Pick any two

Feb 09 2011 Published by under Careerism

OMG, this is so true it hurts:

Anyway, he said that it is very rare to have all three: students, money and data. He said that usually it took two out of the three to get the third, and by the time you were close to getting the third, one of the other two was vanishing

Grant money, data stream or awesome postdocs.

Pick. Any. Two.

7 responses so far

  • Namnezia says:

    Unless of course you don't have to pay all the students. That's why I make my students apply to as many things as possible when they join the lab (with mixed success). It does not detract much from their research because they use most of what they wrote for their prelims anyway. It also helps to be in a program with several training grants.

  • physioprof says:

    That's the dumbest shitte I've ever heard. If you have two of those, and you're not a fucken dumshitte, the third comes along.

  • brooksPhD says:

    Lab going well then PP?

  • drugmonkey says:

    Not all of us crap rainbows and unicorns like you do PP...

  • GMP says:

    Not sure how one can have grant money and a data stream and not have awesome trainees. Who is then generating the awesome data?

    In my experience it's always about having one of the two: quality students/postdocs or money. Sometimes, when I have a chance to recruit several stellar people, I don't know if I will have the money in and cannot commit. Conversely, when I do have the money, the people I can choose from are not all that great.

  • arrzey says:

    One of the hardest things to learn is how to have a stash of good data that can be mined for papers when the other two conditions hold. This is easier in fields where PhD students & post-docs are more independent of the lab/prof (things like ecology/evolution/biomechanics). I can remember listening to a piece of deadwood whinge that he had no money, so he couldn't have students, so he couldn't get data, so he couldn't publish, so he couldn't get money. I was fairly junior at the time and thought he was possibly the biggest ass I had come across in a long time.

    One of the other hardest things to learn is to keep a pipeline of papers in different stages of development (this doesn't mean 10's of papers, it could mean 2-3) so that something is always coming out (goes without saying, it should be a GOOD and SOLID something). In my experience on study sections, productivity is more important than waiting for that pub in Journal of Glamour Studies.

  • AcademicLurker says:

    One of the hardest things to learn is how to have a stash of good data that can be mined for papers when the other two conditions hold.

    Definitely true. I think DM touched on this many posts ago. It's best to have several projects at several stages, including a backlog of "Oh yeah, I meant to finish that manuscript x months ago didn't I?" stuff. It helps avoid awkward gaps in productivity.

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