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Reineke Pohlhaus

Is there a PhD problem in the United States?

This is an interesting question, but it is not the first time in recent history that folks have been asking it. Here are a few other related questions that have been floating around: Is PhD supply greater than demand?  Is the Federal government providing enough support to maintain research capacity?  Is funding support distributed to the right institutions?


Education and Hard Work - Necessary, Though Not Sufficient

The theme of this posting is ‘Educated, Unemployed and Frustrated’ and it is a commentary/response on the article by the same name from the March 20 edition of The New York Times. The original article was written by Matthew Klein. The main thesis of Mr. Klein’s article is that recent graduates (both of undergraduate and graduate school degrees) are having trouble finding work, esp.


Hit the gym, you are gonna need it.

Time and time again, when the Nobel Prizes were announced, one of my friends repeated his theory: you’ve got to stay alive long enough to wait for the prize coming to you. That was just his joke after seeing so many winners are actually over 70 years old. However, it is practical. If you messed up your health or life before the prize committee decide to recognize your work and achievement, who do you blame?


Attending BIO International Convention

I recently attended BIO’s International Convention in Washington, DC and it was quite an exciting week. Over 15,000 people attended from 48 states and 65 countries.  I’ve written about maximizing your networking at scientific conferences, and I took a colleague’s advice by volunteering at the convention (to get a break on the registration cost). That turned out to be a good suggestion because I ended up meeting a lot of other volunteers, and that helped me quickly feel a part of such a large conference.


30/60/90-Day Plans: Your Key to Winning Every Job Interview

So what happens when the playing field for the job you want is filled with strong, qualified, experienced candidates?  Are you stuck with hoping someone likes your personality better?  Should you just give up and wait for a better job market?  Of course not.



Quality is the life of industry, especially for healthcare related enterprises. We need to satisfy not only the customer, but also the government. If you want to work for industry, no matter what kind of work you do, you have to put quality in your mind first. Furthermore, if you work for an international company, you have to know how to meet all the quality expectations from different countries.


How to use LinkedIn (or how not to use it)

Last month, I attended the Postdoc Conference & Career Fair in Bethesda, Maryland.  There were many talks regarding the transition out of academia into technology transfer, communications, and industry.  Going into the day I was not enthused about attending the industry talks.  I just did not see myself as thriving in the industry setting.  However, I learned two valuable lessons while sitting in the Marriott hotel that day:


Six Degrees of Your Dream Job

The other night, my husband and I were so tired that we just wanted to watch something on TV. Somehow, we started playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon beginning from Sandra Bullock using the Netflix search menu on our Apple TV. If you are not familiar with Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, it is a game based on the idea that any individual can be linked to Kevin Bacon within six steps.


Reaching out to the Next Generation

How to interest children in science, and keep them interested, is a commonly discussed topic.  Over the past decade I have been fortunate enough to participate in many different outreach programs specifically designed to do just that.  Recently, I represented the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) at a middle school in the LA area.  There were a few goals we wished to achieve:1.  To discuss what jobs are available for those with an interest in science.2.  To explain our career paths and what research we perform.


Narrative Networks

The topic here is ‘a conference on narratives in DC, the Hirshhorn Gallery on the National Mall and social faux pas in the scientific setting.’ Last week, I participated in the third workshop of a series hosted by DARPA (for those of you not in the working-with-the-government-on-science-can-be-cool-and-not-a-pain-in-the-ass know, this is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).