Archive | November, 2017

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“Highlights” in your CV (for scientists)

Highlights, also known as “Profile”, “Summary”, or “Key Attributes”, is a list of 3-5 bullet points (ok, for academic positions 6 at the very most) with your key skills, achievements, and experiences relevant for the position you are applying for. Although “Highlights” is an optional section, many modern CVs have them. Personally, I believe Highlights are a great feature which allow you to emphasise experiences and skills in a prominent position of your CV that might otherwise be deeply buried in other sections.

For example: a company is looking for someone with experience in qPCR and you didn’t do a single qPCR in the last five years. However, during your BSc project you did plenty of qPCRs. In your CV your qPCR experience is hidden somewhere in the middle of your “Education” section. You can try to give it extra visibility by moving it to the very top of your skills section, but still, a reader might simply miss it. Using a Highlights Section, you can write as one of your bullet points, “Experience in qPCR, CRISPR-Cas9, and tri-parental mating.” And…. abracadabra… qPCR will catch the eye of the reader!

Where to put it in your CV?

Usually, Highlights are the first section of your CV and is placed at the top of the first page, just below your personal details… (the personal data you provide differs between countries, see my article in Chemistry World). Alternatively, if you use a cover page (still common in e.g. Germany), you can place the Highlights Section here.…

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Return to academia: The price I’m willing to pay

Does academia deserve its reputation as a bad employer? And if so, why do some people choose to return? Philipp Gramlich and Karin Bodewits spoke to four scientists moving from the “real world” back into the ivory tower.

Read the full length article at (for free)

Academia has had some bad press in recent years. Long years of temporary contracts, enforced mobility, and low salaries are some of the arguments used against academic careers. But is the grass really greener on the other side?

After six years working in a permanent position at AstraZeneca, Neil Carragher embarked on a five-year contract as a PI at the Edinburgh Cancer Research Center. “I missed academic freedom and academia’s inspiring environment. In industry, the company strategy comes from above and you can’t really influence it as an individual,” he says. Moving to AstraZeneca in the first place was a tactical decision. “After two post-docs, I felt that industry offered a more supportive career path.”

After those years in big pharma, Carragher felt confident that he would make it in the academic world; “I had a large network, a clear scientific vision, and full support from the head of the department. Plus, they offered me a five-year contract, which is plenty of time to show what you can do.” Continue reading at


Philipp Gramlich has studied and researched chemistry at various universities in Germany, Australia and Scotland. After experiences in industry at baseclick and Eurofins Genomics, he co-founded NaturalScience.Careers. With seminars like “Goodbye academia?” he focuses on career- and skill-development for natural scientists.

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