Jean Fan Is A Fan Of Genes

reflections on science and academia

Academia's Value Proposition

Nearly two years ago, I started my journey as a tenure-track assistant professor. And within this past year, a number of my close friends, colleagues, collaborators, and former mentors have decided to leave academia to continue pursuing science outside of academia in industry. This has led to me really reflect on what are the truly unique value propositions academia? These are my thoughts from that reflection. (continue reading)


Grant timelines from my first year as faculty

It's been roughly one year since my lab received its first grant. As I begin putting together the Research Performance Progress Report to highlight our progress so far, I also wanted to reflect on the timeframes for receiving this grants in the first place. As a new faculty, I didn't realize how long it would actually take for a grant to be reviewed and considered for funding. So below are the timelines for each grant I submitted and was able to track the timelines for from submission to its eventual award or lack thereof. I hope that these timelines will be helpful for new PIs starting out. (continue reading)


A reflection on retaining talent in academia

Over a year ago, I participated in a discussion panel for faculty to share insights on what it's like to be in academia. The attendees were mostly PhD students as well as some post-doctoral fellows who were interested in the academic trajectory. A senior male faculty member on the panel noticed and remarked on how there were so many young women in the audience. So the senior male faculty member sought to encourage these young women in the audience by telling them: Don't give up. In response to this platitude, I burst into a semi-coherent tirade that I have since composed into a more eloquent response. This is what I wish I would have said. This is what I will strive to say next time. (continue reading)