First, let me preface the post by saying that I have been very lucky in being given the opportunity to establish my own group in a very supportive environment. In the German system, it is common for early-career researchers to have groups under the umbrella of a professor (at a university) or director (at a research institute). That is, each professor/director has a sub-department with independent, or semi-independent, groups under them. This means that I’ve had few of the commitments that are common in tenure-track positions (such as teaching and service), and someone I can turn to for guidance.
Academic Life Histories: a blog about the many pathways that landed us all in the same place
Like in many of the organisms we study, there are many alternative life histories in academia. Take any group of 4 or 5 academics, and you will undoubtedly discover a wide range of personal trajectories, experiences, and ambitions. Our lab is a star example — we represent 5 different continents and a wide range of ages. With this broad set of backgrounds comes an equally diverse set of experiences.
The aim of this blog is to share our own personal experiences about life in (and out) of academia, and how our trajectories have, somehow, landed us all here together in a small town in southern Germany. Who are we? We are members (and associates and friends) that form a lab in the Department of Collective Behaviour at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. You can find out more about what we do here and a small window into each of our stories here.
We hope you enjoy the blog, find it useful, share it widely, and even contribute if you have a new topic or different angle on one of our posts.
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