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Half Research, Half ________

Science Professor is polling her readers to see whether they'd consider hiring a half-time postdoc. While she says she's had part-time postdocs before — full-time researchers who also work in another lab — Science Professor has never hired a half-time postdoc, "who spent the other half doing something else entirely." Depending on the project, Science Professor says she would "certainly be willing to work with someone in this type of arrangement." At present, of 182 respondents, more than three-quarters have indicated they would hire a half-time postdoc, 21 percent said no, and about 2 percent selected "other." (In a poll comment, respondent Gears says that half-time research positions — that is, "1/2 university and 1/2 other" — are not so uncommon in Europe.) In a comment to this post, MZ says the half-time system is potentially left "open to abuse ... it can be hard to scale back expectations for productivity, and I suspect people could end up being exploited." As far as part-time postdocs go, Comrade PhysioProf is not having it. While he says he'd consider retaining a half-time researcher "who had been productively full-time in my lab for some period of time before" cutting back his or her hours, Comrade PhysioProf "would never ever have a post-doc in my lab who was splitting time between my lab and another lab." While PSJ would hire a half-time postdoc because "they are cheaper," Lora says that she had a hard time landing a half-time research gig, as PIs are often "resistant" to the idea. Lora, who wanted to get back to the bench after having two children, ended up taking a half-time postdoc position with a PI with whom she'd met in grad school, and who knew that she "could be productive in 20 hours a week."

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.