No access to travel funding: does this make cent$?

As a later-stage graduate student, I’ve been trying to make sure that I attend a few conferences per year. There are lots of reasons to go to conferences, some of which we’ve discussed here before, including meeting people who do similar work, becoming inspired by others’ work, learning about new ideas in your field, networking for future job opportunities/grant collaborators, and more.

But after coming back from a conference earlier this summer, I’ve been thinking about the costs. Not the direct costs per se, although there are great reads written by others on the high price of attending conferences these days. That’s not even considering the carbon footprint of academics jetsetting all over the planet. No, rather I’ve been thinking about how much graduate students in my lab group pay to attend conferences, while the PI pays nothing. Continue reading

Location, Location, Location

My field has very few job openings each year, which means that if I hope to get a faculty position there is a high likelihood that it’s going to involve moving. This is hard enough for any academic, but being a queer person I have a number of extra considerations to take into account before accepting a position.

Continue reading

Daycare is not a bad word

Today’s post was contributed by DrEvoEco, a tenured professor at a public research institution west of the Mississippi. 

As a scientist, a woman and a feminist, I always thought that the US should have a better family leave policy, and when I had my first child I was appalled that I really would have to return to work after about 6 weeks. I was the higher earning partner in my marriage, and taking 6 additional weeks unpaid didn’t seem tenable. Furthermore, I was pre-tenure, and even if we could have made it work financially, it did not seem like a good way for me to go about keeping my job*.

So, we planned ahead and found an excellent daycare. After some time home together, I finished out my leave, and then my husband took over, plus there were holidays, so all in all the baby didn’t start daycare until about 3 months old. Oof was that hard.  So so hard.  I didn’t know how I could bear such goodbyes every morning of every workday.

However, I was actually pleasantly surprised. Continue reading

Tenure-Track Uterus: My (mis)adventures with birth control

This is a post about my uterus*. It is not a love letter.

This post is not for the squeamish, but I hope you read it anyway. This post won’t apply to some of you, but I hope you read it anyway. You may think this post is TMI — too much information. I disagree, and I hope you read it anyway. This post may have some of you thinking, “Why the hell is she writing a post about reproduction and birth control on a blog about women in academia?” Read on.  Continue reading