School of Education faculty member Jill Barnes recently offered insight on how students and early-career researchers can find the right lab environment and develop critical career skills in a Q&A published in The Physiologist Magazine.
Barnes is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology. In the article, she weighs in on things to assess when deciding if a training environment is a good fit, including ease of communication with a mentor, the laboratory’s productivity record, and the “temperature” or social environment in the lab.
She also offers insight on how to navigate a laboratory space that has presented some challenges for a trainee.
“Reaching out to a trusted person who is further along in their career is highly recommended,” Barnes said. “Sometimes we are in difficult situations because of the career stage, and it may help to get a different perspective. Sometimes this is an issue of miscommunication; other times this may be different personalities that do not work well together, and occasionally this may be an issue of a toxic environment.”
Barnes also shared tips on what specific skills a graduate student or postdoc should be trained in for a career in academia, when a trainee should apply for their first fellowship grant, and successful ways trainees can promote their research to other scientists.
Read the entire “Tips for Trainees” Q&A with Barnes here.