Tag Archives: creativity

Great irresponsibility, or great organization?

Sometimes it is easier to just do whatever tasks stream at you through the incessant flow of email than to work on the conceptually difficult, important, long term research papers. At other times you want to scream and throw things … Continue reading

Posted in Daily routines, Managing an academic career, Organization of a scientist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Some tips for an effective faculty retreat

  We went to a duck hunting lodge for the first faculty retreat I ever attended. I don’t remember much about it, except that one faculty member had to have milk and cookies before bedtime. The rest of us drank … Continue reading

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Have confidence in yourself and innovate recklessly

By now you have turned in a January preproposal to the National Science Foundation if you are a biology professor in areas of ecology, evolution, or various kinds of physiology. You may feel good about your preproposal, or you may … Continue reading

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Start writing before you are ready

Perhaps nothing separates successful from struggling academics as much as a facility with writing. You don’t need me to tell you that you should be writing every day at a certain time, for a certain number of minutes. You may … Continue reading

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How to get tenure – choosing research questions

This should be easy, right? After all, you are a professor because you love research. For your Ph.D., you discovered something new, then found the time to write it up into a coherent dissertation. You nestled your new research in … Continue reading

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Why you shouldn’t live in your office

Imagine a rent-free abode with heating, cooling, internet, and perhaps even a telephone. There’s somewhere to buy food nearby and a microwave for cooking. This place is right by your place of work. In fact, it is your place of … Continue reading

Posted in Daily routines, Life in a biology department | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

How to review a grant proposal

There are only four things that you should consider when you review a proposal submitted to the National Science Foundation. You should weight them more or less equally. By that, I mean that weakness in any one of these elements … Continue reading

Posted in Grant proposals, Refereeing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A secret solution to the challenge of finding a work-life balance

Wash U has appointed me to their work-life balance committee. It makes me a little nervous, because I’m not sure what I think about this. In my group I want the people with passion for research and for new ideas. … Continue reading

Posted in Managing an academic career | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Do you have your list of things you are interested in?

One of the things my creativity course emphasizes is paying attention to other people and what they are thinking about, or what they might think about various ideas. One person that is worth paying attention to is Cin-Ty Lee. He … Continue reading

Posted in Managing an academic career, New ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Asking the right questions

We professors are creative a lot less of the time than we might think we are. We must drive the education scholars crazy because we so often teach in the same old tired ways of 500 years ago, despite strong … Continue reading

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