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Advice for Administratively Active Academics

Over at The Scientist, Lauren Urban explains "how to take on administrative roles while still running a successful and productive lab." Specifically, Urban offers tips for academics who are looking to develop administrative skills while continuing to "focus on the science." First, she says, "hire people more gifted than you." The University of Maryland's Arthur Popper tellsThe Scientist that he has had "more papers published while actively administrating than when he was a faculty researcher," due to his acquisition of ambitious postdocs. Urban also says it's important to "run lab meetings like business meetings" and "show your face, even if on weekends."

When focusing on research management, academics should "prepare for sacrifices" and "keep the big picture in sight," among other things. Susan Henry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine tellsThe Scientist that "her workweek is more like '10- to 12-hour days and many weekends, both during the academic year and summers.'" The University of Florida College of Medicine's Stephen Sugrue tellsUrban that he had to give up teaching when he became senior associate dean for research affairs. Urban says that, as Henry put it, "there is a 'delicate balance' between the responsibilities of a dean and those of a researcher."

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