Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thought leadership

I just stumbled across the blog Morgan on Science as I was searching for some tips on writing the specific aims portion of an NIH grant. Morgan Giddings is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Microbiology & Immunology, Biomedical Engineering, and Computer Science. I bring her to your attention because her mission neatly dovetails with that of BANDIT:

"Scientists go through many years of specialized training to learn how to do great science. But doing “great science” is only one part of having a great science career. The unfortunate thing is that most people receive little to no training in the “other stuff” that it takes to succeed in science. That “other stuff” includes things like marketing, managing money, managing people, and managing time. People like me who have climbed up the science career ladder have had to learn these things, usually by trial-and-error, and sometimes by getting lucky and having a really good mentor. But career success in science shouldn’t be a matter of luck. What is lacking is a systematized approach, e.g. a “blueprint” for success. I created this blog to develop such a blueprint. My goal is to help people figure out the “other stuff” that it takes to succeed in science."

From a recent blog post on women in science careers, Morgan offers this advice, again taking a page from the BANDIT playbook:
"Learn to promote yourself. A lot of us are really bad about this. We can’t promote ourselves, without feeling like we are violating some social taboo. But you won’t get anywhere in science (or life) without effectively promoting yourself. I’m not talking about standing up and saying “look at me, I’m great, I need to be appreciated.” That doesn’t work (I’ve tried, and that was a miserable failure). I’m talking about more subtle aspects of persuasion. Take, for example, my willingness to write on this blog, and take a stand on some issues here. That gets me recognized for some thought leadership. Ask yourself: is doing that an effective promotion of Morgan? If you answered “yes,” then find ways to do things like that... So, become a thought leader in your field. For example, organize a conference… write review articles … start a blog … or whatever."

1 comment:

  1. Bandit Julienne,

    So true! I wish you could have taken my workshop (which did not exist at the time) at SFBR on grantsmanship. One of the things I share with the group is this transcript of a talk given by Richard Hamming. He reflects back on lessons learned in his career: