An excellent article has just been published on the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) blog, by Pinar Gurel and Adriana Bankston, summarizing recent efforts by the Future of Research and collaborating organizations on mentoring. In the article, they provide great advice for graduate students and postdocs seeking to expand and improve their mentoring networks or looking to begin in a new lab.
People have compared choosing a mentor and project to a marriage, even if it’s only one that lasts less time (though sometimes PhDs can be long, and marriages short…). For a long time now, people have been using sites like match.com that use different algorithms to match people based on compatibility. It seems like academia might get a similar networking tool for pairing mentors and trainees. It would be interesting to see how some of the features on dating sites are tweaked to fit the mentor/mentee culture. Check out the small article in nature here.
During my position as an RA, my supervisor was not really a problem per se, and my experience of research in the first 1-2 months made me accept a PhD position that was offered to me ahead of time. However, after the “new” feeling wore off, I saw the stark reality of the lab environment I was in. The lab members were *****y, jealous, and highly competitive. Continue reading