Academic FOMO

Paolo Braiuca https://www.flickr.com/photos/braiu_74/26557402071

I have blogged before about the guilt often experienced by new academic parents, now from maternity leave number two I give you: academic FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out. An anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media. Right […]

It ain’t braggin’ if you back it up

By Cpl. Krista James (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1985915) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve just realised that this week’s quote was actually by Muhammad Ali.  Is it bad that I know it from a Kid Rock song?  My taste in music does baffle, I’ve now quoted Bon Jovi and Kid Rock on this blog – I will try for a Judas Priest quote next! It’s […]

Incredibly useful PubMed search tools you wish you knew earlier 

“I need to do some reading on this.” This past week I have spent a lot of time on PubMed.  So today I’m following up from a previous post on teaching students and early career researchers more efficient strategies to search and retrieve medical/life science literature. This post will focus on a couple of […]

On academic motherhood

“Work-life balance doesn’t exist for me; I don’t believe in unicorns” I share this viewpoint that my work is a part of my life in which I also happen to be a mother and Lady Dr of the household.  I’m not attempting to combine work and family, I am combining work and […]

Access denied!

“It is bad academic practice to limit your search to only literature that is open access.” A key area of frustration for undergraduate life science students in smaller and/or less research intense universities is the difficulties associated with accessing full text restricted access journal articles on the web.  It is challenging enough to perform a […]

Happy new academic year

Welcome to Northampton! This week we are welcoming new students to the university (perhaps the subject of next week’s blog…) but over the last couple of weeks I’ve been experiencing my very own welcome as a new member of staff. I’m excited to see how Weekademia will grow and evolve here […]

53 resources to navigate the academic job market

Job hunting is stressful and time consuming but with careful research and preparation it can be a positive and rewarding experience*.  Having recently survived the process I’m using this weeks post to compile a list of online resources for navigating the academic job market, broken down by category and interspersed with my own personal tips. Develop […]

Who says you can’t go home? Part II

I have one cat in a cardboard box and another sat on my P45; it is really happening!  As alluded to in Part I, I am relocating out of London back home to the Midlands to start a new job as a lecturer.   So who says you can’t go home?  Well; academia […]

Making the most of academic conferences

I stumbled upon an interesting blog series this week by a PhD student, Owl_Meat, on “Harsh truths and bad conferences” (part 1, part 2 and part 3). “Conferences can be terrible.” I have been there, done that.  I have been the awkward poster tube hauling lonely academic wondering who on Earth will come and […]

A little bit of neuroscience

This week I attended the 6th annual UCL Neuroscience Symposium.  In true Weekademia fashion, here are my highlights told through some cracking quotes… “Although you are a Nazi and a fascist, I would appreciate any advice on ways to reduce risks in my family.” Dr Elvira Bramon gave an insightful talk on the genetics and biological […]

Academic professionalism

Not surprisingly, this week’s post is somewhat inspired by ‘those’ comments from Sir Tim Hunt.  Let’s talk about academic professionalism. Is academia an unprofessional profession? What does professionalism in academia mean to you?  To me it goes beyond the Oxford dictionary definition of ‘the competence or skill expected of a professional’.  […]

That’s one small step for an academic, one giant leap for academia

“We want more of you!” This week I attended a small ceremony to celebrate my recent qualification as an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and that’s the point of this post – it was small. If you are not familiar with the UK professional standards framework (UKPSF) and HEA fellowships then read […]

Top tips to keep imposter syndrome at bay

This ‘thought for today’ notice at a tube station got my attention this week. I am guilty. I have spent a lot of time worrying lately and I am not alone.  In academia we worry about job security, budgets, grant applications, publications, time and project management, teaching, work-life balance – you name it.  Not to […]

Celebrating 268 years of clinical trials

On the 20th May we celebrated international clinical trials day as well as research awareness week at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) so it seems particularly fitting this week to blog about research. International clinical trials day commemorates the start of the first clinical trial by the British naval physician James Lind in 1747.  Lind […]

A most monumental academic cock-up

Lately my twitter and blog reader are inundated with chatter about end of year exams and graduation.  So this week I’m going to tell you the story of my most monumental academic cock-up… Upon graduating from my BSc degree I was something like 2% away from a 1st and was called in for a viva for the opportunity […]

The great academic space debate

“Where is my chair, come on who’s taken my chair?  No!  My chair was blue” This weeks quote was said in jest during a hilarious ten minutes of searching for ‘the chair’ as if it was a lost iPhone.  ‘Chairgate’ coincided with an e-mail circular announcing a policy to increase the amount of ‘agile working’: “…where the majority […]

Your academic tour guide: a.k.a the mentor

“I don’t know how academia works.” This week I met a new mentee through a university-wide mentoring scheme. We are from completely different faculties, departments and fields and I think this kind of interdisciplinary mentoring is fantastic.  It fosters complete honesty by both parties and in my case has meant I am exploring […]

10 steps to a successful manuscript cover letter

“What goes in the cover letter then?” Something a little snappier this week. I was approached by a colleague the other day for advice on writing a cover letter for a manuscript. Here are my quick tried and tested, waffle free tips: Address it to a named editor – but […]

How to connect the life science curriculum

Feeling slightly lost without a poster on exon skipping, this week I attended my first teaching and learning conference.  The theme was connected curriculum and this week’s post was inspired by what, for me, was the key take home message: “Teaching and research belong together and we are going to reunite them.”   I […]

In the midst

Sparked by the shock resignation of Sarepta CEO Chris Garabedian; this week I am reviewing the relationship between academia and industry and sharing my perspective as a postdoc working in the midst. My research is focused on a ‘rare’ childhood muscle disorder called Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).  Rare disease expertise typically resides in the clinic, academia and […]

What’s wrong with a teaching-focused career path?

“While you will certainly be an excellent teacher, are you sure about your career choice?” What kind of question is that?  I am hardly switching from scientific research to bricklaying (although by recent accounts I would make a fortune!), but simply have expressed an interest in becoming teaching-focused.  I do not wish […]