academics to small biotech

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academics to small biotech

Postby Melanie » Wed Nov 10, 2004 9:46 am

First of all, I am so happy to find this group, because I have been in great need of advice! I am currently in my first faculty position as assistant professor, but have been here long enough to realize that it is not what I want to do for a lifetime. I have been applying to small biotech jobs for a few months and Monday I interviewed with a company who appears to be very interested in me to manage one of their laboratories.

My first concern is that the title for the position is "Associate Scientist II", and I don't know if that would be detrimental to my resume in the future. The second concern stems from salary-I followed all the advice and asked for a range,and then mentioned that I was thinking of a salary closer to the upper end of that range due to my current position, experience and skills. No mention was made regarding moving expenses.

I was told that they would check my references and get back to me, so I might hear something soon. I suppose my overall question is whether I should be happy to have the opportunity to move into biotech and should accept an offer that isn't quite what I had hoped, but is close to maintaining my current standard of living?

Another more difficult question is, if I do accept this position, what do I do with all the supplies and equipment I purchased with my grants?

Thank you in advance for your assistance!


academics to small biotech

Postby Dave Jensen » Wed Nov 10, 2004 1:35 pm

Hello Melanie, I'm sorry that I can't answer your final question about the ethical matter of what to do with the supplies and equipment that you purchased with your grants. I've written a friend of mine, and asked for him to respond to you. Do others have any ideas for Melanie?

With regards to your discussions with the company. . . First off, how big is this company? They are using a VERY ODD title for the job of managing a lab. The "Associate Scientist" title is not the norm. Generally, something with "associate" in it, in industry, means "junior." So, substituting the words, you are offered the job of a Junior Scientist. Doesn't sound right. Why would this small company use titles that are so different from other firms? In reality, the title doesn't matter all that much, but years from now when you make another job change, you've got to explain it all, and you might as well start by asking them to explain it to you at the time of an offer. In other words, what is the career ladder and where does this fit?

With regards to an offer, sounds like are waiting for that now. Yes, it should include relocation expenses. Many small companies only offer reimbursement of the moving van expense, but some of them will include housing allowances (temporary) on their end, as well as "points" for loans, etc. Don't take a job from a company that expects you to move yourself -- at your level, that just sounds very "cheap" and they may end up being cheap for your entire career with them.

Hope you can get some answers about that grant question,

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academics to small biotech

Postby Sarah » Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:27 pm

Hi Melanie,
As to the question about what to do with your lab supplies and equipment, this will vary greatly depending on your school and department. Most schools have some type of unwritten policy in place. Usually all equipment purchased with school-supplied start-up funds remain property of the school. Sometimes leaving faculty are allowed to take with them equipment that was purchased with funding that was raised entirely by themselves. Often, if someone else at the school would have a use for the equipment, then it usually gets donated to another lab. If no one at the school would have a use for it, then it can often be returned to the manufacturer for a partial credit or donated to a non-profit or community college lab. I've also heard of a few cases where the leaving faculty member was given the option to purchase the equipment from the school at a discount so he/she could move the equipment to the new lab.


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