Looking for career-change support group

Drmarts drmarts at aol.com
Mon Jan 29 10:02:41 EST 1996

About 8 years ago, upon finishing my first post-doc, I left bench research
to become a research administrator. I worked for about 3 years in research
administration at a small, independent (i.e. non-profit but not
university-related) research institute, doing just about everything - from
research ethics reviews to patents and licensing to helping researchers
write grant applications to giving press interviews. Five years ago I took
the job I still hold, directing grant programs for a non-profit foundation
that funds research on age-related diseases.

I love what I do, and I don't miss bench research in the least. I still go
to meetings, read papers, and spend about 40-50% of my time talking about
science, so I hardly feel that I gave it up (although I'm sure there are
some who would see it that way). What had to change was my definition of
success - at one point in my life, success was a tenured faculty position
at a good university. Now, success is heading my own department, mentoring
my staff, and making sure my organization funds the best possible
research. The fact that my salary is significantly higher (and my
work-week significantly shorter) than it would be if I were still in
academia is incidental ; ) .

I would recommend a few books that helped me a lot: _What Color is Your
Parachute_ (a classic); _Doing Well by Doing Good_; and _Your Money or
Your Life_ (sorry I don't have author names, I'm at work and the books are
at home.)  The key is to put work in perspective with everything else in
your life, _then_ figure out what will make you happy. 


Sherry Marts
American Health Assistance Foundation

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