How to Manage People as a New Investigator

Rebecca Helton, MA

We recently hosted three newly independent investigators who run research teams humming with activity and people, who told us what it takes to manage a lab full of humans in all their idiosyncratic glory.  Here are their tips: Defining Expectations and Gathering Feedback Define your expectations of your team members and communicate them clearly and […]

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Don't Miss the Deal Breakers: Nine Questions for New Lab Staff Hires

Fighty Squirrel, PhD, Awe.Some.

Hooray! You’ve set up a lab. You have a scale and everything. Now the applicants are pounding down your door looking forward to helping you get the Nobel Prize. Before you hire the most enthusiastic person with the best grades, be sure you include some questions that could be deal breakers even for the candidates […]

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Go Pee. Academic Management Lessons I Learned from Audie Cornish.

Fighty Squirrel, PhD, Awe.Some.

This is Audie Cornish. Audie is my 1-year old Shiba Inu/Rottweiler mix who never has to pee. This is odd, because most larger mammals have a pretty pressing need to pee a couple of times a day. But not Audie. She shuns the whimpering, sad-eyed looks of other pets and sits there happily doing whatever she’s […]

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How to Interview the Hell Out of Academic Job Candidates

Fighty Squirrel, PhD, Awe.Some.

One of my favorite parts of being a faculty member is interviewing students, fellows and future faculty members. For reasons that elude my tiny Fighty Squirrel brain, folks think if you are a female and people liked you when they interviewed, it means you are nice. I’m not particularly nice. Ask my kids. What I […]

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Productivity Tip #7: Reclaim Your Meeting

The Edge for Scholars

How often do you hear a colleague say, “I’m so excited to attend today’s group meeting,” or a student remark, “How is it possible that my group meetings are so stimulating and engaging?” What’s that? You’ve never heard anyone say those things? Me neither. I dread meetings for the same reason that everyone does: They’re […]

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Managing a Budget as a New Investigator

Rebecca Helton, MA

Got your R and the realities of budget management sinking in? Want to prepare yourself financially to get to that R? Three newly independent investigators at Vanderbilt shared their wisdom with Newman Society members today.

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Nine New Year's Resolutions for Academics

Fighty Squirrel, PhD, Awe.Some.

Think, write, teach, discover and read. These are the things we love and why we joined this great profession, but so many things are in your way and killing your joy. Our resident Fighty Squirrel offers a couple resolutions and protips to let you do the thing you love. Your job. Enjoy and Happy New […]

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Why I LOVE Quartzy and You Should Too…

Amy Palubinsky

You know all of those crazy excel files of chemicals and reagents and that ever-growing binder of MSDS sheets? Well that information can all be accessible to lab members with a quick login. Quartzy is an online lab management program that will get anyone’s attention whom has even the slightest bit of OCD or is […]

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Up Your Academic Gift Game - Your Worker Bees Will LOVE This

Fighty Squirrel, PhD, Awe.Some.

Ho, ho, holy cow…it’s the most stressful time of the year. The one where you look at people in your group, realize that they are 20 years younger than you and wonder: What in the heck do these crazy kids want for the holidays How can I get it for about $30, and How do […]

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The Puzzle of Motivation

Rebecca Helton, MA

This TED talk is a few years old, but if you haven't seen it yet, and especially if you manage anyone (including yourself!), you need to. He presents a case for why the sweetest carrots and the sharpest sticks pale compared to intrinsic motivation.

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