albert's timeline

Albert

Albert, in his thirties, completed his PhD in 2008 in Canada, and was in the midst of his second year of post-doc work when he joined this study. Prior to the post-doc, Albert held a fellowship at a biotech company, where he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in academia, as academia would allow him to make discoveries through research. Albert was married, and welcomed his second child during the fourth year of post-doc work.

 

What struck us about Albert’s story was:

Balancing child work with work and the birth of his second child.

Wide range of academic activities and an interest in teaching.

Consistent desire to work in academia.

 

Post-PhD

 

Year 2

Post-PhD

 

Year 3

Post-PhD

 

Year 4

 

 Post-PhD

 

Year 2 

Played soccer 3 nights/week and spent time with family.

Read, worked with collaborators, and submitted manuscript based on PhD research.

After completing a post-doc in industry, wanted career in academia or as researcher in government where he could “ discover something than refine it”.

Work-life balance a “constant struggle”.

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Worked on grant application with supervisor.

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Supervised undergraduate students in the lab, which he enjoyed, particularly in “small groups” that are “interactive”.

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Awarded fellowship, which would provide financial support and opportunity to “develop[]…own research interests”.

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Post-PhD

 

Year 3

Cared for child, spent time with family.

Co-investigator on 2 grants, which, due to policy change, are “very collaborative” and look “really good on the CV”.

Continued to work towards tenure-track academic career; very aware of necessity of developing own line of research, and continuing to publish and get funding.

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Focused on developing own ideas/research that he can “take” with him.

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Supervised undergraduates and lab technician, which he enjoyed despite time-consuming nature.

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Presented paper at a conference, where he met other post-docs with similar interests, which “reinforced” desire to be academic.

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Began working on job applications.

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Worked on a manuscript, and consulted supervisor. However, he did not get the desired help because supervisor had different idea of how manuscript should be prepared; importance of “compromise”.

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Hoped to move “close to home” in next few years, as he and partner had no family nearby.

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 Post-PhD

 

Year 4 

Second child born.

Supervisor on sabbatical, leaving more time to work on own projects and “carve out a little niche”.

Not likely to stay on as post-doc much longer, though he probably had the funding; hoped to secure tenure-track position soon.

Caring for children; balancing family life with work.

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Corresponded with supervisor regarding grants and “ how to shape the direction of the research in the lab”.

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Worked on job applications, and remained optimistic while acknowledging the high level of competition.

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Established collaborations with faculty outside of the country.

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He and partner decided to go wherever he can find job, though they’d like to stay in their home country.

Helped undergraduates with lab work and troubleshooting experiments, which he viewed as teaching that helps him “gain a better understanding of key concepts…by illustrating [them] to others”.

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What struck us

Balancing child care and birth of second child.

Wide range of scholarly activities, interest in teaching.

Consistent desire to work in academia after prior experience in industry.

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Story

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Researcher Identity Development (2017). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License