Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Blaze a Different Path

The scariest part about leaving academia is not having that well-defined track to follow, writes Carolyn Beans, a PhD student at the University of Virginia, at the Nature Jobs blog.

"Many jobs outside of academia are highly specific: chief of an imaging facility, director of research administration for a cancer institute, associate director of a science museum," Beans writes, adding that "[l]eaving academia with the singular goal of obtaining any one of these jobs would be risky. The best we can do is identify a broader career category to work towards, such as science research, administration, or outreach."

She and some of her graduate school colleagues pulled together a panel of biologists who have pursued careers outside of academia. While they couldn't provide a sign-posted path to follow, Beans writes that the panelists did offer a few tips on how to start blazing your own way. For instance, the panelists suggested going on informational interviews to learn more about how people got into careers you are interested in or volunteering (perhaps while still in school so it isn't as much of a financial drain) to build your network and resume at the same time. Additionally, they suggested turning to the alumni network of your department — there are likely quite a few others who came before you who have left academia as well.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.