Recommendations from Dr. Jimena Baleriola for PhD students

Jimena Baleriola is a Group Leader- Ramón y Cajal Fellow (Ikerbasque Research Fellow in leave of absence) from Laboratory of Local Translation in Neurons and Glia (former Axon-Glia Interactions) at Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience.

Dr. Baleriola participated in the IV PhD Workshop of the Institute of Neurosciences UB.

Read this interview to find out her advice for PhD students.

What recommendations would you give to doctoral students?

Science can be very competitive and stressful, so I think you have to enjoy the road as much as you can.

Looking back at your scientific career, what advice would you give them when they finish their doctorate?

I think we generally have a linear idea about the scientific career: you have to finish the doctorate, go postdoc abroad, publish a nature to return, get a competitive contract and get a permanent job… and ideally it would be great if it worked like that for everyone. But reality can be tough and sometimes you have to deviate from the straight path. To those who want to continue with academic science and decide to leave for a postdoc, I would say that sometimes it is not so easy to publish a nature and settle down. If you see that things are not going as expected, you have to try to exploit other skills: try to ask for projects in your name, get involved in dissemination activities, in associations of researchers … I don’t know, something that makes you stand out … and you can even change your profession! It will never be a failure and everything you learned along the way will be useful for your future.

Is there anything in particular that you would say to young women researchers?

That they should fight to be visible. We are many but we are still a little invisible.