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January 25, 2008

Opportunities: The Curse of Brains

Intellectually smart people sometimes analyze so much that they delay taking any action while creating for themselves a great deal of mental work and anxiety.

November 16, 2007

Opportunities: The Golden Chapter

Within about 4 months, J. received three offers for faculty positions.

September 13, 2002

The Perseverance of a Physics Major

"Sometimes you might have a problem with a professor; sometimes you might feel that you are losing time; and then later you might feel that you are not good enough or that you don’t have what it takes."

May 11, 2007

Opportunities: More School?

A Ph.D. is great on fundamentals--it teaches you how to make something completely on your own--but it falls short on the practical stuff every entrepreneur has to master.

September 14, 2007

Opportunities: The Most Important Venture Capitalist

Government grants for technology-based businesses are very similar to those you might win in academia, but because they are given to small businesses, there is an added focus on technology commercialization.

July 13, 2007

Opportunities: The Accidental Consultant

You don’t have to leave scientific training to have an enjoyable (and lucrative) side business as a technical consultant.

March 13, 2009

Opportunities: Kauffman's Twelve

A new fellowship program from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation will prepare 12 life-scientist fellows each year to commercialize their research findings.

June 08, 2007

Opportunities: From PDF to IPO, One Scientist's Journey

"Listen to everyone who has something to say, file the opinions, and make your own decisions anyway." --Avi Spier

April 13, 2007

Opportunities: A Day in the Life, Part 2

It was like being a first-year graduate student and having long, one-on-one meetings with Harold Varmus, Francis Crick, and Craig Venter.

March 09, 2007

Opportunities: Breadth Versus Depth

Being the best in the world holds little meaning if it is with respect to an infinitesimal niche of science that only you inhabit.

February 16, 2007

Opportunities: A Day in the Life

He knew his invention would not have the impact it could have unless he led its introduction into the commercial market.

January 12, 2007

Opportunities: Insubordination

The culmination of the Ph.D. is supposed to be the creation of an independent and self-sufficient scientist who can continue to contribute to the scientific enterprise.

December 08, 2006

Opportunities: Intellectual Property, Part 2

Find that agreement your employer made you sign, and read it very carefully.

November 12, 2004

Academic Spinoff: SunPower

Solar power may have fallen quickly out of public view, but Richard Swanson remained intrigued by the challenge.

November 10, 2006

Opportunities: Intellectual Property, Part 1

If you remain in science, it is almost certain that at some point in your career you will invent something--or be working on a team that invents something--that has potential commercial value.

October 22, 1999

Bias: Identifying, Understanding and Mitigating Negative Biases in your Job Search

Nowhere are biases more prominently displayed than in the job search.

October 13, 2006

Opportunities: Stealing Time

Can you imagine what it would be like if painters, playwrights, and composers had to produce their product in 5- to 10-minute bites between committee meetings and proposal reviews?

September 08, 2006


The missing element, very likely, is a habit of mind: the constant, vigilant search for opportunities to make a difference.

November 13, 2009

A Scientist Finds a Niche

Dean Pearson overcame a slow and difficult start to make a difference observing ecological communities.

October 07, 2005

What a Difference 10 Years Makes

Some of the most important lessons only happen when scientists take their newly honed skills out into the job market.