describing the new gearing system itself. catalogues and magazine articles are fair game too. and country to country. by being published in the scientific literature for example. Finally. If the examiner’s objections cannot be overcome. somewhere. often in return for fees and royalties. might have some very broad claims related to the general function of gears rejected. use and/or sell an invention. So an application relating to. an international Patent Cooperation Treaty gives the inventor up to 18 months to file for patents in other individual countries beyond his or her own. including patents. or your government early so that you can understand the ideas behind the process before any real invention is at stake. An “exclusive license” is given to only one INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 159 . The applicant may respond to the objections by arguing in support of or making amendments to any rejected claims. there is a grace period during which an inventor can file a patent application. BENEFITING FROM INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Intellectual property. trade secrets or other “intangible assets. talk with your institution. or to the funder of the work. grant applications. while other claims. a legally binding contract that allows someone else to make. Even an abstract.

A license also can be granted exclusively to one licensee for a specific application. how they came to be. and providing access to the socio-economic and cultural benefits of such creativity worldwide on the other. treaties and laws through which to navigate. it is usually made non-exclusive so that those in the know may freely talk about the idea with other scientists. who can charge others for use of the licensed technology. their nations must sort out the best ways to handle their new inventions.” maintaining the owner’s option to issue licenses for other fields of use. use and protection of works of the human mind for the economic. WIPO is an agency of the United Nations. THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (WIPO) Established in Stockholm and launched in 1970. A non-exclusive license can be granted to more than one entity. Its mission is “To promote through international cooperation the creation.” WIPO creates and manages multilateral treaties among nations. As scientists in more and more countries generate more IP and become more collaborative. IP law enables individuals and organizations to harvest the rewards of inventiveness. and how they figure in the global scheme of things. by sufficiently protecting the moral and material interests of creators on the one hand. Yet these assets are products of the communities who make them. The effort to speed the transfer of intellectual property across borders has led to a profusion of organizations. each has a unique approach to IP law. dissemination. or “field of use.licensee. nations are in different stages of economic and scientific development. When know-how —the idea of how to do something—is patented by scientists. including: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN A GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT Nations protect intellectual property (IP) through their laws. There is a tension between the protection of individual interests and the need to provide broad access to the societies who need them. generating more fees and more royalties. Because different THE LIFECYCLE OF AN IDEA Royalties Back to Inventor and Institution Sales Product Commercial Development License Agreement with Company Publication Grant of Patent Patent Application Grant or Contract Proposal $$ to Scientist Scientific Discovery Invention Disclosure to Technology Transfer Office Idea 160 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . cultural and social progress of all mankind…to contribute to a balance between the stimulation of creativity worldwide. Described below are the important ones.

The agreement attempts to crack down on reverse engineering of biotechnology products. Together. the EPO does not issue patents. and to bring them under common international rules. The agreement attempts to gather and normalize all aspects of IP rights and their enforcement. and Western countries are scrambling to establish trade agreements to harmonize patent information (see “The World’s Most Active Patent Offices”).000 160.S. the biggest are the European Patent Office (EPO). Finally. As IP rights became more important in global trade. including increasing royalty and license fees to developing nations and increasing foreign direct investment in the developing world.000 400. Like WIPO. these differences became a source of tension in international relations. provided that they apply within 12 months of the first filing. the big three signed the Patent Law Treaty. and for disputes to be settled more systematically. Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). and requires companies in developing countries to adhere to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. New trade rules were seen as a way to introduce more order and predictability. each contracting national or regional patent office (see the European Patent Office (EPO). establishing transparency. with every aspect of the invention filed separately.358 2. The PCT coordinates the filing of international patent applications among nearly 140 countries. More practically. The WTO oversees the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Signed in 1883. below) is free to carry out a formal examination and decide whether to issue a patent. a 1995 agreement that attempts to “narrow the gaps in the way that these [intellectual property] rights are treated around the world. The World’s Most Active Patent Offices Country/Region # of Examiners # of Applications United States (USPTO) Europe (EPO) Japan (JPO) China (SIPO) South Korea (KIPO) India 3. A PCT filing contains the nuts and bolts for an examination.000 728 135 400.” The TRIPS Agreement is expected to do a number of things. every member country must grant to nationals of other countries the same IP protection it grants to its own citizens. the discussion turns to the wide variation of protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.500 Data assembled from national sources between 2004 and 2006. Ratification of the TRIPS Agreement became a mandatory requirement for membership in the WTO. the advantages to filing a PCT are streamlining and buying time before the national examinations commence. which charts a path towards international normalization by 2010.000 175. and clarifying copyrights. A preliminary examination rules on its patentability. and that the U. But local jurisdictions charge fees for filing.000 208. but Japan’s patent office activities are growing fast. the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO). along with examining oppositions to patents already granted. issuing and maintaining the patent.000 14. In mid-2000. which created the World Trade Organization (WTO). BUILDING A MORE UNIFIED SYSTEM At the end of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) treaty.500 1. the same invention in Japan could constitute up to 10 different patents. including protecting trade secrets. Aside from the unified procedure. “harmonization” became the catchword. At the turn of the century. Filing a patent in all countries would be extremely costly. permits patents on software and business methods. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 161 . the USPTO and the EPO review the largest number of the world’s patent applications. While the EPO grants only one patent for any given inventive system. THE BIG THREE Among the world’s patent offices.400 3.The Paris Convention. China is also fast becoming a world leader in intellectual property. The differences among the big three are first-to-invent and first-tofile. it allows inventors in one nation to use the patent filing date in that nation as the effective date in another nation. but carries out formal examinations on behalf of 37 European countries. such as a search of prior art and a description of claims.

instructions for use. patents are not attractive to private investment because the purchasing power of developing countries is low. protected. 2. The high profile of public health emergencies such as the sub-Saharan Africa AIDS crisis spotlights the tension between public health and global IP protection. 3. food products. especially those used against AIDS.org. Given that I work with population health issues. A consortium of 39 pharmaceutical companies sued to prevent the import of cheap generic antiretrovirals into South Africa. Open Access software is free software developed by a community of scientists. but they tend to be quite expensive for scientists in developing countries. Broad definition of what can be patentable. Harmonized patent length at 20 years from the date of filing. There is freeware for different tasks. microbiological processes and new varieties of plants. usually spread all over the world. microorganisms. and includes “cuttingedge” routines that very few statistical packages have. and some diseases primarily affect poor countries. and these practices make the software very expensive. Open Access Another important issue regarding scientific research is the availability of software for data analysis. The law encouraged use of generic drugs and allowed the government to purchase brand-name drugs abroad if it could get them at a lower price. In 1997. Some software developers charge for every statistical module and yearly license renewal. For those disorders. SPSS. Costa Rica The statistical analysis software R. The provision that requires poor countries to extend patent rights on pharmaceutical products made in the developing world has also provoked criticism. This “compulsory licensing” can be used in circumstances of extreme “national urgency” such as domestic health crises. and information about working to improve it are available at www. The package or language called R is the most widely used Open Access statistical software in the world. Widely available patent rights could increase the benefits derived from greater public financing of biomedical research for the underdeveloped world.r-project. page 165). Developed nations want their inventions Gilbert Brenes Comacho. HIV/AIDS AND THE TRIPS DEBATE The GATT treaty had a rough start and remains controversial. the United States and large pharmaceutical companies played a major role in adopting the TRIPS Agreement. They include: 1. Open Access software appears to become a very valuable tool for scientists in developing countries that have very limited money resources for purchasing equipment. The European Union. New patents promise benefits and incur costs that differ by disease. 4. A sick or suffering working class does little to put the country on a road to economic prosperity. This requires many countries to extend protection to areas such as chemical and pharmaceutical products and processes.—might seem inexpensive for large research projects in industrialized countries. JMP. part of my job is to analyze large data sets. a South African law called the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act was put in place to reduce the price of drugs.Most profound for developing countries were changes related to patents. Developing countries complained that they were left out of critical negotiations. ” 162 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . Flexibility for developing countries to allow someone else to produce a product without the consent of the patent owner. but developing countries want wide distribution of the health benefits of drugs and agricultural advances at low or no cost to their citizens. there is a new “movement” of Open Access software developers. Mandated that intellectual property laws not offer any benefits to local citizens that are not available to citizens of other TRIPS states while they are in that country (see Indigenous Knowledge. Statistical software—like SAS. However. The fact that corporations with an interest in favorable international rules on intellectual property were themselves part of developing policy was a focus of intense debate. etc. The move was a public relations fiasco for the industry.

including those related to HIV/AIDS. which cover cell lines. Broad Claims: Embryonic Stem Cell Patents “We claim: 1. Each country is free to interpret the morality clause in its own fashion and decide whether to issue a patent. major challenges remain. These patent claims are among the broadest ever granted in the life sciences.” they consider them an immoral violation of public order. in any laboratory. the limited capacity of most developing countries to make generic drugs. scholars fear that the monopolistic practices could squelch innovation and competition and result in treatments being distributed only to those who can afford them. The European Patent Office (EPO) rejected the patents on moral grounds. a purified preparation of primate embryonic stem cells which (i) is capable of proliferation in an in vitro culture for over one year. The declarations of the Doha group affirmed members’ right to protect public health and to promote access to medicines for all. James Thomson. (iv) will not differentiate when cultured on a fibroblast feeder layer. working with the NGOs. and ectoderm tissues throughout culture. and the impact of requiring companies to license their existing drugs on those companies’ future investments in drugs of benefit to low-income countries. they were issued based on research using a morally controversial source of material—leftover but viable two-day-old human embryos obtained through in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics. are unusual for two reasons. malaria and other epidemics. social and legal implications. (iii) maintains the potential to differentiate into derivatives of endoderm. mesoderm. Because they involve the use of “human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes. and cancer. Shortly thereafter. The patents. anywhere in the US. Since embryonic stem cells could eventually lead to treatments or cures for maladies such as heart disease. Yet a grant of a patent does not automatically confer rights in EU (European Union CEU) member states. the potential impact on countries such as Brazil and India. brought the problem of drug access to the global stage at a meeting of the world’s trade ministers in Doha.and the consortium settled the suit in 2001. Qatar. If the keys to use the inventions are given to just a few.” CASE STUDIES EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS An American scientist. They include the cost of providing therapy broadly across the world.” Though the TRIPS Agreement is designed to level the IP playing field and is necessary to spur development in developing countries. stating that “public health crises. Brazil and a group of African countries. was awarded three patents by the USPTO for his pathbreaking work with human embryonic stem cells. First. it clarified the right to use compulsory licensing to meet public health concerns. the patents have generated a debate with ethical. Because of broad claims and the aggressive negotiating position the institute who owns the patents has taken with those who want to use the lines. made by any method. a confirmatory ruling would mean that no such patents would be issued by the EPO. can represent a national emergency. diabetes. there will be little incentive to develop cheaper and better products. Though the decision can be appealed. The second unusual feature is the patent claims themselves. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 163 . they also prevent anyone else from using any human embryonic stem cell lines. The controversies have meant a rocky road for both the patent holder and its exclusive licensees. which may be required to stop their own manufacture of inexpensive generic drugs. tuberculosis. Not only do they assert a right to charge anyone to use the cell lines Thomson created. Most importantly. (ii) maintains a karyotype in which all the chromosomes characteristic of the primate species are present and not noticeably altered through prolonged culture.

2 billion.” when companies need to license many bits and pieces of a complex chain of technology in order to successfully implement their own intellectual property. Further research by large SHARED RESOURCES At the prompting of Icelandic corporation deCODE genetics. bioprocessing. The patent-free model could become one way to treat the world’s neglected diseases. animal models. Iceland’s parliament passed the Health Sector Database Act in 1998. Several of the researchers filed patent applications on inventions related to the viral genomic sequence. which will be available in Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere for less than $1 per dose. devised when companies or organizations find their ability to innovate stifled by key technical patents owned by others. The act stated that while the government has access to the database. One of the problems associated with the increased time and cost are “patent thickets. “Stacking” royalty payments in this fashion becomes very expensive. Because there are no patents. and delivery systems. such as denial of health insurance or employment discrimination. the patents have been challenged on technical grounds. devices and tools comes at an astonishing price. EVERYBODY INTO THE POOL The development of new drugs. deCode could use it for commercial purposes. exclusive license to deCODE to create a database of the medical records of all Icelandic citizens. Members of the pool share royalties paid by third parties. the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). where separate licenses may be required for specific genes. Both the challengers and the research institute will battle back and forth for years before the issue is finally resolved.. Those costs are passed on to patients and health care systems. If the negotiations among the parties succeed.S. and the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis have developed a new anti-malarial therapy—fixed-dose combination (FDC) of artesunate and amodiaquine (AS/AQ). One of the mechanisms put forward to deal with patent thickets is patent pools. It authorized a 12-year. the WHO funded a network of laboratories to develop a vaccine. also called generics. The agency proposed a patent pool strategy that would avoid potential SARS-related intellectual property conflicts and speed the development of vaccines. the more difficult it is to bring new biomedical products to underserved markets. and that citizens have no individual rights to it. Others worried whether the government and deCODE could be relied on to properly protect genetic information. 164 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . The higher the development cost. such as diagnostics or drug discovery. group of public and private sector entities led to additional patent applications. followed by other jurisdictions. During that time. A “patent pool” is an agreement between two or more patent owners to license patents to one another or to outsiders. A Tufts University study estimates the 2006 cost of bringing a drug to market at $1. The challenge referenced multiple cases of prior art (the teachings of two patents and four articles published prior to the filing of Thomson’s first patent in 1996). improper release of information could have devastating consequences. a non-governmental organization. assuming that a “person having ordinary skill in the art” would be able to accomplish what Thomson and his laboratory did.Finally. Proponents argue that such arrangements can help stimulate innovation. In 2007. but one intriguing model abandons the concept of intellectual property altogether. Most are voluntary. For example. Granting a proprietary right to one’s own genetic information. the USPTO ruled that the patents failed the non-obviousness requirement. Patent pools attempt to speed development by sharing risk and reward. In response to the SARS outbreak. Nowhere is this more apparent than in vaccine development. other companies are free to make cheaper versions of the therapy. isolated population and its fastidious practice of medical record-keeping. the first pool will be set up in the U. Though confidentiality was promised. the patents remain fully in force. The country has kept medical and genealogical data on all of its citizens for more than a century. The Icelandic government has concluded that genetic information is a national resource. Iceland’s advantage was its small.

and use by others can only proceed on the basis of mutually agreeable terms. prevent.some said. Communities have the right to share the benefits of commercialization. a foreign company patented a neem extract and began manufacturing a pesticide in India in the late 1980s. What lies ahead for Iceland? Some call for better balance between financial incentives and greater access to the information. deCODE’s CEO. “The primary goal is to use medical discoveries to develop better methods to diagnose. The textbook case is neem. where they work with local shamans and elders to identify the right INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 165 . Others responded that the information belonged to all Icelanders. the practice uses intellectual property to legitimize the ownership and control of biological resources used by developing countries. The group travels to Ecuador. Under the rules of the CBD and other international guidelines: 1. It hasn’t always worked that way. scientists at deCODE have recently discovered genes associated with cancer. this often requires that an intellectual property be secured. Another worry concerned the delay of publications.” The biotech industry argued that without exclusive rights there would be no incentive to invest. such as compulsory licensing to certified genetic researchers. and as such decisions about its use should have come from the community. plant cultivars. As the debate continues. reduces biodiversity and steals the “pharmacy from the poor. Access to traditional knowledge and resources (especially genetic resources) may only be obtained by informed consent. 3. an easy one. but others say nothing prevented Indian companies from manufacturing the pesticide and exporting it. Some critics say abuse of traditional systems of IP rights devalues indigenous cultures. making a blockbuster drug with a billion dollar profit. including farmers who enjoyed free access to stocks. which revoked the patent based on lack of novelty. recognized that indigenous cultures have long contributed to global wealth generated by the commercialization of their native plants and animals. The court concluded—as the Icelandic Government did with its citizens—that Moore did not have a valid ownership claim. and that giving him one would hinder biomedical research. which may delay publication of a discovery.” Called biopiracy. economic and ethical factors driving an EPO action in 2000. in our minds. and cure diseases. Thus there were social. The company’s demand for seeds drove the price beyond the reach of ordinary Indians. The company receives a patent on the product and manufactures it to industrial scale. cosmetics and pesticides. would help individuals control its use. and there was little evidence that the transnational conglomerate had asserted its rights in India to prevent local companies from competing. a common Indian tree whose seeds have been long used for medicines. INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE A team of Western researchers learns of an herbal remedy used by a remote tribe of Amazon villagers. sleep disorders and heart disease. ratified by 187 countries and the European Union.000 citizens will be vanishingly small. The neem case has been characterized as plunder by many. Because agricultural products are not patentable in India. 2. The choice between early publication and the development of a product for the benefit of patients with a particular disease is. wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. The herbs are brought back to the laboratory. The 1992 Rio Convention on Biodiversity (CBD). Private sector advocates say that any future financial return negotiated on behalf of the country’s 280. Regents of California (the Regents of California is the governing body of the University of California at all of its multiple campuses. inventive step and theft of prior art. Kari Stephansson. The textbook example of genetic property rights is found in the case of Moore v. New intellectual policies and laws must involve community participation. where the active ingredient is isolated and purified. Today.) Moore claimed that his property rights had been violated when inventors did not share the commercial gains made from the commercial use of his cancerous spleen cells. and granting individual ownership might cause hundreds or thousands of people to demand royalties from companies using the data to develop products.

php European Patent Office (EPO): http://www. 401-402. McCalman. Zed Books. Under sui generis. The downside of this “defensive” approach is that it makes public community knowledge that may be held by custom to be private and sacrosanct. Eisenberg. Ruth. Lesser. P. “Nontraditional publications and their effect on patentable inventions. Global Intellectual Property Rights: Knowledge. “Intellectual property rights and the World Trade Organization: Retrospect and Prospect. Development Working Paper Number 5. 2005. Palgrave McMillian. Michael A. 2005.gov. GianCarlo. “Regionalism. Amir. indigenous peoples can argue that controlling use of their knowledge is a self-determining right. Finger. 1994. Lee. April 2002. Todd. Intellectual Property and Development: Lessons from Recent Economic Research. Moschini. eds. Access and Development. Heller. HHMIBurroughs Wellcome guide.org WIPO What Is Intellectual Property?: http://www. Daza.wipo. “Intellectual property and the availability of pharmaceuticals in poor countries. Peter and Mayne.” 2001 monograph. second edition. 2003. “The Doha Agenda and intellectual property rights. Dasgupta P. 2003. 2004.” Nature Biotechnology. Online Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Intellectual Property Primer: http://www. Martha Isabel Gomez: Las patentes sobre biodiversidad en el TLC:negocio inconsulto. How best to protect traditional knowledge? Preventing others from patenting is one strategy. Making the Right Moves: A practical guide to scientific management for postdocs and new faculty. eds.And. Recording and storing knowledge establishes it as prior art and makes it more difficult to appropriate. Poor People’s Knowledge: Promoting Intellectual Property in Developing Countries. Intellectual Property Rights in the Global Economy. Drahos. Protect or Plunder: Understanding Intellectual Property Rights. World Bank Trade and Development Series. 2002. M and Schuler. Mayne. Carsten and Maskus. Aportes 8:35-54.bio.wto. 2006.int/about-ip/en/ipworldwide/ World Trade Organization (WTO): http://www. “Toward a New Economics of Science” Research Policy 23: 487-521.org/ip/primer/ Dirección de Vinculación Tecnológica from CONICET lays out some of the principles for linking technologies to applications http://www. Keith. Lanjouw. Jean.int/ about-ip/en/iprm/index. Vandana. World Bank Trade and Development Series. “Financing the bioindustry and facilitating biotechnology transfer. David. Keith eds. 698 (1 May 1998).conicet. 2000. Anatole. and that modern laws can never overrule ancient systems of beliefs and traditions. Shiva.ar/VINCULACION/ principal. Krattiger.html WIPO Guide to Intellectual Property Worldwide: http://www.” Working paper published by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development. W. Washington DC.org WIPO Intellectual Property Handbook: http://www. Los derechos de propiedad intelectual en el alca. German Sanchez. & P.int/ about-ip/en/ RESOURCES Attaran. Ruth. Phillip. Maskus.. Rebecca S. India benefited as a supplier of seed and local technical talent. Garabedian. (20) April 2002.epo. Oasis 11:103-133.” Center for Global 166 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE .” IP Strategy Today. Institute for International Economics.wipo. Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons in Biomedical Research Science 280 (5364). 8-2004.” United Nations Human Development Report 2005. 2002. “The effects of TRIPs-mandated intellectual property rights on economic activities in developing countries.wipo. Positive measures could use laws to enact special unique-to-the-situation (sui generis) rights to protect traditional knowledge. Fink.” Working paper cite TBA 2002. Bilateralism and ‘Trip-Plus’ Agreements: The threat to developing countries. 2004. “How do patents and economic policies affect access to essential medicines in developing countries?” Human Affairs 23(3):155-168. Iowa State University.

Such regulations have been designed for a number of important reasons. Depending on your exact area of research. result in long shipping delays or be incorrectly interpreted. Different rules and regulations come into play depending on the type of material being shipped. or living material alive. further complicating matters. reagents. and/or a variety of living organisms. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS ” Transferring research-related materials internationally presents challenges. biological specimens. Finally. particularly if the shipments are to or from the developing world. The material in this chapter was derived from a variety of sources. can make shipping materials long distances difficult. Information came from reference books and governmental and regulatory agency Web sites. books. but intrinsically ambiguous.CHAPTER 13 MOVING MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT “ PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE HAVE A MAGICAL EFFECT BEFORE WHICH D I F F I C U LT I E S D I S A P P E A R A N D O B S TA C L E S VA N I S H . to safeguard national security and to protect the wellbeing of a country’s citizens. infectious agents and vectors of infectious agents. and provides suggestions for how best to navigate those challenges. But they can also. as well as interviews with international shipping specialists (specifically. This chapter gives an overview of the types of regulatory and practical issues you might face when shipping materials internationally. Furthermore. to the extent that many of the officials who deal directly with importing goods may not understand the rules themselves. There may also be corruption at certain stages of the import process. you may need to receive (or send) materials including large. in some countries the import regulations are not only complex. individuals at international MOVING MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT 167 . resulting in problems at customs or elsewhere. at times. including the need to ensure the safety of those handling the materials. multi-use equipment. to protect commercial interests. laboratory glassware and disposables. and to provide for the health and comfort of animals. purely practical problems such as the need to keep certain temperature-sensitive materials cold. those who focus on shipping pharmaceuticals and biological reagents). to reduce biosecurity risks. human products.

re-label. and scientists who work in developing countries.org) is a global trade organization that was formed over 60 years ago and now represents 250 airlines. provide a foundation for the development of globally 168 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . In some cases. 3. 4.iata. affected by politics and world events. and marking for each category of material in transit. These regulations are developed by committees made up of representatives from many countries. but for a time period it establishes the value of a trade. etc. harmonious regulations on transporting hazardous materials. Normally it is valid for a limited time. bioresource centers and at biotechnology companies that support science in the developing world. you should identify experts with local knowledge and experience and enlist those people to handle such matters. UN identification numbers are given to specific materials ranging from infectious substances that affect humans to genetically modified microorganisms to dry ice. The material presented here is intended to be a general overview. Packing slip/remito: the document that is signed when the delivery is received at the purchaser’s lab. Additional practical advice will be covered in later sections of the chapter. they might also request the receipts or other proofs of payment. A receipt has no value without the invoice. 2. including toxicity. an agency of the UN. publishes “Technical Instructions on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air” (ICAO TI) biannually. A complete description of all applicable organizations and laws affecting the transfer of materials is well beyond the scope of this chapter. flammability. Receipt: the document certifying that the payment for the transaction stated in the invoice has been done. or repackage materials during transport. among them obviating the need to reclassify. International Air Transport Association (IATA) The IATA (http://www. Perhaps the most important single piece of advice is that there is no fixed set of rules to learn that will allow you to handle shipping yourself—instead.int/). although not legally binding. certain kinds of invoices have value without the corresponding receipts. and corrosiveness. Granting agencies may require the original invoices of your purchases as proof that the transactions have taken place. or in place) for a product or a series of products. copies of wire transfers.icao. This document does not certify any real transaction. These instructions are in part based on the UN Recommendations described above. The use of consistent regulations internationally has obvious benefits. it will be useful to have some background knowledge about relevant regulations and organizations. infectious substance hazards. The ICAO (http://www. The Model Regulations prescribe standards for packaging. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS United Nations (UN) Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Pro forma invoice/price quote: a quotation on the price (FOB. radioactivity. Invoice: the document that reflects that the real transaction has been formally arranged and will certainly occur or has occurred. They address a wide variety of hazards. such as credit card balances. The IATA REGULATIONS AND RELEVANT ORGANIZATIONS The regulations that govern international shipping are complicated and in flux. labeling.PAPERWORK INVOLVED IN PURCHASING 1. CIF. The UN Model Regulations. explosiveness. That being said. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). They describe the documentation and emergency contact information required for each shipment. On the contrary.

http://www. Both CITES and OIE recognize these regulations. marking. and an outer container large enough to contain the required labels. the UN identification number.oie. Other documents that might be required include export permits and/or licenses. possibly causing fires or explosions. and pays particular attention to the separation of incompatible substances. CITES (also known as the Washington Convention. PAPERWORK. and the correct orientation of the shipping container. IATA regulations cover materials carried on board by passengers or checked in luggage as well as those shipped commercially. Shipments must be accompanied by a Declaration for Dangerous Goods form if hazardous materials are being sent. MOVING MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT 169 . or liquid nitrogen is included in the shipment. PACKAGING. a secondary container that contains enough absorbent material to absorb all of the liquid in the sample. “Infectious Substance” or “Biological Substance.publishes the “Dangerous Goods Regulations Manual” (DGR Manual).cites. among other topics. regulations in this area are very complicated. which represents an agreement among governments to regulate the movement of endangered plants and animals and their derivatives across international borders. IATA DGRs are similar to the ICAO TI. The two outer packages must meet UN performance standards and are available from commercial suppliers. infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa. potentially leading to an explosion. TRANSPORTATION OF RESEARCH ANIMALS AND PLANTS Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). packing. A lack of proper orientation markings on chemical packaging can lead to leaks and chemical mixing. Packaging must meet additional requirements if ice.imo. Because most countries have specific rules about importing animals. These regulations cover animal containers and methods to ensure the welfare of animals being shipped by air. labeling. as well as those stating the proper shipping name.” which provide recommendations for member countries as they set up or revise regulations about importing animals and animal products. with a leak-proof primary container. must be triple packaged. For example. but contain additional requirements and are more restrictive.int). IATA Live Animal Regulations (LAR). It has developed the “Terrestrial Animal Health Code” and the “Aquatic Animal Health Code. Category B” or “Dry Ice”). Fines for not following dangerous goods shipping regulations can be severe. LICENSES. LABELING. The IATA LAR is a global standard for transporting animals by air. AND PERMITS Complying with regulations governing the international transport of hazardous materials or living organisms and their derivatives requires the use of proper labels. org/). even if no harm results.org) has developed a uniform international dangerous goods (DG) code for transporting materials by sea. dry ice. The goal of this organization. These include labels describing the substance (for example. and documenting shipments containing dangerous goods. These regulations cover both commercial and noncommercial trade. International Maritime Organization (IMO). also known as the Office International des Épizooties (OIE. is to prevent zoonoses. APPROPRIATE PACKAGING Packaging materials incorrectly can have severe safety and legal consequences. Planes have crashed because safety regulations on shipping dangerous goods were not followed. http://www. is currently enforced in 172 countries. which provides information on classifying. The code covers packing and stowage. Potentially hazardous biological substances. dry ice placed in an airtight container will cause an increase in pressure in the container. including infectious substances and genetically modified microorganisms. Office International des Épizooties/World Animal Health Organization. IMO (http://www.

as well as with packing. the scientist has to take some time to train a local agent in handling research material. A customs broker will undertake transactions associated with customs on your behalf. Again. Otherwise. an insurance certificate. products labeled “research reagents” will be cleared through customs relatively easily. Mali ” 170 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . in some circumstances. items labeled “plastic goods” can have an import tax of 40%. There are many advantages to working with a trusted local distributor of reagents and equipment (who represents one or more well-known life sciences companies). Because the particular rules change frequently. a shipper’s export declarations. import permits and/or licenses. a bill of lading. for instance. an airway bill.LABELING MATTERS A case in point: In Thailand. and are often flexible or ambiguous. Because the rules are so complicated and often unclear. whereas those labeled “medical products” will not be cleared. For example. such as classification and valuation of products and payment of taxes and duties. and shipping options and requirements. a certificate of origin. Such individuals should also have familiarity with local customs and a track record of experience in the country or region. can have severe or expensive consequences. a commercial invoice. identifying and appointing a local agent to handle tasks such as clearing equipment or goods through customs can be far less expensive than attempting to manage the task yourself. and communicate such information to the original company if necessary. So knowledge of this particular piece of information could save a substantial sum of money. even if accurate. one of the most important pieces of advice is to identify experts who can handle the associated issues for you. documentation. IMPORTANT ISSUES AND PRACTICAL ADVICE EXPERT ASSISTANCE Because of the complexities of international shipping. Improper labeling. Customs regulations are extremely complex— they vary from country to country. A forwarder is an agent who facilitates international shipments. it is not generally possible for scientists to be aware of what rules are in place at a given time. an export packing list. because of the increased cost that will be passed on to the scientist. a consular invoice. Such an agent does not want a 40% tax if 10% is possible instead. insurance. and inspection certificates. anecdotal evidence suggests that in some regions of the world. and can be influenced by changing politics. in the long run it is time well invested. a freight forwarder. In addition. A good agent from a Thai forwarding company who is familiar with movement of scientific materials will be familiar with import taxes and with proper labeling. You might wonder if hiring a knowledgeable customs broker. and/or a customs broker. Abdoulaye Djimdé. Although this appears to be outside your role. proper labeling is critically important for cost-effective and timely passage through customs. As another example. whereas plastic laboratory ware labeled “laboratory equipment” has a tax of 10%. you will end up wasting much more time in sorting out all kinds of issues whenever you have to ship or receive research materials. labeling. These agents are familiar with both import and export regulations. the reverse is reported to be true in other regions of the world. a good agent should be aware of these subtleties. is worth the cost.

Though it is clearly illegal for the exporting company to be involved in such transactions. particularly large pieces of equipment. the line between corruption and MOVING MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT 171 . autoclaves. Thus. You might also contact well-known companies and ask them if they have a local partner in your region. In the United States.000 piece of equipment through customs. centrifuges. and several of the distributors and exporters interviewed for this chapter said that they assumed that money changes hands “under the table” when goods move across borders. and. there is a strong impetus for companies to comply with export licensing requirements. These regulations are meant to stop “dual-use” equipment or technologies—that is. A good knowledge of local conventions and practices can smooth the way for the efficient passage of a shipment through customs. for example. some items can be exported to Canada without a license. The level of corruption varies by region. who have worked in the region for a lengthy period of time and have been found to be trustworthy. and Syria). Myanmar (Burma). cross flow filtration CORRUPTION In some places. A high-quality distributor or customs agent will know these routines. and do not attempt to handle transactions yourself. EXPORT CONTROLS Federal export control regulations in the country where your materials originate can have large effects on how quickly you receive a given shipment. and other supplies. but also reagents. how experienced that partner is.000. but require a license for shipment elsewhere. but they have been more strictly interpreted and enforced since the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001. Government officials can interpret rules as they wish in certain countries. agents. North Korea. corruption is common and has large effects on the importation of goods. noncompliance can result in fees of up to $1. local traditions is sometimes hard to distinguish. buying an official lunch or bringing someone a special snack might be all that is needed to bring a $100. License requirements and restrictions also vary depending on the destination of the goods. many import fees in other countries are legitimate. Exporters mentioned that they preferred not to know about these operations. Iran. items that could potentially be used for both basic research and for military or terrorism purposes—from getting into the hands of terrorists or unfriendly governments. including computers and software. Furthermore. and obtaining such a license can take considerable time.IDENTIFYING DISTRIBUTORS AND AGENTS How does one go about identifying appropriate distributors and agents? The aim is to single out those with long track records. A large variety of equipment and technologies can be covered by these regulations. and if so. whichever is greater) per violation and imprisonment for up to 10 years. and importers. you might first search for another local scientist who has previously hired a specialist for that kind of transaction and had good results. fermenters. Licenses cannot be obtained in the United States for export to embargoed countries (presently Cuba. The general advice for scientists is similar: Follow the laws personally. Such practices appear less like bribery and more like politeness within the context of a given culture. leaving them in the hands of local distributors. even if the rules describing them are ambiguous. Whereas in some cases the import “fees” clearly serve only to supplement the income of certain officials. to recognize those with local agents that have legitimate connections with well-known biotechnology companies. Such requirements were put into place many years ago for reasons that included national security. The best way to discover which people and companies meet those criteria is to ask established scientists who have worked in the region for substantial periods of time. These regulations prohibit the export of certain materials without an export license issued by the government. Sudan. in the case of distributors. To find a specialist for a particular transaction. once the shipment is within the borders of another country. kits.000 (or up to five times the value of the export. it may be impossible to control what happens. Penalties for breaking these regulations can be severe—in the United States.

Instead. rather than in the country where you are. as well as ongoing service and maintenance. and toxins. generally do not result in long delays. filtration cartridges. and local people must be sent overseas to be trained or a service agent must be brought in from another country. What strategies could you use to avoid finding yourself in this situation? One approach is to work with a trusted local distributing agent from an early stage. it is more expensive to support one DNA sequencer or synthesizer in a country like Laos than it is to support the far greater number of these units in a country like France. they will sometimes turn a request for a quote over to a company with a local representative who does know the individuals in a particular region. A local representative also gains a sense of the types of work going on in individual laboratories. radiochemicals. it is important to note that most standard laboratory equipment and reagents do not require export licenses. rather than a foreign distributor or an unknown distributor without a track record. For example. Such a decision can have consequences beyond simply having the equipment arrive safely. This is because research scale quantities are small. In this regard. big companies without local representatives have become less willing to provide a quote for dual-use equipment or reagents unless they know who the end user will be. An experienced company representative will know the difference between equipment and reagents that could legitimately be used in laboratory experiments and those that are not legitimate. Most companies will provide information to you about exactly what types of equipment will require an export license. all contributing to the cost of supplying service. which have a legitimate use in protein purification. Even orders for radiochemicals. If you were to select the company based on the cheapest quote in this situation. There is no way around the potentially long delays in these instances. and radiation detectors. Despite these warnings. On a per-unit basis. Particularly since 2001. obtaining an export license for these items took about seven months. you would not have a local agent to rely on if the equipment requires servicing. The agent can work with you to put the required specifications for a piece of equipment and its 172 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . scientists may come out ahead in that they will receive a quote from a company able to supply local support. SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE Just as there are upfront costs associated with using a forwarding agent or customs broker that can in the end save money. the best you can do is to try to plan your orders well in advance of when you will need the equipment or supplies. that requirement might well leave you without equipment support. In some cases. These items can include such common equipment as pumps and valves. for example. Both large and small pieces of equipment often require technical support in the initial setup phase. and the types of radiochemicals used in biological experiments are not those used in the manufacture of weapons. In lowvolume countries. that ultimately represent money well spent. This situation might arise because the quote from the overseas company is based on the cost of support in Europe or North America. because similar processing steps can be used both in legitimate scientific experiments and in the production of biological or chemical weapons. medical or biological reagents. This issue is further complicated by the fact that funding organizations sometimes require scientists to obtain bids for large equipment and to accept the lowest bid. this is a problem in countries with a low volume of scientific equipment sold. which could be imagined to cause difficulties. can also be used in bioweapons manufacturing. education levels are generally lower. As just described. there can be costs associated with using an established local distributor associated with well-known companies. during the grant-writing process. Equipment or components used in processing (such as large-scale purification) are potentially problematic. as well as a variety of chemicals. freeze-drying equipment. obtaining an export license can add substantially to the time required to receive your shipment. In general.equipment. An overseas company without a local agent might well offer a given piece of equipment at a lower cost than a company with a local presence. and in one recent instance.

Installing fancy equipment in labs in the South should be done with great caution. and the scientist would have been out of luck if any sort of local support was needed. Ask your new colleagues about issues related to the infrastructure that might cause problems with your equipment or experiments. Learning or re-learning to distinguish when “yes” means “yes” would obviously be useful. which he did. My present laboratory in PNG is well-equipped with air conditioning and facilities for performing DNA-based assays. For example. it can be very useful to spend a month or two at your new job before starting to set up your laboratory. meaning that equipment needs to be supplied with the correct grounding devices. Working with the right local distributor can potentially prevent damage to your equipment or experiments. for example. This company was a local trading company and had no experience with scientific equipment whatsoever. the complications of materials transfer faced by any scientist in that region may be magnified for you because of a lack of recent knowledge of local customs and specific conditions. Remember to budget for equipment service by technicians from more developed countries. Papua New Guinea is a middle-income country with fewer energy problems compared to many West African countries. In this situation. because this scientist had provided very specific requirements about support in the grant application. it turned out that a person working in the WHO office in Manila gave unauthorized information to a cousin in Cambodia who worked for the local trading company. WHO required that the scientist obtain bids for the requested equipment. MOVING MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT 173 . Such specifications might include conditions such as: “Company supplying equipment must have a local engineer trained in product. even in settings that appear suitable. Philippines. A few weeks later. in some regions.associated service and maintenance contract into your grant proposal. Luckily for us we had a good service agreement. this very expensive equipment malfunctioned because the window air conditioner caused vibrations in the walls that made the laser readers alter the alignment. For example. Papua New Guinea ESTABLISHING A LABORATORY AFTER TRAINING ABROAD ” LOCAL CONDITIONS Knowledgeable local distributors and service personnel will also be familiar with specific problems in the local infrastructure that can affect equipment performance. so that companies that will not ultimately provide support are eliminated from consideration.000 Bioplex instrument for performing mosquito diagnostic assays and put it in a lab with window air conditioning. One of the bids came from an established local distributor. Moses Bockarie. After the details of this situation were sorted out. voltage fluctuations can be extremely large. the air conditioning is turned off at 6:00 PM. If you have done most of your training in a rich country.” Attention to this issue might also save you from dealing with companies with no scientific credentials at all. as the following example illustrates. but certainly could do nothing further. That cousin then attempted to undermine the tender of the established distributor by underbidding slightly. However. I recently bought a $60.” or “Company must have skilled technical support in the local time zone. where it is not uncommon for a person saying that he or she will do a certain task to have no intention of actually doing that task. The agent for that distributor received an email from another company asking for a quote for the piece of equipment with the exact specifications originally given to him by the scientist. A scientist working at the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia received funding from the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Manila. There are places. A period of re-familiarizing yourself may also allow you to re-adapt to differences in communications which can be quite striking between different countries. We had to fly in a technician from Australia to fix the problem.” “Company must have onsite technical support. he was able to purchase the equipment from the established distributor. in some places. The local trading company might have supplied the equipment.

Sending materials that are not properly packed. This type of circumstance provides another reason to rely on experts for handling passage through customs. need to be kept cold during shipment to retain viability or performance. Most materials are under warranty. and antisera throughout the world. Sometimes biological samples can be shipped spotted on filter paper. In this situation. Obviously. a central source of malaria-related organisms and reagents managed by the ATCC. Professional assistance might be required if there are incompatibilities between the laws of the country exporting the animals and those of the country importing them. If the recipient has made arrangements for clearing materials through customs.atcc. Papua New Guinea PHYSICAL CHALLENGES TO SHIPPING MATERIALS LONG DISTANCES TEMPERATURE ” ANIMALS AND PLANTS Importing animals or plants can present particular challenges. Some countries require Veterinary Many biological materials and reagents. Again.org). and shipping is less expensive. techniques for shipping that bypass the need to keep materials cold are used. animal-derived products from one country might be of greater concern than the same products from another country. for example. and reputable companies will replace missing or broken items for free if you can show that the damage happened while the materials were the seller’s responsibility or in the hands of the seller’s agent (for example. Some variations on this theme are possible. because the regulations don’t exist in your country. fungi.” “FOB” means “Free on Board” or “Freight on Board” and is used to indicate when responsibility for the shipment transfers to the recipient. except to countries restricted by the United States government. shipping delays are not as deleterious. who is responsible? Materials can be sent “FOB origin” or “FOB destination. plant seeds. cell lines. The requirements of the importing country may vary depending on the identity of the exporting country.RESPONSIBILITY FOR MATERIALS If an order goes astray and never arrives. For example. if materials are stable at ambient temperatures. may result in them being impounded in other ports where strict rules apply. www. org/) is a bioresource center that ships biological materials such as bacteria. materials damaged because of delays in customs would not be replaced by the shipper. viruses. Certificates for animal-derived materials and Phytosanitary Certificates for plant-derived materials.” the supplier is responsible until the scientist receives and accepts the material by signing off when a shipment arrives. mr4. the Malaria Research and Reference Reagent Resource Center (MR4. depending on the terms agreed upon for shipping. ships monkey blood infected with Plasmodium 174 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . There may be quarantine requirements depending on the species and country involved. http://www. protozoa. Always pack your samples following international shipping rules. because the regulations can vary a great deal depending on the country. The American Type Culture Collection (ATCC. however.” the shipper is responsible for getting it to Miami and the recipient is responsible for getting it from there to his or her own country.malaria. he or she might become responsible for the shipment when it reaches customs. Information about which treaties the country enforces and the local laws can be obtained from the country’s consulate or its Web site. For example. When businesses send materials “FOB destination. If an item is “FOB Miami. a broker familiar with these regulations can provide invaluable assistance. If possible. ranging from frozen tissue culture cells to enzymes and vaccines. the seller’s shipping contractor). Moses Bockarie.

(iii) communications with that company. heat-sensitive materials [see. ” MOVING MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT 175 . which must be shipped frozen. and this delay was not communicated to us and shipment arrived at the weekend or over the holidays. Additionally. It is very important to keep track of the reagents during their transportation to their destination so that appropriate arrangements can be made to collect them as soon as possible after their arrival in an effort to avert their loss. You may or may not be involved in cold chain management if you are on the receiving end of a shipment. freeze-drying is both expensive and time-consuming. in this manner. who the customs broker is. If you are sending heat-sensitive items to distant colleagues. customs paperwork should be ready before the item is shipped. and is not an alternative that would necessarily be available to individual scientists. thus resulting in the loss of these expensive reagents. They should know. and the hours when packages can be received by the recipient. MR4. sterile. gelatinized water packets (Napa Nectar TM) instead of in bottles or through other moisture sources.com). ATCC uses freight forwarders who accompany materials through customs. the expected temperature at both the sending and receiving ends) and the length of time the shipment should take. transfers mosquito vectors of human malaria as eggs on damp filter paper. for example. Freeze-drying is sometimes used to stabilize certain microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) and some products such as enzymes. html).com/) or World Courier (www. “Qualified” (or tested) packaging systems are available from packaging vendors with a focus on the pharmaceutical and biotechnology communities. Some airline networks have procedures to handle such shipments. Quick International Courier (http://www. and make sure that funds will be on hand for payment of those taxes. That option is not inexpensive. however. Diagnostic antigens and small quantities of DNA can be extracted from these samples. important points to consider are (i) packaging. for example. uses specialized plastic containers for shipping.worldcourier. it is important to consider the issues carefully. (ii) choice of shipping company.jax. and (iv) necessary documentation. which ships mouse strains for biomedical research to countries throughout the world.org/index. Zimbabwe VIABILITY The requirements for keeping organisms viable during shipping vary enormously depending on the species. and such couriers will use those airlines. The cold chain was broken. It is important to communicate with the courier early to work through important steps of the process. The Jackson Laboratory (http://www.falciparum. Specialized couriers that deal with pharmaceutical products and reagents for the life sciences can provide door-to-door service to most countries. Finally. You should establish what documentation is needed for both import and export before shipping. discussed above. In brief. you should know who will pay the duty and value-added tax when an item is imported. If materials must be kept frozen. To move materials as quickly and efficiently as possible. it is essential that good “cold chain management” is used (discussed in more detail below). Packaging must be determined after you establish the extremes in temperature the shipment will likely encounter (considering. and might represent a good choice for sending important. but cannot be used for other types of materials such as tissue culture cells. It stresses that many failures to maintain the desired temperature come about because of insufficient planning.quickintl. one of the parasites that causes malaria. who to contact if there is a delay. Water is provided for mice in prepackaged. An excellent article about this topic is listed in this chapter’s Resources section (page 176). One important challenge that we have faced is that once or twice shipment of reagents was delayed en route to us. Susan Mutambu. Furthermore. Microbial cultures are often sent as stab cultures in microtubes (which are small and hard to break) at ambient temperatures. for example.

Access to such information allows scientists to compare prices. Courier companies are familiar with the required international guidelines for packaging biohazardous material and generally advise the researchers about the correct procedures. the application for the U. This article is available at the Quick International Courier site: http://www. with catalogs.RECENT IMPROVEMENTS IN MATERIALS TRANSFER This chapter has emphasized some of the difficulties associated with shipping laboratory equipment and reagents to countries in the developing world. and Latin America as compared to the situation just ten years ago. Cell phones are now almost ubiquitous among scientists and those who work in materials transfer.com). Improved communications have also resulted in much greater availability of product information for scientists. is available from this site: http://books. however. product specifications. Broadband internet connections are very good in many regions of the world now. are described on this site: http://www.phmsa.com) and DHL (http://www. Planning for Your Cold Chain Shipment: The Forgotten Science of Clinical Research and Development. php?isbn=0309101107. pp.com). Catizone.worldcourier. its use can dramatically reduce the cost of direct international communications. It is important to realize. A number of international shippers are now very well established in many locations. providing improved infrastructure for shipping. is now available in a broad range of countries.com) have local offices and couriers in many locations. Brian Eley.iata. RESOURCES D. The IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations Manual is available from this site: http://www. BioProcessing Journal.pdf. For researchers collaborating with colleagues in the United States.com/. that the situation has undergone dramatic improvement in the recent past. www.edu/openbook. Skype (http://www. distributors. 2-4. or vectors of human disease can be found at: http://www. as discussed above. September/October 2005. which routes voice conversations over the Internet.iata.dhl. These changes mean that limitations to communications—both technical and financial—among scientists. because costs of equipment and other materials can be significantly higher in developing versus developed regions of the world. support staff.S. another major international courier company.nap.fedex. Public Health Service permit to import or transport etiologic agents. skype. Institute for Laboratory Animal Research. Despite these improvements. This ability can lead to surprises or misunderstandings.org/ps/publications/lar. Guidelines for the Humane Transportation of Research Animals (2006).cdc. Eastern Europe. which are strikingly enhanced in Southeast Asia. South Africa ” 176 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE .org/ps/publications/dgr. they tend to assist us to obtain the necessary export licenses. The IATA Live Animal Regulations manual is available from this site: http://www. some of which are discussed above. also leading to improvements in materials transfer. and other key agents generally no longer represent a bottleneck in the materials transfer process. allowing easy communication by email. Sources for a number of publications about international requirements for shipping dangerous goods. The biggest change is in communications. In addition. North Africa. One key reason for these differences is the increased support costs in the latter.htm. Federal Express (FedEx. and sometimes prices available online. For example. barriers remain for transfer of materials to and from the developing world.gov/od/eaipp/forms/Permit_to_Import_or_ Transport_Etiologic_Agents_Hosts_or_Vectors_of_Human_ Diseases_fillable1-17.quickintl.dot. is particularly good with cold chain preservation and clinical materials.gov/hazmat/regs/international#icao. World Courier (http://www. hosts.

” —Joan Baez “All progress is precarious.” —Benjamin Franklin “Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.” —Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi “Failure is just part of the culture of innovation.” —Louis Pasteur “One never notices what has been done.” —Confucius “If you want happiness for a lifetime – help the next generation. if thou meanest to get leisure. Jr.” —Harvey Mackay “In nature there is nothing superfluous.” —Martin Luther King. qui sont souvent des cicatrices de l’histoire. so does failure. La connaissance est une.” —Juan Luis Vives “Ciencia es una manera de interpretar la realidad que desecha dogmas. we asked researchers to submit quotes for potential inclusion at the beginnings of chapters. Accept it and become stronger.” —Dalai Lama “A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.” “Success leaves clues.” —Albert Schweitzer “A man of ability and desire to accomplish something can do anything.” —Albert Yu “He who is well prepared has half won the battle.” “You miss 100% of the shots you do not take. don’t lose the lesson.” “If there is no wind.” “Positive attitudes…come in unlimited quantities.” —Marie Curie “No hay riqueza tan segura como un amigo seguro. milagros y el principio de autoridad. “La science n’a pas de patrie. par -delà les frontières. and we have included a selection of those not used to head chapters here so that readers may enjoy them.” —Donald Kircher “Action is the antidote to despair. one can only see what remains to be done.” —Harvey Mackay “When you lose. Many of them were wonderful. and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem. row.” —Chinese proverb “It is better to build bridges than walls. “All the technology in the world will never replace a positive attitude. Everybody can have one free.” —Portuguese proverb “Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Elle est en effet le patrimoine commun de l’humanité. together we can do so much.” —Swahili Proverb APPENDIX 177 .” —Benjamin Franklin “Anger is never without reason. about training with Bernardo Houssay “A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.” —Helen Keller “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” —Averroes “There is no shortcut to any place worth going. but seldom with a good one.APPENDIX QUOTATIONS In the course of putting this book together.” —Harvey Mackay “Alone we can do so little.” —Marcelino Cereijido.” —Benjamin Franklin “Employ thy time well.

” —David McCullough “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Working together is success.” —Charles Darwin ”Coming together is a beginning.” —Louis Pasteur “Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege.” —Tom Cech 178 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE . You’re not just a passenger anymore—you have responsibilities.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe “Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient. Ninety-five percent of the new science in the world is created in the countries comprising only one-fifth of the world’s population.” —Jesse Jackson “…the way in which scientific endeavors are pursued around the world is marked by clear inequalities. On the other hand.” —Elizabeth Dole “Divide and rule. generally spend much less than 1 percent of their gross domestic product on scientific research. you have to pay for the gas.” —Sir Francis Bacon “Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.” —Mickey Rooney “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.” —David Ogilvy “No hay riqueza tan seguar como un amigo seguro” —Juan Luis Vives “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. Keeping together is progress. but the one most responsive to change. Use it. With courage and initiative.” —Aristotle “Success is not the key to happiness. once policy is determined.“Knowledge is power. If you love what you are doing. Unite and lead. you call on them to help you sell it. a sound motto. conference a ready man.” —Oprah Winfrey “You always pass failure on the way to success.” —Aristotle “What you always do before you make a decision is consult. then leave them to get on with it. Happiness is the key to success.” —Sir Francis Bacon “Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love. And much of that science—in the realm of health.. and writing an exact man. It is never any use to oneself. Now you have the freedom to go where you want to go and go as fast as you want to go. whereas rich countries devote between 2 and 3 percent.Look for people who will aim for the remarkable. nor the most intelligent. leadership is doing the right things.” —Henry Ford “One sure-fire way to stay creative: force yourself to learn something new.” —Albert Schweitzer “Time is neutral and does not change things. you will be successful. for example—neglects the problems that afflict most of the world’s people..” —Peter Drucker “Hire people who are better than you are. Developing countries.” —Kofi Annan “Starting your own lab is a lot like getting your driver’s license: it’s an exhilarating time.” —Harvey Mackay “Reading maketh a full man. a better one.” —Sir Winston Churchill “Management is doing things right. The best public policy is made when you are listening to people who are going to be impacted. Dwell in possibility.” —Christopher Lasch “It is not the strongest of the species that survive. leaders change things. Then. The number of scientists in proportion to population in the developing countries is 10 to 30 times smaller than in developed countries. for example.” —Oscar Wilde “To know how to wonder is the first step of the mind toward discovery. who will not settle for the routine.

medical.ACRONYMS AC/AQ ATCC BIO CAS CBD CIIT CIOMS CITES Artesunate/amodiaquine American Type Culture Collection Biotechnology Industry Organization Chinese Academy of Science Convention on Biodiversity Collaborative Institutional Training Institute Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative GLP GMP GRIP HINARI IATA Good Laboratory Practice Good Manufacturing Practice NIH Fogarty International Center Global Research Initiative Program WHO Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative International Air Transport Association IATA LAR Live Animal Regulations ICAO ICAOTI ICGEB ICH International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO Technical Instructions International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Independent Ethics Committee International Maritime Organization Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale. the French national agency dedicated to biological. the Argentinian national research agency CSR CV DG DHL NIH Center for Scientific Review Curriculum vitae Dangerous Goods A German-owned international shipping company. Hillblom and Lynn” but now stand alone Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative European Patent Office Fixed dose combination NIH Fogarty International Center NIH Fogarty International Research Collaboration Award General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Good Clinical Practice Global Health Research Institute ICMJE IEC IMO INSERM IP IRB IRID IVF JPO KIPO LAR MIM DNDi EPO FDC FIC FIRCA GATT GCP GHRI APPENDIX 179 . and public health research Intellectual Property Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Independent Ethics Committee NIH International Research in Infectious Diseases Program In vitro fertilization Japan Patent Office Korea Patent Office (IATA-LAR) Live Animal Regulations of the IATA Multilateral Initiative on Malaria CITI CONICET Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. The initials DHL originally stood for “Dalsey.

National Institutes of Health Office International des Épizooties (World Organization for Animal Health) Program Announcement Polymerase Chain Reaction Patent Cooperation Treaty Program (or Project) Evaluation and Review Technique Principal Investigator Public/Private Partnership Quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization RFP RFA SIPO SRA TA TDR TRIPs UNICEF USPTO WBS WHO WIPO WMA WTO Request for Proposals Request for Applications China Patent Office NIH Scientific Review Administrator Teaching Assistant (WHO-TDR) WHO Tropical Disease Research program Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights United Nations Children’s Fund United States Patent and Trademark Office Work Breakdown Structure The World Health Organization World Intellectual Property Organization World Medical Association World Trade Organization 180 EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE .MOU MR4 NGO NIAID NIH OIE PA PCR PCT PERT PI PPP QANGO Memorandum of Understanding Malaria Research and Reference Reagent Resource Center Non-governmental organization NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases U.S.






To be a scientist is both a privilege and a passion. and perhaps governments. regions. healthier. and philosophers of the past and the future.5K . but launching a career in science is difficult. scholars. 9-09-2. We hope the insights in this book will help you build a career where you aim higher. Wherever it is done. and perform better than what you may have thought would be your best. and longer. it connects us to the scientists. and can improve the economies of nations. A RESOURCE FOR SCIENTISTS LAUNCHING RESEARCH CAREERS IN EMERGING SCIENCE CENTERS Science is an international endeavor.E X C E L L E N C E E V E R Y W H E R E from being a good team player to being an independent thinker and driver of your own work. organizations. reach farther. Our work as a scientific community can make human lives better. and the world. from bringing out the best in the people with whom you work to being an accurate and respected authority whose fairness and good ideas are known to other researchers. Success as a scientist will depend on many things—from intelligence and creativity to luck.

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