Richard Gallagher on Plan B for scientists

”If you can’t contemplate leaving research, at least do what you can to protect your future.”

- Richard Gallagher, writing in The Scientist

In an editorial in the most recent issue, editor Richard Gallagher gives some tips for life scientists facing down the current funding crunch in the United States. Hundreds of excellent scientists, he predicts, will lose their livelihood, simply because they have failed to put a Plan B into place. Some, he says, the so-called “frankly lackluster", are better off gone, and others are probably secretly hoping to get the sack so they can do other, more interesting things. But the third category, including scientists like Alan Schneyer, do everything right but will still lose their labs.

What is to be done? The funding problems are unlikely to change anytime soon, so the best you can do is be prepared. Gallagher cites the three steps you will need to consider: self-exploration, career exploration and self-presentation. With fewer than ten percent of RO1 grants being funded, careful planning is no longer dispensable.

You can read the entire editorial here.