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23 October, 2015
in FENS News
You are not alone: Selecting your group members and leading an outstanding research team
Ileana L. Hanganu-Opatz, Manuel Mameli, Ragnhildur Thóra Káradóttir andTara L Spires-Jones
Being hired in a faculty position is the pot of gold at the end of the scientific training rainbow. After years of education and postdoctoral training, this first faculty job is a thrilling progression in a scientific career that allows us to develop our own research program and pursue the questions that most interest us, but starting a lab from scratch comes with a unique set of pressures and struggles. Luckily, Principle Investigators (PIs) don't have to walk alone, as most build teams to work with. Thus, one of the first and most important things to do at this critical career stage is to recruit team members. Subsequently, the PI leads and guides the group both in terms of the scientific projects and facilitating the career progression of the team members. While scientists are generally very well trained in designing and running experiments, most of us do not receive much, if any, training in the organizational skills needed for managing a group of people and inspiring them to do great work and plan for the future. This is a problem because proper selection, training, and mentoring of team members are essential to achieve scientific aims.
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