And if you've already started to think about your own lab, it will help you to refine your plans.
And if you've already started to think about your own lab, it will help you to refine your plans.So take a stab at writing a research plan, even if you don't expect to be on the job market for a while. In that case what matters is, what is the committee looking for? Hiring committees desperately want to avoid making a serious mistake by investing institutional and intellectual capital in the wrong person.Okay, so that isn't exactly true: It isn't hard to find advice. We considered everything, filtered out the muck, and distilled it all down to a general strategy and a few simple principles, with a few variations on the theme thrown in for good measure.
From your immediate point of view, the purpose of a research plan is to help get you hired.
The research plan, however, serves another, very important function: It contributes to your development as a scientist.
Which is too bad: Writing an effective research plan is tricky. We interviewed and corresponded with faculty and research scientists who have served on hiring committees.
And until now, there was little advice to be found. All of our sources have experience; some of our sources have a lot of experience.
Rather than starting from scratch, savvy investigators want to use their library and Internet research to help them find the best way to do things.
You want to learn from the experience of others rather than blunder around and repeat their mistakes.
You do library and Internet research so that you can make a prediction of what will occur in your experiment, and then whether that prediction is right or wrong, you will have the knowledge to understand what caused the behavior you observed.
When you are driving a car there are two ways to find your destination: drive around randomly until you finally stumble upon what you're looking for OR look at a map before you start. ) Finding information for your background research is very similar.
It's also an opportunity to begin to demonstrate the creative and independent thinking required of a successful scientist. It's possible to function quite well as a postdoc or grad student while giving little thought to your future.
Writing a research plan casts your gaze forward and prompts you to begin planning for when you have your own laboratory.