Now I’m not the first, nor the only one who feels like there are a million things to do. I’m sure you’ve felt this way before and maybe even now, more than ever. To top that, you may feel you’re behind schedule with your research, your career, your family, and the list can go on. This is actually relatively normal for most highly ambitious people, but the problem doesn’t lie in the number of tasks we must complete, but in the choices of which tasks to even take on.
A talented postdoc should be able to add their own unique perspective to the research, and they should see their role as an opportunity to be creative and to add value. However, as we plow through CVs and resumes we find applicants who expect a course to be laid out, or a lab to be already established. That’s never the case with a start up. There are so many uncertainties and variables that can lead to failure or bankruptcy. Therefore, finding a postdoc who understands this and can navigate these obstacles is critical.
Budgets can help you understand fixed costs, like salaries and maintenance contracts. However, everyone in science knows that the variable costs associated with research are as predictable as the hypothesis itself. Therefore, to understand what those variables are, and to predict them, requires collecting the financial data associated with the science. It requires us to be able to separate those costs relative to the projects and operations.