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1. Make yourself understood
Contents:


  1. How to Succeed in Science, According to Some of the World's Brightest Female Scientists
  2. From Postdoc to Professor
  3. I am just an average scientist – what can I do?

Hiring committees see passing an external peer review process, such as those that dole out research grants, as a strong indicator of future success.


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To begin with, write proposals with your PI and attend any grant-writing courses on offer at your institution. Jacqueline Fairley, a third-year postdoc at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, followed this process step-by-step. As well as keeping your friends happy, there are professional benefits to extracurricular activities. To help you get over your reticence, talk to their postdocs instead. From there, you can work your way up to the big cheese.

To really make an impact, boost your social skills.

How to Succeed in Science, According to Some of the World's Brightest Female Scientists

When postdocs first start at the medical school where Timmins is administrative director, she teaches them how to shake hands properly. Collect a group of people who know your work and will offer support and guidance throughout your career. Fairley has built three different groups during her postdoc.

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The first, her peers, support one another in their struggles to finish their postdocs and find a job. The second are young faculty members. Planning your postdoctoral career from the start will put you ahead of your peers.

From Postdoc to Professor

Some schools provide formal programs called Individual Development Plans; if yours does not, find examples online at the National Postdoctoral Association bit. It is also important to carve out time for personal career development. Watch and learn from their performance, and from what faculty members say about them afterward. Jocelyn Bell Burnell : Back then, the only way a woman could get into science was to imply that there was no difference between the sexes and to play it the same way as men played it.

Admitting differences would have meant I was immediately back in the kitchen. Now we appreciate diversity and see strength in it, and women don't have to behave as wee-men or she-males. NT : I think the subconscious effects of gender are the things that affect your career but they are difficult to pin down. In college, I was the only woman in my electrical engineering class, and I found it hard to get a lab partner.

It was an interesting experience because on one hand, I felt rejected, but on the other hand, it was kind of sweet that these guys were too shy to ask me. Jackie Barton : As to my feminine identity, I have to be who I am. Image credit: Wikimedia. Jackie Barton, center, receiving the National Medal of Science in JBB : I knew from my teenage years that I wanted to be an astronomer.


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  • YY : I always have self-doubt, even now to some extent. And I don't "power through," actually. I just let myself feel whatever the doubt it is. I can always recover. Image credit: Nina Tandon. RB : The positive changes I see are that the generation of my children and grandchildren feel free to pursue their dreams, whatever they are. This is all good, but we still have some ways to go.

    Some prejudices are very deep. JBB : There has been huge change in my lifetime, and the pace is accelerating! People recognize the strengths in diversity, ethnic as well as gender. Senior academics are being trained in unconscious bias and acting upon that training!

    I am just an average scientist – what can I do?

    We also now have, in the senior positions, men whose wives also have careers; it is acceptable for a man to go home early to collect children from school -- it is no longer just a woman's job. YY : For sure, we see more and more female scientists in leadership roles. You can witness how they are handling their lives, which is always a great example to the next generation. JB: There has been a lot more acceptance and a lot more interest in getting more women involved.