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'How Not to Get a Postdoc'

Over at Isis the Scientist's blog, a new academic PI shares satirical "tips on how not to get a postdoc in academia." For example, if you "Write in the cover letter that you would rather work somewhere else and that you are applying for this job as a Plan B in case Plan A doesn't work out," or "suggest that the PI fly you in from Australia to check out the facilities in order to decide whether you should bother to apply," there's a good chance you won't land the job. Applicants who "inquire about the salary before you are even short-listed" generally don't fare well, Dr. M says. All sarcasm aside, Dr. M's tips on how not to land a postdoc are telling. "These things seem rather common sense to me, but clearly they aren't obvious to everyone," the new PI writes. In a comment to this post, reader KBHC adds that applicants should "not use ALL CAPS in your query letter … I have gotten several letters that say things like: 'Dear Dr. CLANCY, I am writing because I am interested in REPRODUCTIVE ECOLOGY even though I actually study SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT. I don't have a JOB right now but below are my LETTERS OF REFERENCE from my LAST POSITION."

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.