27 and a PhD

Home » Grad school » Dear postdoc, formerly known as a colleague

Dear postdoc, formerly known as a colleague

Welcome to my blog!

Hello there, awesome reader. My name is Dr. 27. I'm older than that now, but I'm staying faithful to the origins of the blog.

This blog started 2 months before completing my PhD in a pretty southern university back in 2009. It was a way to practice my writing and take a break from all things thesis. My PhD is in a branch of structural biology where I studied some rather impressive stuff.

After completing the degree, I packed my life of 6 years in 3 days and moved to Canada to do a postdoc in a completely different field. Two years later, and after attending a lot of seminars, workshops and doing some much-needed soul-searching, I ended up getting out and looking for an alternative path to academia and industry.

The blog chronicles my mishaps, ideas, musings and tips on entering, staying and finishing grad school. It also talks about some (or a lot) of personal stuff. For a while, the blog became a place to talk about the frustrations of not knowing what to do after PhD. I wanted to explore alternatives to the traditional paths of research (academia, industry and goverment) whilst going back to my field of training (if at all possible). Eventually a job materialized. Follow my quest as I navigate the waters of being a staff scientist at a core facility.


December 2009
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Science is supposed to be collegial, cordial, elegant, with manners … Or wait, you probably did not get that memo. Why am I writing this you ask? Well, because you just messed up with my friggin’ paper, my (now) former first author paper. Because this was supposed to be the crowning jewel of my achievements in grad school .. you just had to mess up with it. Thank you very friggin’ much. Not only did the BF had a (tiny) car accident yesterday and I almost had a heart attack when I found out … no, you HAD to make my day, my week, my friggin’ year, by stamping your name on top of the crowning jewel, and belittle it/me too. My friggin’ results that took ONE friggin’ year …. ONE year of my life, away from family, from friends, from people who love me, so I had to stay in grad school (a full year!) finishing it so in the end you would ONLY complain, move on with life and then stamp your name on the paper that I so painstakingly worked for.  You just cut HALF of it, and stepped right over it without acknowledging my efforts, the efforts of my former lab, and possibly mess up a few friendships and collaborations in between. You get to keep most important position in the paper, even though you’ve been done with grad school for a number of years now.

Thank you friggin’ much. Thank you, seriously, for showing me how relevant universities like the all-powerful one where you got your degree from trains people. It reaffirms my opinion of it, of them, and of you. Thank you for showing me the nasty side of publishing, and how to step right over peoples dreams, and work.

Oh, Merry X-mas to you too!



  1. leigh says:

    coming from a pretty heavy duty university myself, i can say that people who escaped such institutions with phd’s have essentially learned how to swim in a shark-infested toxic pool. lots of the people who get tossed into that environment and can’t honestly cut it, cope by stepping on others to get ahead. so even those of us who hang on to our integrity get very overprotective about getting stepped on by our colleagues. it’s a very unhealthy environment… but the science, it’s top notch! [eyeroll]

    sorry your former colleague is an ass 😡 can you talk this over with your grad school advisor? (i presume s/he is the corresponding author?)

  2. 28 and a PhD says:

    Hi leigh! Yeah, the former boss and I talked we reached an agreement. I mean, my school is not an Ivy League, but it’s pretty well ranked. And I get that this was a shared project, but this individual completely dismissed the hypotheses and data we produced for over a year, and busted our asses off, so it could get published in a C/N/S journal. I honestly think I won’t ever have to do anything with him, but who knows. I just know that he’s a complete hypocrite and doesn’t deserve my attention. I decided that it’s best to move forward and not rely on what I did in grad school alone to define me.

    So kind of you to stop by. Have a great weekend.

  3. […] mentor seemed like a sane person up until last year. We had what I thought was great communication, except an event in our past kinda shook me up a bit. I’m not as bitter anymore, but I still think the guy is a douche. Oh excuse me, Assistant […]

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