Posted in Polls

Poll: What should the #ECRchat topic for 17 April 2014 be?

The next #ECRchat is on Thursday 17th April at 11:00-12:00 in the UK (BST), which is 12:00-13:00 in Europe (CEST), and 20:00-21:00 in Sydney (AEST). This chat will be hosted by Katie Wheat (full bio below).

Please vote for your preferred chat topic (topic descriptions below):


Careers outside of academia – making the decision, where would you go, dealing with reactions, adjusting to a new identity

Career transitions – moving from PhD to postdoc, changing departments/institutions/disciplines, building a new network

Getting career development support as an ECR – what is available to you, how do you make the most of it, how do you get your PI onboard?

Moving towards independence as an ECR – searching for that illusive first independent funding, taking steps towards independence while employed on a grant, what does independence look like?

Katie Wheat is a project manager at Vitae. She was previously as postdoctoral researcher in cognitive neuroscience at Maastricht University and holds a PhD in psychology from University of York. Katie co-founded #ECRchat with Hazel Ferguson and now coordinates the chat with Beth Hellen.

Posted in Collegiality, Polls, Support and healthy working

#ECRchat UK Tweetup

For the majority of May, both of the #ECRchat organisers are going to be in the UK.  We thought this might be a great chance to meet some of you (UK) folks and have a tweet up (informal meet up, probably taking place in a pub).

In order to find out what place and time would suit the most people (obviously we can’t manage to please everyone) we’ve set up some polls.

We hope we’ll get to meet some of you very soon.


These are places we’re able to organise an event in, if you add another city, please be willing to help host the tweetup.

Once we get some ideas of what people would like, I’ll suggest some more specific dates and places.

Posted in Polls

Poll: What should the #ECRchat topic for November 21st 2013 be?

The next #ECRchat is on Thursday 21st November at 20:00-21:00 in the UK (GMT), which is 21:00-22:00 in Europe (CET), 15:00-16:00 in New York (EST), 12:00-13:00 in Vancouver (PST), and 09:00-10:00 in Auckland (NZDT). This chat will be hosted by Joanne Kamens of Addgene (full bio below).

Please vote for your preferred chat topic (topic descriptions below):


1) International collaboration and resource sharing

The internet is making the world smaller, but sharing information and materials across borders can still be challenging.  International collaboration is on the rise.  What are the characteristics of good collaborations and what tools can you use to make these projects successful.

2) How to find and utilize a mentor

We all hear the buzzword of “mentoring” in relation to career success but most of us don’t know how to look for a strong mentor or how to use once effectively once we have found one.  Let’s talk about tips for finding a mentor and getting the most out of these relationships

3) Networking is really building relationships–how to

Strong and diverse professional relationships are necessary for most people to succeed in their careers. Networking is more than meeting people, it is developing relationships for the future.  What practical tips have worked for you in starting and maintaining relationships to enrich your work life and to provide opportunity?

4) Building skills during training for a future in a non-academic career

One of the questions I am most asked is how can one apply for jobs that require industry experience before getting some industry experience.  There is a lot you can do while in graduate school or as a postdoc to prepare for non-academic careers.  What specific things have you been doing and what skills should you be demonstrating?

Dr. Joanne Kamens is the Executive Director of Addgene, a nonprofit dedicated to helping scientists around the world share plasmids.  Before joining Addgene she worked for 15 years at BASF/Abbott and 4 years in biotech at RXi Pharmaceuticals.  Dr. Kamens has been raising advocating for diversity in science since 1998 upon realizing that an entire week had gone by at work and not one other woman had been at any meeting she attended.  She founded the current Boston chapter of the Association for Women in Science and served as Director of the Healthcare Business Women’s Boston Group Mentoring Program for 3 years.  In 2010, Dr. Kamens received the Catalyst Award from the Science Club for Girls for longstanding dedication to empowering women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  In 2013 she became a Fellow of the Massachusetts Academy of Science and was recognized as a PharmaVoice 100 Most Influential.  She speaks widely on career development topics in person and via Webinar to STEM trainees.