Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Reader's Question

It's been quiet around here lately. I hope you aren't all waiting for me to finish my academic research careers series before posting! :-)

Anyway, Scattered Scientist asked a question in the comments on my last post to which I don't know the answer, so I thought I would re-post the question here:

I'm interested in something that would involve a lot of grant writing and data analysis/experiment planning, some mentoring of students and giving of presentations, and little to no regularly scheduled teaching or bench work. Being an academic PI is not totally out of the question, but I'm uneasy about the tenure clock and teaching frequently as well as managing the totality of responsibilities. Something at a national lab might work well, so I'd like to find out more about the employment structure in similar organizations. (I'm not in the bio area.)

In my field, the closest match to this description would probably be a tenure-track PI position, although the NIH or CDC might have similar positions without the teaching and/or tenure clock. I don't really know much about national labs, and particularly positions in non-bioscience fields, so if any of you--authors and readers--have any thoughts on this or information on national labs and similar organizations, please share in the comments!

On a different note, DrDrA has given us an award...thanks! This one has already made its rounds through the science blogosphere, so instead of tagging other blogs, I'll simply point you in the direction of our "Contributing Authors" list in the sidebar. It contains links to the personal blogs of many of our authors, so if you really want to know what our alternative careers are like, that's the place to go!


Anonymous said...

Soft-money PI position in a university-affiliated institute sounds like the perfect fit.

Anonymous said...

Also, while I normally encourage researchers to think about these things earlier rather than later, not-even-second-year of grad school is maybe a little too early to stress about them!