The Biochemist Blog

3 ways I battled imposter syndrome

By Brittany Maule, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, USA

About halfway through my graduate degree, I reached a point where I’d accomplished a few things. My new video was done on my research, I’d been selected to attend a competitive conference on science communication, and I had finished up a summer collecting data on algae in streams. Pausing, I should have hung my hat on a productive first year. But I didn’t feel this way – not at all.

“I don’t care what you do; just go be a rock star at it”

By Kirsten Block, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Alexandria, USA

This statement was my graduate advisor’s final nudge of encouragement as I left his lab to begin the next step toward becoming a professor: a postdoctoral fellowship. Perhaps he knew that academia was not where I would end up, or perhaps he was just trying to calm my nerves. After all, I hadn’t quite figured out my final destination, so a postdoc seemed to be the logical next step, whatever my eventual career would be.

PhD reflections: lessons and advice

By Ralitsa Madsen, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge, UK

As a driven PhD student who is dedicating most of my waking hours to a very ambitious project, I often need to justify my choice to others. Wouldn’t I be set up for success with fewer hours in the lab, less scientific reading and a bit more faith in my own talent? My usual response is to ask the following question: how do elite athletes succeed?