After being inundated with brilliant entries, we have finally managed to whittle down our list of winners. They reference Beyonce, are frank about their personal experiences, and are sure to make you laugh as well as think in new ways about working in science.
We received hundreds of entries for our careers columnist contest this year. Applicants from all over the world sent us their personal take on the highs and lows of a career in science. Whilst they all focussed on the issues facing young career scientists today, topics ranged from sexism in science to media representation of scientific issues, a great many focused on relationships and tough decisions, others on breakthrough moments of elation, or disappointment and dejection. Choosing the winners was incredibly tough, and this is reflected in the fact that the judging panel decided to select eight finalists in total.
The winners will be writing and blogging in the careers section of Nature and on the Naturejobs blog in the coming months. The topics they cover are varied, but their passion for communicating their work and experiences of their science careers to date are universal. In the meantime, here’s a quick introduction to our winners, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ for all the updates.
Susie Crowe is a Canadian PhD student at Carleton University, whose engaging account of the difficult decisions that often come with a career in science saw her through to the finalists.
Monika Maleszewska is a medical sciences PhD student currently in the third year of her doctorate at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, whose analytical entry took a sharp look at the temptation to over-hype research.
Carolyn Beans, from Chalottesville, Virginia, is a fourth year Biology PhD student at the University of Virginia, where she works on plant biology, and has discovered some innovative ways to reach out to the public about her research.
French PhD student Chandrika Nair, who is currently at Imperial College London, gained a knack for science communication through a science policy placement at the Royal Society and in science festivals, which got her thinking about fresh perspectives towards her career post PhD.
Harvard theoretical physics postdoctoral researcher Stephane Detournay turned his hand to popular science writing for the first time with his entry, but impressed the judges with a column inspired by his love of music.
Shimi Rii is a fourth year PhD candidate at the University of Hawai’i, in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, who writes with flair about the pull of conflicting pressures between work and personal wishes and responsibilities.
J.T.Neal is a postdoctoral fellow in the division of Hematology at Stanford University. He impressed the judges with his humorous take on the pros and cons of living with science at home as well as in the lab.
Primatology post-doc research fellow Christopher A. Schmitt impressed with his work on making science accessible to groups often underrepresented in academia, and his creative writing style.
We would like to thank all the applicants to this year’s contest and congratulate the winners, who will be back soon – watch this space.