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Doing Great Science in Difficult Places

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) has published a new book, Excellence Everywhere, aimed at scientists working in places that lack the extensive resources commonly found in the developed world. (Full disclosure: BWF is the funder of Science Careers’s CTSciNet.)

Not long after I joined Science Careers — called Science’s Next Wave at the time — I had the honor of working with BWF and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to develop their first Lab Management Course, a 4-day event held at HHMI headquarters in 2002. I was responsible for units on project management, getting funded, and the financial side of lab management (see “From Science Fair to Science Fare,” Part 1 and Part 2). I learned much and had great fun getting to know so many great people, including many young scientists.

Experienced writers were hired to observe the course and take notes, and then to assemble its contents into a book. The result was Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty.

The course was repeated in 2005 and the book was revised as a result. The above link takes you to the free pdf of the second edition. You can also order a hardcopy, if copies are still available. If you aspire to a career in academic science and haven’t read it, you definitely should.

The material collected in Making the Right Moves has been revised again, by BWF’s Victoria McGovern, with extensive new content on dealing with the challenges faced by researchers in “the low- and middle-resource regions of the tropics and
sub-tropics.” The result is Excellence Everywhere, which can be downloaded for free — you can also request a free hardcopy — at You can learn more about the book and its conception in the October edition of Focus, the BWF newsletter.

One comment on “Doing Great Science in Difficult Places”

  1. PM Hut says:

    As I manage a PM website I am interested in your experience as a “Science Project Manager”, maybe you can make a post explaining the challenges facing Project Managers in this domain.

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