We’re a little bit late here in wishing the DrugMonkey blog a happy 1st blogiversary. Contributors DrugMonkey, BikeMonkey, and PhysioProf have had a very productive year of offering valuable career advice for graduate and postgraduate trainees in the biomedical sciences, general discussions on NIH grant funding, and various topics in neuroscience.
The sci/med blogosphere is populated quite heavily by graduate students, medical students, and postdoctoral fellows. This situation is perhaps easy to explain in that most of these trainees are of an age that is comfortable with social networking and public discussions via the intertubes. For some reasons not entirely clear to me, physicians are exceptions to this rule and we see doc bloggers across the spectrum from residents and fellows to full profs, and from academia to private practice.
However, NIH/NSF/other-big-agency grant-funded PhD researchers who spend most of their bandwidth talking about the business of conducting biomedical research are less frequently found as bloggers; DrugMonkey is one of the few out there. And again, for reasons not entirely clear to me, the other ones out there are primarily women, such as FemaleScienceProfessor.
Here’s a good example of the value readers find in the discussions over there:
I read for grant[s]manship and career advice. I’ve been reading your blog over my transition from postdoc to asst prof (including during the interview process). You guys have helped me out immensely that’s why I keep coming back… I continue to LearnSomething.
That’s a pretty sweet endorsement.
However, some commenters over at DrugMonkey, particularly trainees, have complained that the posts there often “ranked on” trainees. But upon closer analysis of that particular post, the content there is presented in the spirit of helping trainees with the advancement of their careers, regardless of how unpleasant the realities of this career track might seem.
I would’ve killed as a graduate student or postdoc for insightful posts such as advice for the disgruntled trainee, influence of your CV on getting faculty position interviews, pointers on how to interview for a faculty position, or an inside look at how grant review panels examine specific aspects of research proposals.
Making it to one year is a big deal for a blog; a year of regular posting by a scientist means that you have made a real commitment and consider your blogging important to your role as a member of the scientific community. I have grown to appreciate what the folks are doing over at DrugMonkey and encourage trainees and practicing scientists alike to dial them up regularly. And, hey, go wish them a happy blogiversary and answer their questions in the comments.
No, this business isn’t always pretty. But at least we’re not in the consumer loan industry.