publication rate/maternity leave

Rae Nishi notmyrealaddress at ohsu.EDU
Wed Jan 7 00:46:28 EST 1998

In article <v03102800b0ce8f039b67@[]>
"Caroline J. Walker" <walkerc at CLEMSON.EDU> writes:

> I wonder if I can get comments on the best way to handle career breaks on
> grant applications?  One of the reviewers comments on my NSF proposal
> referred to my publication rate as being "moderate to good" - which is
> probably fair.   However, I did not mention that I have taken maternity
> leave/working part time over the last 5 years to have 2 children, owing to
> advanced paranoia that this usually results in my being taken less
> seriously.  But I wonder now if I was being too cautious.  Would it have
> been better to include this information somewhere on the proposal so that
> my publications/years of research is more accurately reflected?  It seems
> that this would be a fairer way for panels to assess the productivity of
> researchers - but are panels ready to consider this sort of information?
> Has anyone had experience of how to handle this?

If there is ever a good reason for a "slowdown"--personal illness,
family, technical problems, these should be explained in the progress
report of a competitive renewal.  Most reviewers are human and pretty
understanding. It helps your evaluation if you know why there is a gap
in the productivity of the investigator.  Likewise, if you have gaps in
your CV, you should explain them in your cover letter if you are
applying for a job, fellowship, etc.  I once saw a woman list her
children under "Awards and Honors" in her CV.  I liked it so much, I do
it myself (it was there when I was being considered for promotion).  I
thought it was a relatively subtle way to state when my children were
born without making a big deal of it.

reply to nishir at
Rae Nishi, PhD
Dept. Cell & Developmental Biology
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland Oregon 

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